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Dec 292016

Dragon Quest XI, due out for the PS4 and 3DS (and the Switch, although we haven’t seen that version yet), looks like it will be a fantastic JRPG.

However, it’s prompted many questions about whether the PS4 version will take the path of many modern JRPG series and favor action combat over turn-based.

The 3DS version of Dragon Quest XI is definitely turn-based. There’s no doubt about that. The PS4 version, however, leaves some room for doubt.

When I see the above screenshot, I see turn-based combat. The enemies are lined up, the party members are lined up, and there’s a menu.

However, some fans have said the UI present in the PS4 combat screenshot is identical to that of Dragon Quest X, the MMORPG. Dragon Quest X’s combat system is a mix of turn-based and action: you take turns, but you can move freely during your turn and turns are determined by a variation of the ATB system.

Today, Square Enix showed a tiny glimpse of Dragon Quest XI PS4 combat… but it didn’t clear anything up.

Note the sharp cut to the battle footage. We don’t get to see the transition from the protagonist running through the field to attacking the monsters.

Support for turn-based combat:

  • The protagonist runs forward and performs a single attack.
  • The second enemy immediately jumps forward before it flees, as though it’s your next target and it uses its turn to run.
  • The enemy disappears when it flees, suggesting that it isn’t a seamless encounter out on the field.

Support for action combat:

  • There is no visible menu. (Note, since we’ve already seen a combat menu for the PS4, the UI might just be removed from this specific footage.)
  • The protagonist doesn’t move back to his original position after attacking.

So both sides have good arguments to make.

It’s also possible that we’re seeing a turn-based combat system where your position matters, like in I Am Setsuna or Trails of Cold Steel (from what I’ve heard).

What do you think? Will Dragon Quest XI on the PS4 have turn-based combat, action combat, or a blend like in Dragon Quest X? Whatever the answer is, I hope Square Enix presents a clear explanation soon.

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  One Response to “Will Dragon Quest XI (PS4) Have Turn-Based or Action Combat?”

  1. […] help think back to the days ahead of Dragon Quest XI, when everyone was trying to figure out if it would be turn-based or not. We might go through a similar ordeal here with Dragon Quest […]

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