Tactics Ogre: Reborn review | PC Gamer

  • November 11, 2022

Need to know

What is it? A tactical RPG classic, the progenitor to Final Fantasy Tactics.

Release date: November 11, 2022

Expect to pay: £40/$50

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix

Reviewed on: Intel Core i7-10750H, 16GB RAM, GeForce RTX 2060

Multiplayer? No

Link: Official site (opens in new tab) 

Square Enix’s deep-dive into its archive is finally delivering something for tactical RPG fans. No, not Final Fantasy Tactics. The other beloved isometric game with Tactics in its title, as Tactics Ogre has finally been rescued from its PSP oblivion. It’s the game TRPG hipsters will tell you is the best TRPG, and it certainly got a lavish upgrade when it was ported to Sony’s handheld back in 2010.

If you’re unfamiliar with the original game—which first came to the SNES way back in 1995—it basically established the tactical RPG as we know it today, in its isometric configuration at least. Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea and my beloved Vandal Hearts wouldn’t exist without its mix of grounded fantasy politics and Q*bert-esque battle maps. The game also cemented the Yasumi Matsuno house style, with the director/writer/designer going on to work on Final Fantasy Tactics and FF12.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

It’s a simple but appealing game beneath the bells and whistles of the later editions, notable for its almost Game of Thrones-esque fantasy squabbling and chunky battle maps, which turned the flat battlefields of its contemporaries into gorgeous 3D dioramas. There’s an inherent joy to moving units and flinging arrows across the battlefield, and it persists in Tactics Ogre: Reborn, which has reworked the enemy AI so that it now puts up a fair yet challenging fight. Every battle kept me on my toes, thinking tactically with every action—not just mindlessly advancing across the map.