My very first impressions of Symphony of War were… not excellent. I set it aside after the initial tutorial sequence, clocking in at less than 30 minutes.

But what I disliked had nothing to do with the game Symphony was, but rather what it wasn’t. I expected something more akin to a tactics game where you can control individual units within each battle. More than expected, it is what I wanted. I yearned for that particular brand of tactics when I picked this up.

Symphony of War carries many of the trappings of that genre, sure, but it isn’t the whole kit and kaboodle.

You have an uneasy peace at the start of the story. The intrigue and early betrayal. The promising young battle captain.

But the combat merely involves moving units into other units and then watching an auto-battle unfold.

Since those formative opinions though, I have jumped back in for a further 4 hours and found a lot to like about what Symphony actually is.

The depth comes before you ever set foot on the battlefield. It comes through the customisation of your squads, from their unit composition, formation, equipment, and the traits you choose to train them in. You’ll have a mix of story companions and recruited mercenaries to work with, from assassins and light infantry through to the heaviest of cavalry. Oh, or dragons. And given how early I am into things, perhaps other more mystical beasts aside.

You can make a squad leader out of essentially anyone — but you’ll want to pay particular attention to their Leadership (LDR) stat. Additional non-leader units to a squad will cost you around 10 points. Modifiers can reduce or raise that, but around there. Each point of Leadership provides 1 squad size point.

As your heroes progress, their natural training and the additional training you give them will open up more and more interesting choices to make about how to form a squad, and whether you want it to be a Swiss utility knife or hyperfocused on a singular task or combat type is entirely up to you.

Frostilyte has an excellent post that dives deeper into these mechanics and how they made Symphony one of 2022’s best Strategy RPGs for him if you’d like to know more.

Ultimately; if you’re reading this to help a decision on whether or not to continue with April 2024’s Humble Choice bundle or not, this is certainly a game that leans toward making that purchase. My only hesitation would be to check for current sales on Symphony directly if that’s all you’re after — on sale it may well be cheaper than the Humble Choice bundle.

Of course, if there is anything else in there that you’re keen on? Then that’s an easy yes — go ahead! Despite my initial apprehensions based on what I wanted the game to be — I’ve had a blast, and shot well over the general two-hour minimum I set for myself on these early impression posts. :)


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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