Several new games were announced during the Nintendo Direct on 17/02/21, including the upcoming strategy game Project Triangle. They also revealed the exciting news that Project Triangle has a demo that’s available to play now! The game trailer gave viewers a good taste of what to expect, and the demo was the icing on the cake.
So, what’s included in the demo?
When you open the Project Triangle demo, it displays a short message explaining that this is an excerpt from the middle of the game. It also explains that the difficulty level is higher than in the full game, to demonstrate the complexity of combat. We then have a detailed opening cutscene that explains the lore and history of the world. This cutscene is presented as a voiceover layered over slightly animated snapshots, rather than a seamless video. The style works well to cover a lot of information in a relatively short space of time. A page appears on the screen explaining that we’re entering chapter 6, entitled ‘Remember Me’.
Once the opening cutscene is over, we come to the first of many story scenes, the main method through which the game is told. In the story scenes, we view the settings and characters as they appear in the game, rather than with the stylistic graphics used in the cutscenes. We witness dialogue between characters, and this is voiced as well as subtitled. There’s also an option to fast forward through the dialogue if you want to skip ahead to the other phases of the game.
There are two distinct art styles used in the game. The characters are somewhat pixelated, and the colour scheme used is neutral and dull. Meanwhile, the background settings are more vibrant, and contain more detail without conflicting too heavily with the pixilation of the characters. There’s also a third art style present when you look at a character’s profile, and see a hand-drawn representation of them. You can view a character’s profile by selecting that option during their dialogue. It will open a pop-up displaying their name and title, as well as an artist’s rendition of them.
There are three phases in Project Triangle. The first is story scenes, which give relevant information on what’s happening in the world. After that, you enter an exploration phase. The last is the battle phase, but we’ll come to that later. Exploration phases allow you to wander around and interact with people and objects. This allows you to gather information about characters and settings, as well as collect items, and review mechanics and terrain features that may serve you in battle. The movement during the exploration phase is mostly smooth and intuitive, whilst still being quite basic.
You may also have to make decisions when talking to other characters during the exploration phase. These decisions will fit one of three convictions that the game has: Utility, morality, or liberty. The choices you make throughout the game will influence your conviction, which in turn will affect the game. The parameters of your conviction will affect who will and won’t join your cause, as well as other aspects. During the loading screen between phases, the game will autosave, so you don’t need to worry about losing progress.
From the menu screen, you can select to visit the Encampment. This will allow you to buy items and quietuses (secret weapons) that can be used during battles. Items will appear in your inventory, also accessible from the main menu. The demo has limited features in the Encampment, but the full game will have more options available. It appears as though the full game will allow you to provide materials to a smithy so he can craft weapons for you. There’s also a shopkeeper who hints that you’ll be able to run errands for her. Another main menu option allows you to view all your units, so you can see their stats. This can help you decide who to deploy during a battle.
The map is displayed after the exploration phase, and allows you to select a battle to join. There are also side stories represented by green exclamation marks. These are optional stories that give you more information about the world, and the characters within it. Main story objectives are represented by a red exclamation mark. These will lead into the final phase of the game – battles.
Battles rely on positioning and initiative. Attacks from behind, or from high ground deal more damage than regular attacks. You can deal a critical hit to an enemy by literally stabbing them in the back. You can also do a bonus attack when you attack an enemy that has an ally stood behind them. Paying attention to positioning like this is crucial to gain an advantage during the battle.
Initiative is the order in which your characters do battle, and it’s based on the speed stat. The order of turns will be determined at the start of the battle, although certain characters have abilities that can disrupt this. You can follow the order of turns by looking at the indicator below the screen.
On your turn, you can select where to move your character, as well as which attack/ ability to use. There are multiple options you can choose from, but some attacks use up ability points. Characters gain xp after each fight, which can mean they level up mid-battle. When they level up, they may learn new abilities which will be available to use on their next turn.
Finishing A Chapter
Once the battle is over, you receive any loot that you picked up from fallen enemies. You also gain coin and kudos points, which are based on the moves you made within the battle. You may gain kudos for things like hitting an enemy from behind, or doing a counter-attack.
Once you beat chapter 6, the demo leads you into a new cutscene, and you start chapter 7, which follows the same phases as chapter 6 did. The demo seems to showcase plenty of the gameplay, and gives you a good idea of what to expect from the full game. If you’re interested, the demo can be downloaded from the Nintendo Switch store, and the full game will be out in 2022.