Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Review – Elevated RPG

Written for the Escapist Magazine, recreated in-part with permission.

There is precious little time to come to terms with the game before it surrounds you. The game opens in battle, with hulking tanks and infantry fighting what appears to be a hopeless battle. Towering walls of the fortress back the combatants, who fire on an enemy the camera never sees. Inside, a group of high school age men and women storm the fortress, receiving instructions from two nearby adults. They are reminded that this is no simple school exercise, and that they are in an active battlefield, and should behave accordingly. What that means, or how that differs from what they might expect goes unexplained.

From there, they’re split into groups, and sent to prevent two weapons known as rail guns from being fired. Each group is tasked with preventing one of the cannons from being fired. They split apart into their respective groups, and charge into the steel walls of the military base. Around the students are a number of bloodied corpses, and at no point do any of the kids or adults address the death around them, aside from making note of strange details. None of the characters are named in dialog, aside from brief descriptors like “black-haired boy” or “female instructor,” and no frame of reference is ever given.

[Read the remainder on the Escapist.]