Revenant Dogma is a turn based JRPG developed by Exe-Create and published by Kemco. Exe-Create and Kemco have both worked on a fair few RPG games together. Most notably the Asdivine and Revenant sagas. These games span a number of different formats, whether that be mobile or console gaming.
I am a sucker for an RPG. I have loved RPG’s from an early age, the first being the original Final Fantasy. Over the years I have enjoyed franchises like Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Star Ocean, Tales of and so on, the list is vast! I loved Exe-Create and Kemco’s Asdivine Hearts and was very excited to play Revenant Dogma. But does it hold up in the already competitive world of AAA RPG titles?
The answer is yes and no. The fact this was a mobile game is where we encounter our first problem. A free to play mobile game with in app purchases gets ported over to console for £12.49. It really doesn’t feel right. Especially with the outdated graphics.
Asdivine Hearts was a bit different in the fact that the whole game has 16 bit looking format throughout. It was a nod to the old RPG games of the past and had a very nostalgic feeling. However in Revenant Dogma, you will see both the old 16 bit format being used, but also an attempt to branch into 3-D.
Graphically it looks extremely dated. At first you are observing the world from a 2-D birds eye view of the world. But when placed into battle everything changes to 3-D. The gameplay is very fluid and you are very unlikely to be dropping framerate, but it looks like you are playing an old Playstation or N64 game.
Whilst I would imagine, these graphics hold up in the mobile gaming market, they really fall short on something as powerful as the Xbox One. If like the previous title Asdivine they carried on the 2-D graphics I could understand, as it would make it feel like an old school RPG. But the transition from a 16 bit looking world to something that is 64 bit at best really doesn’t feel right and cheapens the experience.
As with any RPG, a decent story is key and Revenant Dogma doesn’t disappoint. Complete with twists and turns that would throw M Night Shyamalan through a loop.
The game starts by giving you a background to the game and the setting. There are 2 races in the world of Aldora. The Humans and the Therians. The Humans revere the divine Gods and the Therians revere the Feral Gods. Whilst each consider the others to be Heretics, there is peace. This was until the Therians attain power from their Gods and their civilisation accelerates. This creates a resentment from the Humans and their faith begins to decline. This is until the Premier Lionel appears and Human civilisation begin to grow rapidly.
The story begins with the main characters Caine and Julie. Humans that both couldn’t make it in being revenants (divine warriors created to fight off monsters). They are at an ancient Therian site to retrieve a Feral relic. This is until they discover something they weren’t meant to and it throws their world into chaos.
Like most RPG’s you will have a few characters to use in battle. In Revenant Dogma’s case there is 4 in total. Caine and Julie, Humans. Fleon, a Therian Warrior and the mysterious Lilith.
Each possessing different abilities and attributes. The usual attack, defence, speed, magic, vitality and HP stats are present and changeable with different weapons and armour you collect or buy in the game.
The characters are well developed throughout the story, however without any decisional input from you as the player. It is very linear in that respect. The dialogue is occasional funny, but sometimes equally as cringe.
Then there’s the usual love triangle between the main character and the 2 accompanying female characters as expected from a JRPG. It can all be very cliché. No voice actors are used in conversations but a lot of written text accompanied by a picture of the character speaking. If you’re not a fan of reading lengthy texts of dialogue then this game will not be for you.
One use of the characters I did not like, was the attempts from the characters in the game to cheekily ask you for a review. Whilst it is done in a very comedic fashion, it is still a reminder that you are playing a mobile ported game. I believe taking this section out of the game for the console ports would help the game, instead of feeling like a desperate plea for likes.
As previously stated, once in a battle, the view changes to 3D. It is turn based and has all the makings of a normal RPG. The battle menu shows you battle attack order, the options to attack, defend, use an item or ability or flee.
Alternatively you can also transform.
This is one aspect of where Revenant Dogma really begins to shine and stand out from the crowd. Each relic you collect on your journey will reward one of your characters a special transformation. The transformations include Knight, to use offence abilities; Guardian, to use defence abilities and Healer, to well, heal.
This adds an interesting dynamic to the combat especially towards the last few chapters of the game. You will need to be clever and tactile in which character transforms into which form and which abilities it will allow you to use. You can only transform once per turn, however you are not hindered to stay in that form, as on the next turn for that character you can transform into a new form. This aspect of the game really helps to adapt to your play-style.
The Est Dungeon’s are another plus point for Revenant Dogma. These randomly generated labyrinths are special dungeons that can be accessed through portals found in towns and villages. You have the option of different difficulty settings all with recommended levels that your characters need to be to take them on. The dungeons offer different rewards within them, such as high value gear or items. Each one has a different layout with multiple floors of monsters to fight your way through with a boss at the end of each one. They are very challenging to complete. Fear not though, if you get the gear you need and want to hightail it out of there, you do have the option when presented to progress or not. This aspect of the game definitely increases longevity.
I personally really enjoyed Revenant Dogma, much more than I thought I would initially. Graphically it is a let-down, however once you can get past that, the gameplay was enjoyable and very moreish. Bringing the age old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover. The dialogue is witty in places, the story is intriguing and the combat is challenging yet fun. If you have played Asdivine Hearts before, you won’t notice too much different in the formula, it is very much the same. If you are a fan of old school JRPG games then this will be a game for you. However if you have no idea what I am talking about, then you are probably best steering well clear. Yes, it is free to play on mobile, but I would much rather playing with a controller and a TV screen than on a phone.
Revenant Dogma is available to buy on for Xbox One from the Xbox Live store for £12.49.
A review copy for Xbox One was provided for the purposes of this review. Thank You!
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- Fun & Challenging Combat
- Intriguing Story
- EST Dungeons
- Graphically Poor
- It’s a free to play mobile game
- A very Niche game