Metascore
53

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

User Score
6.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 65 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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.
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: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 5 out of 14
  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.
    Expand
  2. Jan 17, 2015
    10
    Excellent strategy game. There is a lot of detail in this game, many details that are over looked in the reviews. Personally took me overExcellent strategy game. There is a lot of detail in this game, many details that are over looked in the reviews. Personally took me over thirteen hours to truly get into the game. I turned off the audio and had to have maximum patience with turn cycle. IMO strategy depth and the challenge is what makes this game one of the greatest games I have played. The manual does not fully explain the game, the tips selection in menu explains most everything in the game. Many games are difficult and have lost my interest, this game however has been gratifying and the only way I would have found this out was playing for longer than thirteen hours. For those that can endure the game that far they might also appreciate this game as much as I do. I have the vita and ps4 game and enjoy both. Expand
  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.
    Expand
  4. Nov 4, 2014
    8
    I've learned my lesson - give little merit to professional game reviews. I'm so glad I went with my interest and gut feel and picked up thisI've learned my lesson - give little merit to professional game reviews. I'm so glad I went with my interest and gut feel and picked up this game because it's a lot of fun!

    The negative critiques and faults the reviewers found in Natural Doctrine, overly difficult or confusing game play, are unwarranted. The game is challenging but far from impossible. Yes, if a character dies it's game over but you may usually continue from a checkpoint that is interspersed appropriately to the current battle. Even so, if you plan out your moves correctly and take advantage of the really neat linking system, deaths are much less likely to happen. (In fact, you might end up dominating the battlefield; just think before you move.) All the game ever asks of you is to learn from your mistakes and plan out your moves. Almost all games do this to a lesser or greater degree.

    That brings me to the point of this game being confusing. I found the interface quite helpful and easy to grasp, from the initial user interface to the scrolling announcements on the world map. Just by following the tutorials and playing the game for about an hour, I grasped an understanding of everything and found it all to be appropriate. Even the linking system makes sense once you get that hang of it, and it's a really neat play feature integrated into a tactical turn based strategy game. The linking system is quite flexible and the in-game play interface shows you how you might take advantage of it.

    I also like a number of other things: the graphics make the game world look like detailed table top miniatures (very appropriate!), flexible and well designed skill trees for characters, opportunities for risk/reward trade-offs during battles (sometimes battle chests are scattered on the map that allow the player to go after some goodies if you're willing to chance it), and resource management. It all comes together very well. My only mild dislike is that the story is typical silly anime plotting and characterizing. The story will not be remembered but it does move the game along.

    So, I cannot understand such low scores by the professional reviewers. They've overstated a few perceived faults with this title and immediately jumped to low scores to justify their decision. Bizarre, because this game is quite enjoyable if you like turn-based tactical games. Did something in the story line offend the reviewers? Who knows. Perhaps, you should make your own decision and try this game out. I did and it's been a wonderful experience.
    Expand
  5. 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.
    Expand
  6. Dec 3, 2014
    4
    A huge disappointment. It's not the really challenging difficulty level (where "challenging" means "your worst nightmare becomes true and willA huge disappointment. It's not the really challenging difficulty level (where "challenging" means "your worst nightmare becomes true and will require you endless attempts, failure and repeats), the standard boring story, the flat and stereotyped characters. I can leave with all of that.
    The real problem with the game is an unnecessary complex battle system, absurd controls and whimsical camera prospectives.
    I had to give up after 4-5 hours of oathing and cursing and I felt robbed of my money.
    Expand
  7. Dec 26, 2014
    1
    This game is horrible. One of the worst games I have ever played, and I've played some really bad ones. This game is unfairly difficult, andThis game is horrible. One of the worst games I have ever played, and I've played some really bad ones. This game is unfairly difficult, and any attempts to make it fun fall flat on it's face.

    The best part of the game is the strategic numbers game that is added. Being close to allies, flanking enemies, using your environment to your advantage,etc. boosts the stats of all attacking characters, and have very discreet cause-effect results that are easy to understand. Flanking an opponent and successfully hitting them causes them to lose their initiative, allowing any nearby allies to go before the enemy. Successfully sniping an enemy in cover causes them to run away in a frenzy, abandoning their cover and catching them out in the open. This was a gem in this entire crap when it worked, but other than that there was very little to praise about this title.

    The Worst parts are going to take awhile to I've broken them up for you to easily digest:

    Characters: The characters in the game are extreme one dimensional and boring. While you may try to get attached to them in the beginning, it begins to wear on you, as the out of nowhere moments in gameplay are a lot more interesting than anything these characters can cause you to feel. They are bland and the only way they even come across as likable is how useful they are to you when it's time to explore a dungeon.

    Graphics: The game is ugly. Cut scenes look like the characters are nothing more than D&D pieces who can talk, and everything lacks color or liveliness. models are likewise ugly in gameplay, as every single model is generic. Also the maps you play on look like board game sets.

    Voice acting: stale.

    Gameplay: This is the WORST aspect of the game. The game is unfair in every sense of the word. One aspect of this game others fail to mention is that not a single character can die, or else it's a game over. This would be a welcoming challenge if the game did not know this. You see, the game knows if a single character dies, you lose, so all of the enemies will gang up and attack one person, causing him to die. More often that not it is the weakest character you have, and the enemies will even go out of their way to get in range to hit him, even if he/she is in the back of your ranks. Also adding on to this complete BS mechanic is the fact that is some dungeons, you are outnumbered like 10-to-1, and every single one of those guys will attack a single person.

    The game is the worst I have ever played.
    Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

Trailers