Parents' Guide to

Natural Doctrine

By Mark Raby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Role-playing game focuses on combat, but story falls flat.

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Natural Doctrine's biggest strength is its unique combat system. It goes against the convention of pitting allied characters against a handful of enemy creatures at a time. It's not uncommon for more than a dozen characters to be engaged in any given confrontation. Players accustomed to the traditional role-playing-game battle mechanics may have some trouble adjusting to this formula, especially since battles can easily take half an hour or more. Unfortunately, this very competent battle system is likely to be unappreciated because of the game's shortcomings in other areas, such as the largely unsatisfying story. It tends to drag on with the same plot lines repeated throughout the dozens of hours of gameplay. The enemy battles also tend to showcase the same types of creatures over and over again, except for the occasional large-scale event battles, but even those end with an unsatisfying experience because of the dull story development. The game's uninspired soundtrack and admittedly non-cutting-edge graphics do nothing to help cover up these issues. Ultimately, Natural Doctrine is technically competent but lacks the heart and soul of a good role-playing/adventure game, which ends in an experience that simply falls flat.

Game Details

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