Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together First Look

The game that eventually spawned Final Fantasy Tactics gets a remake on the PlayStation Portable.

While most people may think of Final Fantasy Tactics when it comes to early Japanese tactical role-playing games, it was developer Quest who started it all with the Ogre Battle series. After key members of the team left to join Square and eventually create Final Fantasy Tactics, Quest continued the series and made a sequel, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. The game initially appeared on the Super Nintendo in 1995 and was then ported to the Sega Saturn and the PlayStation. North American copies were hard to come by, but now Square Enix is bringing the game back to dedicated fans and remaking it for the PlayStation Portable.

Dying never really got anyone anywhere.

Tactics Ogre is not only based on the standard strategy grid-based battle RPG formula that you still see today, but it also gives you control of the story and the outcome. As in Fable and the upcoming Disney Epic Mickey, your actions and how you interact with the other characters will determine the outcome. Before you start the game, random tarot cards are drawn, and you're given five questions to answer to determine your alignment (high, low, or neutral). This part of the game wasn't translated yet, but our Square Enix rep was able to give us a general idea of what the questions were. One question asked us what the meaning of victory was, and we could answer with "completely wipe out your enemy" or "when the war ends" or "making sure your buddies are still alive." Another asked whom you would want to take with you if you were to go on a long journey. Your options include a family member, a lover, or a close friend. Your alignment will fluctuate as you play, but this is just to get you started.

You play as Denam, who is out to get revenge on a band of dark knights that killed his father. You're accompanied by your sister, Catiua, a priestess who loathes war and violence, and Vyce, the polar opposite, who is bloodthirsty and eager for payback. The story jumps right into the action as you're chasing down a band of knights that appear to be the people you're looking for, but it turns out that it's only a band of mercenaries looking for work. Your initial confrontation will give you options during the dialogue to determine what kind of person you are. You can choose to be aggressive and mean or more humble and respectful. Your alignment will affect how others treat you later down the road as well. If you've played Final Fantasy Tactics and know about the political drama that was involved in that, Tactics Ogre is similar but is set on an island called Valeria, which is inhabited by three races--the Gargastan, the Walstanian, and the Bacrumese--who are all fighting each other for control of the nation.

In between story segments are strategic turn-based battles that take place on a grid. Tactics Ogre will be familiar to anyone who has played a strategy RPG before, with commands to attack, defend, and use special abilities while moving your characters around like chess pieces for the best placement on the map. At the end of battle you earn skill points, which are used to activate new skills. Your turn is based on recovery time, so depending on your character and what action you performed, there's a resting period before you can take another turn. The twist to Tactics Ogre is that how you perform in battle will affect the story as well. Whom you kill and whom you let live will change the way the story progresses. While we were told that there are two main endings, there are many paths that lead to those conclusions. That is partly why a "wheel of fortune" has been added, so that you can go back and revisit these anchor points, which are key moments in the game's storyline. This allows you to start from those specific parts of the game so that you can play it differently to see how the story changes. The wheel of fortune also gives you a chance to rewind up to 50 turns in battle if you are not happy with where things are going. It might seem like a lot, but you can build a massive army with 30 or 40 units, and the turns include the ones that the enemy takes. This lets you backtrack a little if you killed someone you shouldn't have or if you decide you want one of your team members to survive.

The Warren report shows you all the battles and events that have happened, and anchor points.

We didn't get very far into the game, but from what we've seen, the remake looks great on the PSP with the updated character portraits, and the soundtrack has also been remastered and expanded by the original composers. The heroic themes by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata (Final Fantasy Tactics) are now fully orchestrated and performed by the Sydney Scoring Orchestra. For the fans, there is also 30 percent more story content when you compare it to the first game, with new characters and more event scenarios. Tweaks to the interface have been made to keep things more streamlined, like seeing which units come up. We'll have an opportunity to see more of the game when it gets closer to release. For more information and the demo, see our recent Today On the Spot episode. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is set to be released in the first quarter of 2011.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

37 comments
Kenji_Murasame
Kenji_Murasame

Tactics Ogre is one of the greatest games ever, though this will be a very different game aside the core story and concepts. Will they move along the slowly evolving srpg genre and live up to it's namesake? I'm excited to see if they can pull that off.

Kenji_Murasame
Kenji_Murasame

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

PHPHPH2000
PHPHPH2000

@ teenrobin the gba game is not the same as this one its a total diff game. This was on the ps1 i think.

