The ‘Tales of…’ series will be familiar to many of you and so perhaps needs little introduction. This particular incarnation, the Tales of Zestiria has literally opened itself up to new concepts, and has gone open world. There’s plenty to keep the excitement levels, well, fairly high, including magic, knights and dragons and the fate of the happy ending lies in the hands of a chap called Sorey. Sorey is a curious young buck who bravely takes on the task of being the Shepherd, the one who it was prophesied would become the saviour of all. All? Well done young Sorey, and best of luck to you young mucker, particularly given the fact that you’ll be up against Malevolence which is spreading corruption and fear across the world. Eep.
The open world format is a definite bonus in this latest in the Tales series. There is room to roam and everything else seems to benefit – the characters, for example, are nicely fleshed out and the dialogue is pretty slick too. Some may feel that the game takes a little while to get going fully and you might have an arduous first couple of hours, but if you’re already a devotee of this series then you have forgiven the game its flaws before you even get going. If you’re new to the series, then, listening to the devotees would mean that you just have to suck it up initially and keep the faith – you’ll hopefully be rewarded. There are grumblings from some fans, however, with some expressing a disappointment that the mechanics of the game let it down. You can always choose how to live with disappointment, however, whether we’re talking your marriage or your choice of PS4 game – you can either suck it up and get on with it or you can whine and whinge. I’ll leave that there without delving any deeper.
So, some more of the specifics of the game, then. There are historical references, with nods to King Arthur and Greek mythology and there are some interesting plot twists and turns throughout. It’s also probably useful to know that the aforementioned Sorey was raised by Seraphim which is handy, given that part of his task in defeating Malevolence includes uniting the human and spirit worlds. He’s got a bit of a head start there, phew.
As well as the new open world feature, the action-battle system is also developed with a new focus on elemental attacks. Sorey is mates with four seraphim who are tied to the four basic elements of fire, water, earth and wind and so this leads to interesting variations in the battles. The seraphim can either involve themselves just as they are or they can integrate themselves (steady on) with other human characters and provide interesting and powerful combinations. Together stronger as you might say.
So, there are new features here which are laudable but there’s enough of the traditional format to keep (most of the) regular fans happy. It may never break records or win awards, but Tales of Zestiria provides fun enough to keep most entertained of a Sunday afternoon. What more d’ya want?!