Developed and Published by: KRAFTON GAME UNION
Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Reviewed on: Playstation 4 Pro
Mistover is a game that takes players back to a familiar franchise with somewhat of a familiar feeling seeping through with the initial similarities to Darkest Dungeon. Artstyle and gameplay are shared closely by the two games, with Mistover bringing its own story and content to the fray. This tactical RPG puts players in a fresh new world, represented by a plethora of characters, key NPC’s and enemies that have been tailor-made for the game. We dive down into the game and explore the dungeon crawling elements and the dark-themed world that is set for the player to save from an apocalyptic time bomb.
Players are given an early start to the game with a simple tutorial of how the gameplay works. After a short battle with unsuspecting enemies, a group of soldiers come to the player’s aid and escorts the controlled characters to a nearby town that is in the midst of turmoil. You soon find out that a looming danger is nearby, called “The Pillar of Despair” that slowly fills mist in the surrounding areas of the town and causes chaos to whoever enters it. The town decides to send out a group of explorers called the Expedition Corps to explore the mist and to put an end to the evil once and for all.
Players soon find themselves being recruited into the Expedition Corps and is given a set of characters to start. As you progress in the town, you will come across multiple NPC’s that can be interacted with for missions and related interests such as buying shop items, training your characters, learning new skills and so on. Some NPC’s guide you through the games initial process of recruitment, training and item purchases. Be sure to explore the town fully before moving on with objectives.
Missions are provided to the players from the town itself and you will be given various tasks to complete. They vary from defeating enemies, collecting specific quest items or even saving fallen Expedition Corps members. Players are given flexibility on how they complete such tasks whether it be grinding on a certain dungeon to obtain higher levels before progressing to the next objectives/missions, or they can pursue the mission head-on as long as the mission is on par with the character levels that is and take on a challenge to test their wits and hopefully outsmart and take out the enemies efficiently.
Visiting the shops, support labs, storage centers and training camps, you come across various functions and aspects that can expand your gameplay to new heights and further improve your quality of exploration every time you venture out. Support labs offer essential upgrades for your dungeon travels, like increasing backpack size, the amount of fullness you can have at any given time and also the max amount of Luminosity you can obtain. Players would need to gather prerequisite journals in order to upgrade these types of support.
Missions picked up from the office at town will often lead you to venturing into the many locations filled with the mysterious mist, treacherous traps and unending monsters. Besides the town activities, players are given the opportunity to explore the dungeons and partake in battle when coming across enemies. The gridlock looking map and movement type may be familiar to some players who have played similar-looking games. I for one was reminded of the days of Digimon World, where we see similar movement patterns and battles take place. Indeed playing this sort of game now is pretty refreshing and gives it new life.
Your movements in the map will slowly deduct your “Fullness” and “Luminosity” meter that can be seen full when you first enter. Food will help keep up the party’s fullness level, and seeds will help with the latter. Stocking up on these will be key to exploring the dungeons for longer periods of time and uncovering more loot. Be sure to not let these two meters reach 0, as your vision will be impaired and your health will slowly deteriorate if you persistently move. You can find food and seeds in the dungeon too, but be wary of consuming them as they’ve been affected by the mist’s surrounding them. Side effects will occur, literally.
Recruiting the correct party member for a specific dungeon dive can be beneficial at times. Certain characters work well with another, allowing them to be more effective when in battle. Characters also are able to initiate new skills when paired up with another character, so be sure to look up your character’s skill sets, and see which other characters they work best with for optimum battle results. Also, certain characters benefit from allowing you to traverse the maps easier by destroying obstacles that are blocking shortcuts to other parts of the maps without a health penalty otherwise.
Hiring new characters or obtaining new characters from dungeons can also be beneficial when done properly. Having multiple instances of the same characters may look redundant, but training the same character for different purposes means that you can have good leverage on different abilities whenever you need it. For example, having multiple Paladins, but training and giving each different attacks and skills means that in different situations, you can place a different Paladin in your exploring party to suit the need of your exploration
Battles in the game take place on a 3×3 grid which sees your party members on the left and the opposing enemy on right. Depending on the positions of your characters, some of them require to be further away on the grid or closer to the enemy in order to initiate certain attacks/skills. Wrong placements of your characters on the grid can potentially be the downfall of an attack, so plan your positions wisely and make do of their co-op benefits. The battles are fairly simple during the first few levels of the dungeon. It does get progressively more difficult and time-consuming as you go along. Enemies will have abilities to heal and summon other creatures to fight for them. Having characters than can damage multiple enemies at once or debuff them will make a huge difference as you progress in the game. Some attacks/skills require MP from a character. These will regenerate over time as you explore the map. If MP is scarce in battle, players have the option to block opponent attacks in exchange for increased MP in their next attack phase.
As you play out your battles and explore the various attacks and skills both you and your opponents have, players can notice that some of them do cause their characters to move around after the skill has taken place, whether it be the opponent or the player’s party member. You can use this to your advantage to manipulate enemy positions on the grid and unleash attacks that target a specific shape on the grid, or even have your party members move around to a much more pleasing position in order to initiate co-op attacks.
As mentioned earlier, the Expedition Corps go on missions and to obliterate the mist, and dwindle the power of “The Pillar of Despair”. There can be times where you run out of food, run out of bandages to stop bleeding party members or even have some of your party members die along the way. You have the option to exit out the dungeon by running away without exiting the dungeon itself. It would be fine and dandy, if not for the Doomsday Clock.
The Doomsday Clock judges you every time you leave the dungeon, and it either rewards you for your troubles or gives you a penalty if you don’t achieve enough. Not defeating enough enemies, not lighting up enough flowers or not opening enough chests all contribute to the clock ticking closer to midnight, and when that happens, its game over. Fortunately, it’s a good tactic to ensure players make the most of a dungeon raid rather than just repeating the same dungeon for gold and experience.
The use of items, armour pieces and weapons on your characters also contribute to better stats and ease gameplay as you go along. Items obtained in the Mist has to be identified first in order to understand their properties and statistical advantages. Fusing similar items together will grant you a single item that is ranked higher than the initial two items you had earlier. Playing around with items, researching which items go best with which character can boost their performance not just in battle, but also improve your exploration abilities and increase the time you can spend in dungeons. Though some items can cause negative effects on your character, usually their benefits might outweigh their negatives. Use them sparingly.
Overall, Mistover is its own game but shares good similarities to other games of the genre while having aspects of its own that are new and refreshing. The game stands out with its unique gameplay and is easy to pick up, fun to play around with and also a challenge to uphold as you progress. My only personal gripe that I had with this game, is that some sound bites can be a little repetitive at times. For instance, the characters have this call sound whenever it is their turn to attack/move/use a skill. The same sound bite is used over and over again whenever it’s the characters turn, and it can sound a little repetitive and make the character lose a bit of personality from time to time. Also, the fact that sometimes text does tend to overlap during fight scenes, makes the players lose a bit of context of what is currently happening on screen and ends up being annoying, but that’s just my personal opinion and I don’t think it should be deal-breaker for everyone.
- Interesting gameplay mechanics, easy to pick up.
- Intuitive character development
- Good and interesting plot/storyline
- Repetitive sound bites
- Annoying overlapping of texts during fights ( Subjective opinion )