It has been over ten years since the release of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, also known as Breath of Fire V. Fans are finally getting a sequel, but probably not the one they were expecting. Breath of Fire VI is a game designed for touch-screen controls and is planned for release on iOS, Android and via PC browser. Today Capcom released some early details and screenshots of the game and, well, let's all manage our expectations. Okay?
For one, Breath of Fire VI will feature a fast-paced, simplified combat system. Party members will be AI controlled, and it's up to the player to time their attacks in order to combat with their party members and their own skills. It's said to have a good amount of depth to it, but it's going to be impossible to tell until players actually get to try it out. It's certainly not traditional. That doesn't mean it isn't good, but it's going to be very different than any previous Breath of Fire.
Early details on the story, however, are promising. Japanese outlet Inside Games reports Breath of Fire will have a rich and deep story-line, as players would expect from a number entry in the series. My worry is how the story will be conveyed, as in whether it will be broken into microtransaction segments, require extremely repetitive gameplay to unlock, or if it will unfold in a traditional RPG manner. We do know the protagonist is player-customized.
As for online, well, it appears players will have to rebuild a village of some sort. How this is managed, either in a Farmville-esque strategy type gameplay experience or more towards say Civilization is unclear. Players can visit their friends village and will likely be able to interact in some sort of way.
I'd love to give Breath of Fire VI a fair chance. Yet I've seen this style of marketing many times. They tease the game in a manner that gets old fans of the franchise to keep believing the game will be traditional, but really most of the gameplay is nothing of the sort. Expect repetitive, time-consuming gameplay, expect microtransactions everywhere, expect minimal reward for your time/money investment. Expect the worst until Capcom proves otherwise.
Breath of Fire VI is currently only announce for Japan, naturally. They're a bit more accepting of mobile game archetypes than western regions are. No plans for a western release as of yet, but considering the popularity of the brand, even if it's niche, perhaps it will make its way over eventually.