Thoughts on Trails of Cold Steel 302 Aug 2020
After successfully ending the Erebonian Civil War in Trails of Cold Steel 2 the war hero, Rean Schwarzer, is now an instructor at a new branch campus of his former alma mater. Things start slow in the third entry of the Erebonia arc. So slow in fact that I had to motivate myself to keep playing through some yawnfests early on. But I had plenty of faith in this series to deliver and after the first 20 hours this game kicked it into high gear.
As expected, the game is fantastic. It has an engrossing, intricate story that has been built up over the last two entries and now includes some crossover from other arcs in The Legend of Heroes series. The cast of characters - old and new - is solid. I wasn’t expecting to like the new Class VII so much but I did. And I was worried I was going to suffer from “too many characters” fatigue but the game does a good job of rotating people in and out so you never have too many to pick from. And while I enjoyed the soundtrack for the second entry more, the music in the third entry is still great. The battle system remains largely the same but the addition of Brave Orders added some freshness and an opportunity to break the game. If you’re a JRPG fan, you cannot sleep on this series.
Trails of Cold Steel 3 ends on an immorally massive cliffhanger. Even the first entry that ends with, “Oh yeah, there’s a civil war starting right now” doesn’t compare. Fortunately, similar to my impeccable timing on playing the first entry and having the sequel come out a few weeks later, I don’t have to wait long for the end of the Erebonia arc. Trails of Cold Steel 4 comes to the PS4 on October 27th. It’s slated to come to the Switch in 2021 but I honestly can’t wait that long to finish this story. I’m dusting off the PS4!