On the mobile stores the videogame adaptations taken from anime and manga series are depopulated. Obviously, Japan remains the main point of reference for this type of titles, which in the West sometimes arrive with monstrous delays, especially considering that nowadays game launches have become increasingly global.
Fate / Grand Order
Platform: MOBILE Genre: RPG Release Date: August 2, 2022 Developer: Delightworks, Lasengle Distributor: Aniplex
This is the chaste of Fate / Grand Ordertitle for mobile platforms released in Japan in 2015, but remained unpublished in our part until a few weeks ago (you can find it on the stores iOS and Android).
Seven years of waiting is a long time, and for a mobile game it is probably too long, given the speed with which new releases arrive that can impose new quality standards.
Given the popularity of the Fate series, however, we still decided to give the game a chance, considering that the videogame episodes of the series that have come to us can be counted on the fingers of one hand, despite the immense popularity achieved by the brand globally.
Then find out with us if it is worth diving into this umpteenth war for the Holy Grail.
One step away from extinction
The story of Fate / Grand Order begins in 2015, and has the Chaldea Security Organization at the center. This association has recruited several experts, both from the magical world and from the one we all know, to carefully observe the possible events that could lead to the extinction of humanity.
The salvation of mankind seems to be guaranteed for at least another century, until the verdict suddenly changes, putting the end of man in the year 2016. The cause is unknown, but the event seems to be related to the city of Fuyuki and what happened during the fifth war for the Holy Grail.
The Chaldea Security Organization uses its resources to develop a machine capable of time traveland organizes an expedition composed, among others, by Ritsuka Fujimaru (our protagonist, whose sex we can choose) and by the mysterious Mash Kyrielight.
The narrative incipit is slightly different than that of the most famous chapters of the Fate series, but the story still revolves around the battle for the holy grailwith the return of several Servants that we have come to know from other adaptations.
The story of the game starts rather quietly; the impression is that the game has taken hold as a rather sinister attempt to capitalize on the success of the series, but that things have changed in the course of work thanks to the arrival in the writing team of historical members of the saga.
Throughout history we will see several familiar faces.
If you are a fan of the series, therefore, you will have to try to hold on initially to get to the best part of the story. If you don’t already know the story, Fate / Grand Order may not be the best place to start, despite the narrative being easily usable even without having seen or read other chapters; this is because the first part, as mentioned rather dull and devoid of particular narrative flashes, could discourage you from continuing if you do not already have a good relationship with the series.
Technically speaking, the game still looks good despite the years that have passed since launch. Let’s be clear, it is clear that this is a title with several years on its shoulders, especially in the creation of the backdrops and animations, but the sprites of the characters are still good and everything is governed by the good character design to which the Fate saga has accustomed us.
The Department sound instead it has more mixed results. While catchy tracks per se, the fact that they repeat very often may lead you to no longer want to listen to them after finishing a game, or even want to play without sound. In short, we would certainly have appreciated a greater variety in terms of available tracks.
Fate / Grand Order is basically divided into two sections in terms of gameplay. We have the visual novel sectionsin which we will simply have to read the dialogues between the characters, and the battles, which take place as in a classic turn-based JRPG.
There is little to say about the visual novel component: it is only a matter of proceeding in the dialogues, since there are no elaborate systems of choices or statistics relating to the morality of our character or his relationship with others to keep an eye on, such as instead it can happen in other exponents of the genus.
More interesting, however, is to talk about the combat system. As we said, it is a classic turn-based battle system, in which we, the Master, we can bring up to six Servants into battlewith three active and three reserve members.
The battle system is very classic, but still manages to entertain.
At the beginning of each turn, the game assigns us a group of five command cards; we can use up to three, within the same turn, to attack.
Attacks are basically of three types: Buster (heavy attack), Arts (medium attack that loads the Servant’s “Noble Phantasm” bar, which gives access to a special card) and Quick (light attack that increases the chances of an attack critical in the next round).
If three similar cards are played in the same turn, a chain is created, which gives an attack bonus, based on the properties of the cards used. If the three cards used all correspond to the same Servant, a Brave Chain will be unleashed, which will give rise to a devastating special attack.
Other than that, both the Servants and the Master have access to skills that can be used before selecting cards to attack, with effects that vary greatly depending on the type of skill chosen.
It is about a rather classic battle system, but quite functional. We had fun over the course of the battles, and the difficulty rises nicely gradually over the course of the adventure.
Obviously, the more powerful your Servants will be, the easier your life will be over the course of history. And just as obviously, to get Servant you will have to dedicate yourself to everything startsa of the game. Fortunately …
To get new Servants we will have to find them in the appropriate gacha.
As we said, to get new Servants you will have to resort to the gacha part of the game. The drop rates are quite low; to be able to get powerful Servants you will have to have a lot, a lot of luck or you will simply have to spend a lot of euros in the Fate / Grand Order store.
There would be all the ingredients to promptly uninstall the game application, were it not that, all in all, Fate / Grand Order manages to save itself from becoming a pay to win.
This is because the story of the game is easily accessible without spending money; Sure, in some situations you will be forced to do some grinding, but as far as we can see you shouldn’t find yourself in situations where you will be unable to move forward.
Things get more complicated if you want to participate in the timed events organized by the developers. Here the difficulty rises considerably, and it will be difficult for you to do what you have achieved with the sweat of your brow.
Can I really play it for free?
Luckily, the answer is yes.
You can easily play the story of Fate / Grand Order without spending money, at least as far as we have seen. You may have to level up your characters a bit in some situations, but it’s feasible and you don’t fall for cunning and predatory mechanics that have as their ultimate goal emptying your wallet.
Things change if you also want to participate in events: in this case, you may also need extra help to be able to break it down without problems.