RPGs with turn-based tactical combat and heavy narrative focus are pretty en vogue these days, but few games in the genre call back to its roots quite like Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. Drawing from classics like Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem, Fell Seal takes you through a dreamy steampunk-inspired world where you assemble an elite group of warriors tasked with keeping the forces of chaos at bay.
Fell Seal has been a hit on Steam since it launched in April 2019, amassing a Very Positive rating and a loyal fan following that’s been clamouring for new adventures in the game’s rich fantasy world.
Those calls will soon be answered with the Missions and Monsters expansion, which will add three character classes to the existing 30, as well as letting you tame monsters and add them to your ranks. The expansion also deepens some of the game’s existing systems, lets you send troops out on expeditions separately from your party, and introduces tough new content for veteran players, among other things.
The expansion isn’t just for the vets though. Its features will kick into action when players start a new game, which will be enriched with all the new systems, equipment, classes and locations it has to offer. The launch of Missions and Monsters makes it the perfect time for curious tacticians to jump in and see if they can rise to the role of Arbiter - trusted agent of stability and order.
Missions and Monsters offers tons of new tactical possibilities. Two of the new classes feed right into the new monster-taming system. The Wrangler class can swap monster allies out on the fly or even command them all to attack simultaneously. Beastmasters, meanwhile, build up a team of ‘pets’. These smaller versions of the game’s monsters can’t fight on their on, but bolster your team with a range of effects when summoned.
Once you tame a monster, you can train it into two subclasses from a pool of over 20, opening up an array of new possibilities. Scouts excel in hit-and-run skirmishes, Guards protect allies by setting up zones of control and restricting enemy movement, while Corrupted throw themselves into unstoppable frenzies. With 18 different monster varieties, the monster collector in you will be satiated with the host of new party members to catch and train.
Veteran players looking for a change of scene will be pleased to hear that this expansion opens up five new locations for your band of Arbiters to explore, where you’ll have to command your way through larger-scale battles than anything in the base game, and tough endgame content that’ll test your tactical mettle.
Fell Seal’s art style is an interesting fusion of JRPG with more traditional fantasy, but its sweet aesthetic belies the challenging combat system at the heart of the game. Made primarily by two people at 6 Eyes Studio, it captures the feel of the tactical RPG greats, while modernising them in the ways of party composition and tactical possibilities.
It’s a game that wants you to feel personally involved, allowing you to customise each character’s appearance right down to their facial features. You need to be an adaptable general too; wounded troops, for example, take time to heal between battles, forcing you to bring in replacements that may require different battle strategies.
If you fancy gallivanting around a hostile fantasy world with a bespoke legion of warriors and spellcasters, you can pick up Fell Seal on Steam or DRM-free at GOG.com. The Missions and Monsters DLC marches to Steam 23 June, adding a wealth of content and depth to an already impressive indie gem.