Parents' Guide to

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Streamlined tale successfully concludes vast trilogy.

Game PlayStation 4 2019
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Poster Image

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Remastered re-releases on the PlayStation 4 introduced a whole new audience to the Trails of Cold Steel saga from the Legend of Heroes franchise. Now, fans both old and new finally get the next chapter of Rean Schwarzer and the rest of the alumni from the Thors Military Academy in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III. Newly designed from the ground up for the PS4, the game gives the series a much-needed overhaul, streamlining its complex combat system in a way that still feels familiar, but makes things a whole lot more fluid. The game also drops players right into combat encounters, making use of the player's location and the surrounding environment is a much more engaging way. Players can take advantage of things like gaining the high ground or funneling foes into tight corridors, making an extra strategic element to consider in combat. It all comes together to make the combat more exciting and more accessible than before.

Another way Trails of Cold Steel III benefits from not being a remaster of a previous game is its presentation. While the prior games looked fine, a lot of effort had to go into adapting the original material and staying faithful enough to be familiar to fans. Here, more attention has been paid to detail and to making the most out of the PS4 hardware. Things flow smoothly from one thing to another, and transitions between actions feel more natural. The story's still a complex mix of various plot threads colliding, a situation that's all the more confusing when it also involves dangling threads from the previous games. The game includes a primer to catch newcomers up to speed, but it's still easy to get lost when trying to follow everything. And once again, the game tees up a sequel that will leave some questions unanswered, but by and large, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III manages to be a fulfilling adventure that still leaves players eager for more.

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