Othercide from Lightbulb Crew and Focus Home Interactive is a stylistically sublime game. Why exactly? Well it oozes a certain something right from the get go and thankfully the game never lets up on this dark mysterious tone. Othercide is a game that relies heavily on both its gameplay mechanics and its storytelling. Both of which it handles quite well but may aggravate some gamers.
In Othercide players will take on the role of the Red Mother, mankind’s last hope that is trying to save humanity from a sinister force known as the Suffering. There’s also a mysterious being known as “The Child” involved and it’s up to you to prevent the Suffering from killing “The Child” and plunging the world into darkness.
How exactly do you do this? By waging war of course. Players will have to use their army of “Daughters” to wage war on the Suffering during a “Recollection”. A Recollection is effectively a timeloop set up by the Red Mother to ensure success against the Suffering. Each “Daughter” summoned by the Red Mother can be a specific class and you can set off into battle with 3 daughters of the same class if you want to. This isn’t a good idea though because each class has unique abilities and skills which synergize with each other in battles. Blademasters for example specialise in dealing damage with their swords while Shieldbearers and their defensive buffs can soak up incoming damage.
Gameplay in Othercide is extremely tactical. Players will use the dynamic timeline system in battles. This system features turn-based gameplay with a slight twist to it. Players will be able to move their daughters on the isometric grid environmental maps and consume action points or AP performing various actions. Moving consumes AP and so does attacking or using skills. Enemies also adhere to the same rules. Both player units and enemy units can be shifted across the dynamic timeline displayed at the bottom of the screen by abilities that cause a delay. Delaying enemy actions can therefore factor into winning battles since you may be able to stop a fatal attack from occurring or delay long enough to move your Daughters away to safety.
Battles in Othercide are quite complex because you’ll have to balance your moves and your attacks while taking into account the enemy actions and their specific strengths and weaknesses. The game makes this quite clear to you very early on and chances are you’ll end up being destroyed in no time flat during your first real run through the game’s first recollection in the story.
Another layer of complexity is added to the gameplay with the fact that Othercide features gameplay that heavily relies on trial and error. Daughters injured in battle can only be healed by sacrificing another daughter of equal or higher level to heal them. You can also only resurrect Daughters if you have a token available and summon more Daughters only if you have enough Vitae. Playing through levels, learning what the enemies do, reacting accordingly and then changing your playstyle to beat them on your next run is where Othercide excels. However, this may be seen as an artificial method of prolonging the game and will definitely annoy some gamers.
Healing Daughters by sacrificing other Daughters provides a stat boost or some other effect to the surviving Daughter and this increases their effectiveness in battles. Your first few battles in Othercide might seem unfair but once you’ve put in a few hours into the game, you should be able to hold your own and enjoy the game’s mechanics. Enemies in Othercide are quite varied and their abilities do present a notable challenge to overcome. Once the gameplay clicks with you though it becomes extremely enjoyable.
The story in Othercide is explained through memories and fragments of information that are obtained from winning battles. There’s a lot of text to read and the world building is great should you spend time reading through the tales told in the memories. The game’s mysterious and dark premise is also quite intriguing and does make you want to continue playing to find out just what exactly is going on.
Graphically, Othercide uses a simple black, white and red colour palette. It works extremely well for the game since it suits the story’s tone and imparts a mildly terrifying atmosphere to it. Seeing otherworldly creatures crawl out from grey mists in battle is creepy and the maps themselves are quite well designed. Both characters and enemies are well designed too with animations that are quite visually pleasing to see in action. Seeing a Daughter perform a flashy attack never gets old even after hours of playing the game because it’s so satisfying to see it play out against an enemy. The game runs really smoothly on Nintendo Switch in both handheld and docked mode however there are still glitches present such as character portraits overlapping.
The game’s soundtrack is great with each boss enemy featuring their own specific track that really suits their particular battle. For example the first boss that you face off against has a great background music track and the music adds a lot to the battle’s tension as it goes on. Doubly so because the boss itself is quite terrifying and large compared to your small squad of Daughters.
Overall, Othercide is a slightly mixed bag of a game. Gamers who don’t mind repetition and are used to similar types of games where trial and error play a part in succeeding will find the game to be quite enjoyable. Gamers who lack patience and want to power on through the game might want to enable the “Dream mode” on Nintendo Switch but in doing so will lose some of the game’s core gameplay mechanics and enjoyability. The “Dream mode” is great for those that want to get through the game and experience the story without too much repetition. Thankfully, since the game is on Nintendo Switch, you can play it in short bursts. This makes the trial and error repetitiveness more manageable and far less frustrating when you die to a boss for the third time in a row. Othercide is recommended if you are a fan of tactical turn-based strategy games that you can spend hours and hours on.
Othercide is Developed by Lightbulb Crew and Published by Focus Home Interactive
If you do not have a Nintendo Switch you can also purchase the game on the following platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Purchase Othercide on Nintendo Switch here for £35.99.
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Descend into Humanity’s last hope. The Daughters, echoes of the greatest warrior to ever live, are all who stand before Suffering and death.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 35.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut