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[PlayStation 4] Battle Brothers Review

[PlayStation 4] Battle Brothers Review

Battle Brothers by Overhype Studios and Ukiyo Publishing is a tactical turn-based RPG that has finally landed on PS4. Find out what it’s like in our Battle Brothers review!


Battle Brothers by Overhype Studios and Ukiyo Publishing is a tactical turn-based RPG that has finally landed on PS4. When you start the tutorial campaign, you get a small briefing that serves as the story’s start. Your company was hired to track down Hoggart the Weasel and his raiders. Unfortunately, they found you first. After engaging in battle, you’re quickly struck down by an arrow as you watch your captain get his throat cut. With the captain dead, you are now in charge and begin to rise as the first proper battle of the game will start. Once it is over, the three men left in your company will design you as their new captain, and you will proceed to move back to Elkshorn to tend to your wounds and collect your bounty for getting rid of the raiders.

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Battles are played on a map with hexagonal tiles. As you move the cursor with the left analog stick, you’ll get information on whatever tile you stop on, whether it’s about the terrain, an enemy, or one of your units. At the bottom of the screen, you see allies and enemies in the order they will take action in this turn. At the left, you’ll see your current character that will take his turn. Each turn, your characters have action points that can be used to move or use one of their skills. To move, you put the cursor on the tile you want to go to and press the X button once, then another time to confirm. To use your skills, you can choose the one you want by pressing left or right on the D-Pad, then select the enemy you want to use it on. If you want to skip a character’s turn, or if you end up with unused actions points, you can end a single unit’s turn by pressing the R1 button.


When you’re not in battle, you can travel on the world map by pressing the X button. Many villages are around you, and you can visit them for quite a few things. You can visit the different buildings the town has, like a place to hire men for your company, the market to purchase new equipment or the tavern to buy your men a drink. You can also find people in the village that would like to hire you and your group for your services. Depending on the type of contracts you take on and with who, your reputation will change in the different villages.

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Visually, the game has some rather bland colors. As for the general UI of the game, it’s not ideal. Whether in the battles when highlighting a unit or in the upgrade menu for your characters, the information windows were always displayed over other things, making it extremely difficult to get a proper overview. For example, if you highlight a skill in the first row of the upgrade menu, the information literally covers the three below it – both their names and their current stat – making it quite hard to evaluate what you want to upgrade.


When I started to play, after choosing the easiest settings possible, I was glad to see I could start with a campaign that serves as a tutorial to get the hang of things. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a tutorial that gives so little information about how to play a game. There was info about the controls at the right of the screen, but that’s pretty much it. Nothing to explain how the Fatigue system works, what action points do, or anything else about battles or exploration.

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Then there’s everything related to the user interface. From the menus overlapping over everything else to things like the market that doesn’t allow you to see who could benefit from a weapon or armor, everything becomes a chore to do before you get back in battles. Once I got the hang of everything, though, I saw that the game was pretty deep and had a lot to offer for fans of the genre. You have to manage the morale of your troops, hire new men, find contracts, build relationships (or not), and much more, so there’s a lot to keep you busy.

Speaking of being busy, there’s quite a lot to do in order to get the Platinum trophy. A few trophies will be easy to unlock as you play, but keep in mind that you’ll have to survive a whole 365 days on at least Veteran difficulty (the middle difficulty). There’s also an Ironman Mode that’s basically a Permadeath Mode, but fortunately, all it requires you in terms of trophies is to die ten times, which shouldn’t be a problem.

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Battle Brothers is an interesting tactical turn-based RPG, but it should be tackled only by gamers who have plenty of experience in the genre. The lack of explanations and the poor user interface will put a short stop to the fun of newcomers to the genre, but seasoned players should be able to get past this and enjoy the systems and battles.

This Battle Brothers review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ukiyo Publishing.

Review Overview

Complex tactical game that lacks guidance