Lost Eidolons is an uncommon sight in the current RPG landscape. It's a strategy title that takes clear inspiration from games like Fire Emblem, but it forgoes a stylised art direction for realistic-looking characters who, at a glance, wouldn't appear out of place in a AAA, blockbuster production. And that's an important point to make, because outside of its largely solid voice acting and decent combat animations, Lost Eidolons feels decidedly thrown together, particularly in terms of presentation and performance. A strange mix, to say the least.
You take command of the battlefield as Eden, a local gang leader whose muddy village exploits give rise to a mercenary company that grows over the course of a 26-chapter campaign. It's a rags-to-riches story set in an intriguing medieval world, where a seemingly mad emperor's once iron grip on the land is loosening. Seeing Eden and his merry band of mercs establish themselves as a major player makes for a compelling story, even if the dialogue and cutscene pacing is tediously drawn out at times.
Naturally, Eden and his initially ragtag group (which is made up of individual, named characters, again, much like in Fire Emblem) have to fight for their right to ascend the empire's hierarchy, and this results in plenty of tactical, turn-based battles. It's a straightforward system on a surface level, as you move units across grid-based maps and take advantage of enemy weaknesses — like heavy weapons being effective against plate armour — but depth is revealed in how each character class gets its own set of special abilities. Knights, for example, can attract the ire of their foes, drawing enemies away from more fragile party members.
About halfway through the campaign, when you've unlocked numerous classes and your army's of a significant size, you'll have more than enough to think about — even during lesser skirmishes. Thankfully, the difficulty curve is mostly well judged, and new concepts are introduced at a manageable rate. It's only when fighting against monsters that combat fumbles, as these beasts require the chaining of specific attacks to deal any meaningful damage. As such, monster encounters can quickly become a slog if you don't have the right weapon types available at the right time, slowing the already methodical gameplay to a crawl.
All in all, Lost Eidolons is a fairly ambitious outing that just about sticks the landing, despite some seriously rough edges.