It has been three long years since the release of the RPG wonder that was Undertale. With its interesting gameplay mechanics, outstanding OST and plethora of brilliant characters, it’s hard to believe that its creator, Toby Fox, could possibly top it. I can just about say that Deltarune has the potential to surpass its predecessor, with an inventive combat system, new well fleshed out characters and spectacular OST that is arguably better than the first game. The reason that I say ‘potential’ is because only only one chapter of the game has been released thus far; without a complete story it cannot truly be compared to the source material. Nonetheless the game retains some of the qualities and characters of the previous game (for example Temmie, who returns with a good supply of poorly constructed sentences) whilst putting a twist on the game with it being set in a different universe from Undertale.
Right from the opening character customisation, Deltarune retains all the charm and personality many of us grew to love in Undertale–a mixture of comedy, philosophy and nihilism that we can all appreciate. As well as plenty more satirisation of the RPG genre, with certain points in the game bluntly reminding you of the linear nature of the genre as a whole and the expectations that lies with it. This sort of whismy is carried out throughout the entire game with moments of bluntness to silliness to borderline tears for how sweet the characters can be. Compared to the stale dialogue and arc that RPG’s usually have, Deltarune managed to keep me invested in its characters. Following your atypical Earthbound style RPG, the game starts off in a suburban town, complete with iconic undertale characters. Just like its predecessor, you find yourself in a similar body to the previous protagonist, with just as much of a talkative personality as you navigate the town whilst seeing characters of the previous game in different sideline roles. However, this doesn’t last for long as the game abruptly transitions into a different world. Along with your ultra-violent classroom bully Susie, you encounter the lovable pushover Ralsei, who informs you of the prophecy about their combined forces being needed to save the world. Trying my best not to spoil the treasure trove that is the story, the game continues with the characters defeating enemies with either kindness or a blood fuelled rampage, with plenty of laughs, fun and soul eating heartbreak. The game is ruthless when it comes to hitting you right in the feels.
Taking the gameplay style of Undertale, Deltarune improves upon it by including a party system in which characters can each carry out one of the following actions: attack, act, item, spare, defend. Striking the same vein as final fantasy, characters are situated on the left hand side with enemies on the right in a turn based fight. Attacks can be avoided with the previous game’s mechanic of the player moving the heart to dodge them. The player also has the ability to carry out the classic act of sparing, but they also now have the ability to use pacifist or non-pacifists actions, in which the theme of good and bad is made abundantly clear. The actions themselves are unique to each character with some going the pacifist route and others not so much. Similar to a standard RPG, one of the characters is a mage who is capable of using spells, provided the player has generated enough of the TP metre (essentially mana points) from avoiding attacks or defending. With plenty of laughs and gags inbuilt into the combat, it’s a nice change of pace from the usual RPG monotony and seriousness.
Under the humongous pressure of living up to Undertale’s reputation, Deltarune does a fantastic job of building on the material from the last game whilst providing new and original content. I struggle to find any fault with the game given that it lives up to every standard set by the previous game, with fantastic characters, OST, gameplay, and overall fantastic story arc that leaves you enamored by its universe. And that’s not even mentioning the spectacle that is the slapstick humour of the game that makes you appreciate that much more. My only possible critique of the game is that I want the next chapter to come out ASAP, I want to experience more Lancer wholesomeness as well as the return of ‘that face’ he makes!