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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 75 Ratings

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  • Summary: Natural Doctrine a challenging strategy title which features cross-play and cross-save. The games sets out to test your ability to conquer the evils that lurk in the sprawling networks of mines and ruins in the areas surrounding the fortress city of Feste.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 31
  2. Negative: 10 out of 31
  1. 80
    If being humiliated and demoralised by in-game defeat is synonymous to Mel’s downfall, achieving victory in battle is a feeling equivalent to earning a billion dollars just for punching your life-long nemesis in the face.
  2. Oct 22, 2014
    70
    It's still one of my favorite games this year, but the flaws keep me from recommending it to everyone; this is a game for those who love the genre, and want an old-school tactical RPG challenge.
  3. Dec 2, 2014
    70
    There’s a thin line between rock-hard gameplay and a broken game and while Natural Doctrine runs up to that line repeatedly it manages to never actually cross it. What it does manage, however, is to be a great example of the genre while also doing very little to bring it into the twenty-first century.
  4. Nov 12, 2014
    55
    There are some interesting pieces in this puzzle, but once they form the final picture, you'll see something very different, and sadly not entirely enjoyable.
  5. Oct 6, 2014
    50
    Natural Doctrine isn't atrocious, but it does have a lot of issues. It's as frequently enjoyable as it is repugnant, an experience that will often blindside you with cheap deaths that reek of artificial difficulty.
  6. Sep 30, 2014
    45
    Now, I don’t want to act like this is an actual bad game. It’s not. It just has multiple things that make it far too difficult to play.
  7. Oct 1, 2014
    10
    It’s shocking to see something this bad on a current gen console, and it’s really sad to think that someone released this and asked for money.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 18
  2. Negative: 8 out of 18
  1. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    A game that gives you tools to annihilate enemies with impunity, but also gives them that chance. If you make the mistake and let them.A game that gives you tools to annihilate enemies with impunity, but also gives them that chance. If you make the mistake and let them.

    Natural Doctrine is a very hard, but also a very fair game in that everytime you fail, it's been your own fault. Very little in the game is left up to chance and number differences, and whether you fail or succeed depends on how you wield the tools the game gives you. If you're sloppy in pulling up the rear of your group; if you advance too aggressively; if you try to win by turtling; if you fail to multiply your forces by activating links; if you waste all your force by activating all your links early; if you fail to check the sight lines of your gunners: You get punished. But everytime it's because you made a mistake that you can learn to avoid the next time.

    Now, this admittedly may not be entertaining for everyone. Some people prefer a good cinematic CoD session, some people prefer a cartoony evening with Rayman, some people prefer the well-told story of adventures like Monkey Island. This game is squarely aimed at people who wish to stress their brain.

    It suffers from only two things, which are minor: It loves to play all its animations, however this can be improved by holding circle all the time to speed them up. It does not do a good job explaining the game mechanics, because the translation team itself did not understand them; this is not much of an issue though. It has a fairly gentle curve in how it lets you learn and come to grips with the mechanics, and offers free dungeons the player can repeat as often as they like, and offers checkpoints in the dungeons.

    I might see this differently, because i'm german, but the story is refreshingly earnest and pragmatic. At one point the main character suffers a traumatic loss, which in most other games would make him the depressed and disturbed hero for the rest of the game, who rests all the blame on one bad person. In this game the main character manages to realize that the group as a whole failed, and that despite what happened, they need to keep moving or die.

    Also, to adress one popular negative argument trotted out against the game: The door with tens of goblins behind it all ready to slaughter you. This is a perfect example of how every failure is the player's fault. There is a number of such doors in the game, and for everyone a simple rule is in effect that is explained the first time you encounter a door: As long as the character opening it is not the last character you can move in the current turn, your next character will have initiative after opening it, enabling them to use links to activate the rest of the team and slaughter whatever's beyond the door.