PHPHPH2000
PHPHPH2000

I loved the GBA game kinghts of lotis (i believe) i replayed it like 3 times so i could do ALL the different ways the story could be done. Looking forward to this like crazy! :D cant wait

mariomaster16
mariomaster16

@teenrobin: I totally agree. There's so many good RPG's and strategy games on PSP. My only complaint is no Dragon Quest, or Pokemon(not ashamed to be playing them at my age), which are pretty much my only reasons for getting a DS.

mariomaster16
mariomaster16

I played Ogre Battle back in like fourth grade. I loved it, except when my brother deleted my save after thirty hours of hard work. :( I'll be buying this the day it comes out.

OverLord_Roman
OverLord_Roman

GunBladeHero I know that. But they tell difrent story and have diffrent protagonist. Battle Ogre the March of the Black Queen have more than 8 endings and Tactics Ogre(Lets us cling togheter) has only 2(one ending have two variations then you can call it 3 endings).

ANumber1
ANumber1

Missed out on this one the first time around. Glad I'm getting a chance to rectify that mistake.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

@OverLord_Roman Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre are all the same franchise just with diferent battle systems, even the game´s World is the same, ´´Zeteginea´´.

teenrobin
teenrobin

Already sold. I think I had the emulator and was able to play this on the Game Boy Advance, and I was in love with the game. I think the PSP is the perfect platform for a quick fix of RPGs and strategy games.

GravityDs
GravityDs

now sega should come out with the shining series remakes for the psp. That and this with FFT sprinkled in would complete my tactical rpg collection for the pisp.

rey2
rey2

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Lord_Bio
Lord_Bio

I can't wait for this game! TO: LUCT is my favorite "Tactics" style game. I hope others are as exited about this as me.

OverLord_Roman
OverLord_Roman

You mistake Ogre Battle with Tactics Ogre Gunbladehero.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

I could swear that the original Tactics ogre had 8 or more endings, now they say it's only 2? But no matter, that should not keep anyone from buying it, it's an awesome game, just wish they could remake the Ogre Battle 64 too!

flashn00b
flashn00b

Final Fantasy Tactics makes me wonder if fanboys have mislabeled this as a rip-off.

GDCalibur
GDCalibur

I can not wait for this game. I had the Japanese version on the PS when it came out then got the US version after that. Such a great game.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@d-rtyboy: That's MISTER Spock to you. Plus he was wrong - the needs of the many mean exactly jack. Anyway, looks like an awesome game. Strategy + thoughtful story = win.

Vambran
Vambran

Must have this game.

cherrybomb257
cherrybomb257

If you have any interest in SRPGs at ALL, you OWE it to yourself to buy this game. It is the penultimate console SRPG.

Osashimaru
Osashimaru

Oh yeahh this looks great! I can't wait on news for a USA release :)

Vrygar777
Vrygar777

FFT is one of my favorite games but I think Tactics Ogre might have it beat.

d-rtyboy
d-rtyboy

>>>Dying never really got anyone anywhere. But it got society somewhere... "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." - Dr Spock.

ivan1227
ivan1227

"Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is set to be released in the first quarter of 2011. " Yea, im waitnig fot it!! Tactics Ogre FTW! :D

brian_13un
brian_13un

This is really Great I remeber this one on my PSone

Fumanchu2
Fumanchu2

PS1 Tactics Ogre was in my top 3 games of ALL TIME! I need to get a PSP so I can play this game...

lightwarrior179
lightwarrior179

Was a fan of Tactics Ogre on GBA and looking forward to this PSP remake. :D

Neosword
Neosword

Loved the old Tactics Ogre on GBA, which is really my only encounter with the series. Hoping this will be good.

Finy
Finy

Amazing, just an amazing title! ..please make FFT 2!! for ps3 or xbox or pc!!

Brumbek
Brumbek

Awesome! I'm very excited for this. I do wish they'd redone things in 3D and copied the FFT gameplay, but this will still be good. I never played the original due to its scarcity, so it will be a treat. I adore the designer Matsuno and I' m so glad to hear he's had a big role in this! I consider the Ogre series to be one of the most under-appreciated series ever. Actually, all of Matsuno's RPGs are under-rated! Ogre Battle, Ogre Battle 64, FFT, Vagrant Story, FFXII, they're all masterpieces!