Divided Reigns will make you question your dislike of RPGMaker games. After watching the story’s intro, you are given control of Ailfred who is a captain at odds with his devotion to country and his hatred of war itself. While you are given access to an open world almost immediately, you are nudged towards your objectives and the intricate plot inevitably unfolds around you. The main character is likeable and isn’t afraid to start interpersonal conflict when he feels interjection is necessary. As the game progresses, you can add nearly a dozen characters to your team. Their art all look great, as do the enemies. Nearly everything about this game exceeded my expectations knowing what engine was used to create it.
The music isn’t just adequate, its cinematic. The combat is varied, using an elemental magic system and a physical tactics dynamic. Weapons and how they are used in battle will determine their strength and weakness in each fight. The world feels alive, as there are plenty of secrets to find and bounties and side quests to occupy your time. The bosses are original and again very well drawn. All assets here are original.
Divided Reigns runs in a 16:9 resolution, but requires a key press to enter full screen mode. It inherits its engine’s options menu, which doesn’t leave much room for tinkering. You are allowed full control customization, being either keyboard + mouse or controller. I list these because other games of its ilk have had problems in this area.
The main draws here are the combat and the storytelling which are both satisfying. I was pleasantly surprised at the character development that unfolded in front of me and its accompanying soundtrack, and the various ways I was able to engage enemies kept me from getting sick of combat. Do yourself a favor and give this game a chance. There are many in-game throwbacks to classic JRPGs, and I believe this title holds up extremely well in their company.