Berwick Saga can be a brilliant strategy game

The TearRing Saga series has always been an option for people who enjoyed Fire Emblem elements and the work Shouzou Kaga, a former Intelligent Systems scenario writer, brought to the series. Each one has similar sorts of concepts, but different tweaks that might make it feel a little bit different or perhaps more intense. TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga does a lot to make you think more critically as you play. We’ve talked about this a bit before, but people who take the time to play might see it as a good “next step” after Fire Emblem.

The most notable change in TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga is how the map looks. Most of Intelligent Systems’ strategy games use a square grid. Berwick Saga has a hexagonal map instead, meaning you don’t have to worry about being hit on only four sides. You have six to worry about. It might make you think a little harder about who should go where and why.

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Speaking of where people should go, TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga treats its support system a little differently. Unlike Fire Emblem, where characters can support almost anyone as time goes on and build up relationships, there are different bonds and stats at play here. For example, certain characters will always offer a certain perk to others around them. Reese and Ward are a good example. You have them from the moment the first chapter begins. If you have Reese near the more senior knight, Ward’s hit will be increased.

You also have a happiness stat that can be a factor for some mercenaries joining you permanently. So if Faramir is happy and Faye has joined you, you won’t have to keep paying for him. He’ll be a permanent ally. It makes you consider further how you treat people, which events you see and what units join you on the field.

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The way TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga treats equipment can be very different too. For example, mounted units’ dragons or horses aren’t permanent parts of them. Each one is essentially treated as a unit, and you can buy new ones from stables to get ones with more health and things like increased defense or movement range. Units build up skills with specific weapons, and there are different sorts of bows, lances and swords. Durability is still an issue, but you also have to worry about a potential chance of it eventually breaking the less durable it is. Characters even can be injured, which can make an enemy possible to be captured or force them to remove their weapon and be weakened.

There’s a lot to TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga. You really have to think about everything you are doing. The hexagonal map leaves your units more exposed and could have you thinking harder about paths. You’ll have to think more about who you use and where they are positioned, to boost happiness or have people who could support others nearby. You also have to keep more track of what your weapons can do, which mounts you have acquired and how well-maintained your equipment and characters are. You might even find it a little more thoughtful.

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