Humans face extinction in the latest release for the PS3, PS4 and Vita called Natural Doctrine. Eager enough to prevent this from happening? Well then jump right in if you dare. In this ambitious title, you take command of the Bergmans to collect the rare mineral, Pluton, known for its magic energy. But this is no easy task as dangers and harmful creatures lurk within.
Specifically, Natural Doctrine is strategy game where you take turns with your opponent. You are able to move your characters within a designated area on the map. What is different though is that you can change the order of your turns depending on the friendly units nearby. As this happens, the game alters the turns which means that you can make further attacks without delay.
The game does its best to explain the mechanics of the game. This is demonstrated by the indications on the bottom of the screen explaining what function corresponds to what button. Unfortunately, The there are already a lot of information overloaded with text, arrows and such. On top of that, the tutorial doesn’t really give too much needed detail that would help with success. Hence, you’ll want to rely on trial and error as you move on during the game.
Still, Natural Doctrine does have an interesting concept incorporated into the turn-based strategy gameplay. It encourages you to think carefully as your decisions can have a domino effect later on. For instance, if you make one wrong decision, the enemy can kill off your units very quickly. Therefore, you’ll have to take your time and plan accordingly. Furthermore, Natural Doctrine is challenging enough to make you want to proceed carefully.
A nice addition is the ability to fast-forward the whole action using the circle button. Sometimes, you know that the enemy is going to claim victory, so you would most likely want to get through the motions as quickly as possible so that you can implement your other strategic plans. My complaint here is that the circle button is also used to cancel. Thus, if you are not careful as you fast forward, you may very well end up canceling accidentally. And this can be a very frustrating occurrence.
Natural Doctrine is presented with some nice artistry especially with the 1080p resolution. However, there are elements in the game that does look pretty rough around the edges. To illustrate, you have the dungeons that don’t really have much color or spark attached to make the whole appearance appealing. And while the characters are detailed adequately, the whole look matches that of a Playstation 2 game. The textures are not as smooth as you would expect even for a current generation console. On the Vita, it does look a bit better, but that’s probably because of the smaller screen.
In regards to the audio, the voice acting is pretty top notch as you can feel the personality as they speak. The music is also reasonably decent as it keeps the game lively and interesting.
Natural Doctrine does let you challenge other players be it locally or online. In this case, you have the option to take command of even the creatures themselves, which is a nice change in perspective. As a result, this feature is great to include and helps to give this game its replay incentive.
Natural Doctrine is an entertaining game, granted that you are into these types of strategy RPG titles. It may not be perfect, but it is an adequate game to try out at least on the Playstation Vita. As for the home consoles, Natural Doctrine may not be the most outstanding. So I would recommend to try it out first, in particular the multiplayer function, to determine if this game is right for you.