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Xbox One / Xbox Series X/S Game Review



Live by the Sword: Tactics


Format: Xbox One / Xbox Series X/S
Publisher: Labrador Studios
Developer: Labrador Studios
RRP: £19.99
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Age Restrictions: 7+
Release Date: 28 October 2022

Live By The Sword: Tactics is an unashamedly old school tactical RPG with modern gameplay ideas. Set after the fall of the land, you control two brothers who must traverse the kingdom to stop it from falling back into the darkness of conflict. It’s a journey that will test their brotherly bond and the player’s tactical skills as they form a team and go on this heroic quest. The game is a new take on Tactical / Strategy gameplay. Characters do not gain experience points and you cannot collect overpowered equipment to easily bypass difficult fights. You, the player, must become more skilled to achieve victory. Are you up for the challenge of becoming a true Tactician..?


Live By The Sword: Tactics is an unashamedly old school tactical RPG

For those of us who lived through the birth of classic tactical RPG games, Live by the Sword: Tactics is a lovingly crafted homage to a bygone era. The game opens with a tutorial that helps you learn the basics in no time at all. The game starts proper with a number of simple levels to help you really get to grips with the mechanics and ease you into playing tactically. Each level is won by you defeating all opponents. If you fail then you can play that level again. And if you win, all fallen comrades are resurrected and you can go on to tackle the next level.

I have to admit that I quickly started to get frustrated with how similar each level looked and how it was pretty much a case of just wading in and pummeling the enemy. But that confidence didn't last long as the enemy get progressively harder and you'll need to protect your more vulnerable characters if you have any chance of defeating everyone.


Classes: Alchemist, Archer, Assassin, Brawler, Medic, Warrior & Wizard

The game sees you partake in 5 vs 5 battles, with you having the option of building your team from a combination of 7 unique classes: The Alchemist, Archer, Assassin, Brawler, Medic, Warrior and Wizard. Each class possess an innate ability as well as a pool of 6 unique abilities to choose from.

There are a number of game modes. Story Mode is the main single player campaign mode. You control a merry band of adventurers who discover an evil plot. Adventure Mode has you building the world as you explore it. However, defeat means death in this mode. Tactician Mode places you in staged battle scenarios, which you will have to use your wits to solve. You can also play online in two-player games between friends or strangers, as well as local play.


Story Mode is the main single player campaign mode

I did have some issues with the game, but nothing that frustrating. Firstly it can be hard, on occasion to see where your character is on the board because everything is relatively small and quite similar looking. Also, whilst the enemies health bar is placed above each character it is red and easy to see how much energy they have remaining. Your characters have a blue health bar with is pretty much impossible to make out on screen. Thankfully there is a side panel which shows you each character and their health, as well as what order the moves are in.

It was refreshing to see that you don't upgrade your characters. There's nothing more frustrating than playing against online opponents who have maxed their skill tree out and are pretty much able to beat you no matter what you do. Instead you need to learn your characters moves and special abilities and then play tactically.

It's an enjoyable slice of old school action that breathes new live into the genre.


Nick Smithson

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£20 Xbox Live Credits