The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV Reviews
A finale that only exacerbates the faults of the series up till now but the sheer audacity of the storytelling, and the goodwill built up over so many years, pushes it over the finishing line.
Does The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV have a great story that's a worthy capstone to a ten-year JRPG saga? No, it doesn't. As a standalone experience, it's an impenetrable mess of fizzled out character arcs and bloated cutscenes. Despite all that, Trails of Cold Steel IV has addictive gameplay, dope music, and gorgeous character designs. If you want a fun and grind-heavy JRPG with a wild amount of options and battles, but don't mind turning your brain off to ignore the story and glaze over poorly-written cutscenes, then this is one's for you.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV doesn't have the same narrative depth as its predecessor, but it remains a solid, long-lived JRPG with a significant amount of characters and things to do.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Enjoyable in some respects, but very disappointing in others, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV does not fail to live up to the series' legacy. Still, it's a little step back compared to the third installment.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is a fitting end to the saga of Erebonia. While there are tons of characters returning and plot threads from previous games, newcomers will still be able to enjoy the complicated, political tale along with a deep battle system.
Anyone who’s invested time into playing the previous games in the Trails series will know exactly what they’re in for. Satisfying combat, impressive world-building, and deep characters are all part of the package. It does have pacing issues, and players may get lost if they didn’t experience the arcs in Liberl and Crossbell. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is still a solid game though, despite the stumble in the second act, and is a viable option for those itching to play an epic, immersive JRPG.
Trails of Cold Steel IV is a huge game with so much content for players to consume, a lot of the features do require players to have experienced past games. However Trails of Cold Steel IV is a well executed final entry in an amazing JPRG series, the writers have done an amazing job to include characters from different games seamlessly. Fans of the series are certainly in for a wild ride with this one. Some of the gaming mechanics and systems may be daunting for first time players but it's a highly recommended JPRG that fans of the genre should experience.
Although it would have been nice to see a little more innovation from Cold Steel III, this finale to the Erebonia arc is still one of the best JRPGs I've ever played. The world-building and character development are as exquisite as ever, while the gameplay mechanics are still well above average, albeit unextraordinary. Regardless, assuming you have played at least Cold Steel III and know enough about the Trails lore, this latest addition is well worth your time.
To enjoy The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV you must at least have finished the previous chapter: it's simply imperative. Recommendations aside, this is an excellent role-playing game, technically not up to date but demonstrating Nihon Falcon's mastery of the genre.
Review in Italian | Read full review
If you already invested more than 500 hours to the previous instalments of Trails of Cold Steel series, you would definitely enjoy seeing familiar faces and you would love the overall experience. But as a newcomer you should probably try earlier games first, just to see if you want to get invested in the whole franchise.
Review in Russian | Read full review
On its own, Trails of Cold Steel IV is far from being the best game in the series, but as a conclusion to an epic story with characters that have long since won us over, it's a fitting finale. Class VII remains one of the most endearing groups in gaming, and although they demand so much of your time across four whole games, both the journey and the eventual payoff has been worth it. When packaged together with Cold Steel I, II, and III, this is easily one of the most engrossing RPG sagas of our time.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 is a true culmination of an epic journey filled with unforgettable characters in a world that has become as familiar and inviting to me as my own hometown. If not for the lackluster localization effort and continuous implementation of uneven voice acting, this could have been the perfect send off for the members of Class VII, Thors military academy.
Trails of Cold Steel IV is the climax that fans of the series deserve, comprehensively delivering on its promise as the end of a saga while setting up future plotlines that are sure to affect the lore in all kinds of fascinating ways. That said, this is also a rather weird game to recommend. Newcomers absolutely should not play this game first, given that it's a concluding chapter to an ongoing saga years in the making. Longtime fans, on the other hand, don't need any convincing, as they're going to get this game if they've already invested the hundreds of hours of legwork that set it up. Assuming that's you, Trails of Cold Steel IV is a spectacular RPG experience that no fan of the genre will want to miss out on, and we can comfortably say that it's worth your time.
I appreciate that The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is here. I'm glad this is finally over and having this sense of resolution. It's a sense of finality, and it does an admirable job of bringing everything together and to a close. But it also very much is more of the same, only on a much grander scale and with an overwhelming amount of characters and exposition. This is a game for those who have been following along for the last five years and understand it is more about concluding a story than offering major innovations. While it can be exhausting and overwhelming, I would say it is worth it.
A fantastic conclusion to the Trails of Cold Steel series, a highlight in the ever-impressive The Legend of Heroes franchise, and a must-play for JRPG fans.
Overall, I spent well over one hundred twenty hours playing the Switch port of Trails of Cold Steel IV. While I certainly felt that the game dragged at times, it was ultimately still a solid JRPG experience. At times, “the end of saga” might have felt like it was going out with more of a whimper than a roar, but the conclusion of the True Ending more than makes up for the game’s pacing struggles. I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience the ending of the Erebonian story arc, and even with some Switch-specific flaws, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is yet another truly solid addition to the console’s JRPG lineup. If you picked up the Switch’s port of Trails of Cold Steel III, then the fourth game is certainly worth playing on that system as well.
Series fans will enjoy this game no matter what. But if you are a series fan, I’m assuming you’ve already played it on PS4. If you’re looking to buy it on another platform, the evidence stacks up in favour of the PC version because of the Switch’s downgraded graphics and lack of achievements unless you really want that handheld portability. If you’re not a series fan yet, then go back to page 1 and start at the beginning. This game will not make a lick of sense to you.
Cold Steel IV finally ends the "Phantasmal Blaze Plan" arc for the series after nearly a decade, for better or worse.
Despite some shortcomings, this is still a fantastic JRPG that remembers what made players fall in love with the genre. You have a wondrous story that is topped with engaging gameplay that is more than enough to keep most people engaged. Toss in a wide variety of mechanics not even mentioned, exploration and so many details and it's easy to understand why so many people love this franchise. And while newcomers are better off playing through the other titles, the recap is robust enough to either remind you what happened or explain so many were excited about the conclusion.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 rises above some of its story and pacing issues to deliver a compelling end to the Erebonia saga.