Trails of Cold Steel 4 Combat, Party Members, More Detailed by NISA

Trails of Cold Steel 4 brings together one of the biggest playable casts while refining the combat system even further than its predecessor.

NIS America showed off the first Trails of Cold Steel 4 gameplay during a recent press event, previewing big changes to the party lineup, a couple of locations from the early game, and more.

Note, there are some spoilers for the end of Cold Steel 3 below.

The two segments NISA showed take place in the Isthmia Great Forest, a returning location from Cold Steel 3, and a new area called the Saint Gral Labyrinth that seems to act as a kind of combat training ground.

Trails of Cold Steel 3's core (and very good) gameplay concepts return. There are the Break and Order systems, along with the series' staple Arts and Crafts.

To start with, each character retains the Crafts they had at the end of Cold Steel 3, though they learn new and enhanced Crafts over the course of the game's meaty story.

The two big differences between CS3 and CS4 are party composition and the Order system.

Cold Steel 3 alternated between New and Old Class VII members in the party at a given time. Cold Steel 4 hurls that out the window, for reasons tied in with the end of Cold Steel 3. The Isthmia Great Forest segment NISA played, for example, featured a party with Kurt, Juna, Altina, and Randy, who was unplayable in the previous game.

CS4 boasts the most playable characters of any game in the series so far (minus Hajimari no Kiseki), with characters from the Trails in the Sky games and the two as-yet unlocalized games set in Crossbell.

The game's official website has a handy breakdown of everyone for those unfamiliar with previous games or just in need of a refresher.

The other change is how Orders work. In CS3, Orders are linked to the Arcus II units and bonds between characters. Since Rean begins CS4 still overtaken by his curse, the rest of the cast's bonds have weakened along with their Orders. In other words, don't expect the same battle strategies to work straight away.

Trails of Cold Steel 4 releases on October 27 for PlayStation 4, with Nintendo Switch and PC releases scheduled sometime in 2021. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails of Cold Steel 4 news as it develops.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Aug. 31st 2020

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