Besides all kinds of new AAA releases, we’re also seeing a few high profile ports arrive this season. Triangle Strategy for the PC, the console version of Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and the PC port of the Uncharted Legacy of Thieves collection certainly fall into that category, which is why we’re checking them out with a closer look here.
Triangle Strategy review (PC)
It’s somewhat rare that we see a Switch game that we’re excited about get ported over to other platforms – after all, many of the best games on the Switch are first party exclusives. Triangle Strategy, which seems like it would be the title of a puzzle game rather than a tactical RPG, is an exception. Developed by Square Enix and ARTDINK, it was received extremely well on the Switch and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the PC version.
Triangle Strategy continues Square’s recent trend of releasing quality titles outside of their best-known IPs, and comes with an original premise and story. Set in a post-war fantasy world, the most powerful nations are working together on mining operations that are meant to unite them, but it doesn’t take long before things escalate out of control again and war looms again on the horizon. You’re Serenoa, the heir of House Wolffort, and the protagonist of the story. Your father helped broker a fragile peace years ago, which also resulted in an arranged marriage for yourself, to Frederica – who was born into the Aesfrost line.
Together, you find yourselves amidst a diverse cast in a story full of political intrigue that you sometimes feel you were born into as mere pawns. You have the opportunity to craft your own place in the world though, and will do so by aligning with people and choices, as well as by convincing others to side with you. And while that sounds simple of paper, there’s an interesting multi-layered system that runs in the background and aligns you with “Freedom”, “Utility” and “Morality” based on your choices and actions – a dynamic that you can later visualize when you play in New Game Plus mode.
Of course, Triangle Strategy also features tactical combat, which is equally well crafted as the story component. It effectively uses the environment you’re in for promote the use of verticality and cover, but you can also ignite fires and add electrical charges to water to gain an edge. TP (Tactical Points) regenerate and grant you access to special (magic) attacks, but take a while to charge up so when to use them is an important choice that can have big ramifications. Different units also come with different abilities, weapons and classes, so there’s plenty of diversity in how you can have combat scenarios play out. Between access to training scenarios and difficulty settings, Triangle Strategy is very welcoming to all levels of strategists, which gives it a much wider appeal than its visuals – rooted in the classics that hardcore fans will recognize – might suggest.
Audiovisually, Triangle Strategy uses sprites that evoke memories of the SNES RPGs of the 1990s, but they’re plotted against a 3D environment for a unique and attractive look. It’s not the most demanding title (which explains why it works so well on the Switch), but some nice visual/lighting effects certainly make it eye-catching. And although we didn’t try it out, we imagine this one’s amazing on the Steam Deck too. A brilliant game if you’re looking to add a tactical RPG to your library this winter.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous review (PS4)
Owlcat’s Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous recently launched for consoles, bringing the game to new platforms just over a year after it first launched on PC. We covered the Steam version back then in our review, but dove into the new console version to see how the conversion to a gamepad-centric platform was handled.
The short answer: remarkably well. For a game in a genre that’s traditionally associated with the PC, Wrath of the Righteous is a joy to play on the PlayStation 4 once you get used to the control scheme. Not being able to use a keyboard and mouse for the default controls, you’ll have to make use of the triggers in order to modify what buttons do and to quickly access (sub)menus, but everything has been clearly thought out very well and it didn’t take long for things to feel natural.
The console version of the game is fully content- and feature-complete compared to the PC build, which means you can choose between real time and turn-based combat here as well. With a slight learning curve for the controls we’d recommend starting off with the turn-based mode at first, and switching over to real time if you feel like speeding the action up a little bit.
What’s also worth pointing out is that console owners are getting the game’s “Enhanced Edition”, which essentially means it contains all of the stability, balancing and UI improvements that PC owners got post-launch as well. The end result is a tremendous classic isometric role playing game the likes of which we see far too little on consoles, making this one a must for those who are fans of classic titles like Baldur’s Gate but aren’t playing on PC (anymore).
Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection review (PC)
In Sony’s (short) history of porting over some of their most acclaimed PlayStation titles to PC, none have come to the platform quicker than the Legacy of Thieves Collection, which bundles Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy – a pack that only launched on the PS5 at the start of this year. And despite the short timeframe, we’re happy to say that it continues the recent trend of stellar PC ports.
If you have a PC but still want the console experience, then you can connect a DualSense controller and play it just like you would on the PS5. And while there’s a plethora of graphics options, we’re guessing that most people are going to be most enthusiastic about the way both games perform on the PC. You don’t need a stellar PC to run these (though you need a ridiculous amount of storage space), and you can even get stable performance running them on a Steam deck.
Running both of these gorgeous games on a handheld took us back to the impressive feat that was Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the Vita, and shows how much potential there could be for a new Sony handheld as long as it was compatible with people’s existing PS4 libraries. That’s not very likely to happen though, but at least you can tweak the experience on this PC version to be even more impressive when running on a powerful desktop PC. With ample options for things like ultra-wide monitors and all kinds of graphics card settings, you’re given the opportunity to boost the performance of these games to a point even beyond what a PlayStation 5 can handle – which is extremely generous on Sony’s part and a great service towards PC players who had to wait for years to play Uncharted. The wait, thankfully, was more than worth it. If you have a powerful PC this is the best way to play these, but even if you don’t these are two great games available at a fantastic price.