    Natural Doctrine is brave enough to offer refreshingly unique and challenging gameplay, and is unfairly panned by people who simply did not understand one of its simplest rules.
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  2. Oct 21, 2014
    9
    So they finally created a game with challenge, minus boring intro cut scenes, and a fresh idea to combat interface... It comes down to this,So they finally created a game with challenge, minus boring intro cut scenes, and a fresh idea to combat interface... It comes down to this, upon playing, it's not for many of the modern gamers, the generation of "we're all winners" and "gimme a trophy". Turn based strategy has always been fun for me, even "die start over" games hold merit (eg original Hitman for PC). Quit being spoiled little kids. Cut scenes and stories are always lame and annoying and empty anymore. You don't like having difficulty then go pick up Atelier then you can feel like a winner again.
    This is a fresh idea and actually makes you think outside the box, sometimes while playing "clearing the dungeon" is not the objective, you need to pick up new items, gain experience, return and finish. There's a learning curve to this game and based on American education standards THIS is why you might not like it.
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  3. Oct 8, 2014
    9
    This game is a incredible strategy rpg, most of this genre are easy and only the story holds up the boring grind. This game has near zeroThis game is a incredible strategy rpg, most of this genre are easy and only the story holds up the boring grind. This game has near zero grind and more, can you make it further to get the item drop? Every fight matters, you need to out skill the dark souls based map designs that punish you for making a mistake. Hundred of snipers chaining combos because you didn't take your turn advantage when you could of. Thats your fault, just like souls. Story is something of a attack on titans feel, if any party member dies game over. Im not a fan of the genre but this game had me battling a level into the early hours of the morning trying to over come, while other missions my main character was blocking a entire army going all out on him while my gunners and mages picked off the enemy army. Nothing better than watching a strategy rpg finally compare to a anime when you watch geoff blocking over 20 attacks using improved block including named enemies after the loss of a a friend to make sure his friends dont need to fight the battle and have a chance of losing another. Ive never seen this in this genre.

    Improvements to the items systems need to be made, upgrade system is needed, graphics could be better, need for anime/cgi cut scenes are clear.
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  4. Oct 6, 2014
    8
    Absolutely love this game so far. This is a an tactical overkill simulator, know this going in, that the mobs can perform the same linkedAbsolutely love this game so far. This is a an tactical overkill simulator, know this going in, that the mobs can perform the same linked overkill attacks on you. Make sure you block off enemy paths with a good defender!

    Both tutorial dungeons (if not skipped) thoroughly explain how to setup linked combat, and combat initiative. Each time a dungeon loads game concepts are explained in multiple paragraphs. First tutorial takes about 10 minutes, second tutorial can be easily skipped. Also if you pay attention to the character banter in certain areas they will tell you exactly what to do the take control of the board quickly, this pertains more to above ground story encounters, and not the Goblin Mines.

    This game is set up in a test your mettle, know when to retreat fashion. Almost all dungeons have multiple levels and hidden monsters accessible after meeting the initial clear requirements, whether you decide to see what's further or to book it with your treasure and exp is up to you.
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  5. Sep 13, 2015
    4
    Stoked to find another RPG console on the PS4, then I played and was highly disappointed to find that it was just another cookie-cutterStoked to find another RPG console on the PS4, then I played and was highly disappointed to find that it was just another cookie-cutter regurgitated JRPG... :( Expand
  6. Oct 18, 2014
    3
    This game must have been made by someone who slept throughout or never kept up with graphic/design changes since the PS1. Took out the cdThis game must have been made by someone who slept throughout or never kept up with graphic/design changes since the PS1. Took out the cd after playing for 15 minutes. Thank God it was a rental. Expand
  7. May 17, 2015
    0
    There are loads of reasons why this game is bad. But let me sum it up on one level... You go to a bridge, where what looks like a mage isThere are loads of reasons why this game is bad. But let me sum it up on one level... You go to a bridge, where what looks like a mage is running from 3 knights. If the mage dies you lose. only each one of your cha's have one turn before he dies and you dont get to move close enough to help him.. not evan kinda. close.. game over evary time. you dint do any thing, dint attack, dint use a skill. all you did was go to the bridge, and the game more or less playes its self to a game over. awesome eh? Expand

See all 18 User Reviews