f4samurai’s Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories (referred to Code Geass Lost Stories below) is finally here! The tower defense mobile game features a modified version of the anime’s story, with you as the main character that join as part of the main story, changing the events, and outcomes while uncovering your past!
Code Geass Lost Stories was announced back in 2018, with an announcement teaser in Akihabara where Zero hacked the TV screen. Originally announced as a social game, the game was supposed to be released in 2019 until development was suddenly shelved. Not until DMM announced last November that the project was rebooted with f4samurai joining the development.
Code Geass Lost Stories has a whole lot of charm in its presentation, from vivid visuals, 3D animations, and engaging story. The game manages to pay homage to the anime respectfully, and lovingly, with strategic gameplay that gets you hooked. Is the game able to live up to the 4 years of development and delays and be worth your time?
▍Relive The Battlefield, in 3D!
It’s surprising that it took this long for Code Geass to make a 3D game for its series. It’s almost a shame that it wasn’t done sooner considering how it fits perfectly into the series’ mecha worldview.
Once you start Code Geass Lost Stories, fans will immediately recognize the Battle of Narita, as a red Knightmare plunging its hand into the dirt before it causes a devastating landslide. But this time, something’s different. This time an unknown Knightmare emerges from the mountain, taking on Britannian forces alongside the recognizable cast, being commanded by Lelouch himself. The game makes an impressive first impression, as for the first time we get to experience what that battle was like as a foot soldier!
The game opens up with a brief tutorial on the basics. You will be positioning Knightmares down onto a grid, placing them in ways that prevent the enemy from reaching your base. Enemy patterns are viewable whenever so you’ll never get taken by surprise by an enemy moving in an unusual pattern.
Once the foot soldiers were taken care of, the tutorial boss appears, and you have to duel General Dalton! Once he gets close enough to your unit, the game changes its POV and the two engage in a close-up duel where you can modify your Knightmare’s stats as the fight progresses. When you’re ready, you can unleash your Knightmare Frame’s skill to deal massive damage!
You can also control the camera in battles, allowing you to focus on particular characters and different angles to get a better look at the action. With options to pause, slow down, and hide the UI, taking snapshots is a breeze.
Unfortunately, Code Geass Lost Stories is missing a lot of unique Knightmares. Currently, there are only 15 Knightmares, with 10 of them being minor variations of 5 Knightmares, so your squad will have a lot of similar-looking units.
▼ The base Knightmare roster of Code Geass Lost Stories
▍Exploring Your Story as it Intersects with Lelouch
Code Geass Lost Stories takes you through the events of the anime. While Lelouch was unlocking his powers, you were caught in the crossfire of the massacre of the elevens, losing many of your friends. In the aftermath, you steal a Knightmare Frame, with a burning desire to take revenge on Britannia. But when it is revealed that your character is actually living in the Britannian districts, and is secretly half Japanese, do you have the stomach for destroying your homeland?
The story mode is split into two sections, the cutscenes, and the actual battle. Story cutscenes and battle stages are gated by each other, meaning you will need to progress in battles to unlock more story cutscenes and vice versa. Because the story is trying to tell a side-story, as well as retelling the anime, you’ll find yourself reliving the anime for multiple stages, and then the game will cut back to your character.
▼ Code Geass Lost Stories Plays scenes from your current chapter!
The retelling of the story honestly isn’t that interesting, though the use sprinkling of scenes from the anime is certainly very nostalgic. What’s more interesting are the unique cutscenes added to the story featuring your character, such as the showdown between you and Suzaku’s Lancelot!
▼ Code Geass Lost Stories’ Original Cutscenes! Your battle against Suzaku!
While you won’t be doing anything crazy like killing off Suzaku early on in the story, the developers make sure that your inclusion in key story moments is true to the anime, and in no time you’ll feel comfortable believing that your character was part of Code Geass all along!
▍Direct the Black Knights in a battle of Strategy vs Tactics!
In Code Geass Lost Stories you will be commanding a squad of Pilots, assigning them to different Knightmare Frames and placing them along a grid in a way that will stop them from getting to your base. The most unique aspect of the game is how it handles the attributes of each unit by splitting it up between Pilot, and Knightmare.
Knightmares determine how the unit behaves, whether it will attack from range, what weapon it can use, and its unique combat skill. Pilots however can drastically modify the stats, and adds a basic ability to the Knightmares, in a way that can completely alter their roles, and you can assign any pilot to any Knightmare!
As an example, because Euphemia is a healer, equipping her on any Knightmare will change its basic attack into a healing action, and because the Knightmare is what determines the attack range, you can have a long-range healer or one close range that takes the role of a tank! Some pilots also come with unique skills, Lelouch will stun all units in his attack range whenever he is deployed, and his quick re-deployment speed allows you to turn him from a powerful ranged sniper, or use him as an emergency stun bomb!
Most pilots aren’t as interesting as Lelouch though, the rest of the pilot abilities buff their attack, increase defense, or make deploying others easier. There’s a sore lack of variety in abilities, as most of them are just stat increases and don’t affect the game in more meaningful ways.
▼ Buffs his own attack after engaging in combat for a time.
▼ Buffs his own attack after engaging in combat for a time.
▼ Buffs the attack… Of others!
This problem applies to the Knightmares too, almost all of the skills in Code Geass Lost Stories are a variation of “Hit X Target, really hard”. While the animations are admittedly very cool, there is no strategy to using these skills, you just use them on whichever enemy you have trouble killing. I’m pretty sure it was designed this way so all of the Knightmare skills could be used to end duels in a flashy way, but it comes at the cost of gameplay variety.
▼ With Kallen’s Glasgow, you can smack an enemy hard!
▼ With Tohdoh’s Burai, you can smack an enemy really hard!
▼ With Guilford’s Gloucester you… Get the idea.
If some Knightmares had a skill that changed how they attack or created a slowing field for a duration or even make them immune to death for a brief period, there would be more to consider when bringing a Knightmare. Right now Code Geass Lost Stories offers little incentive to mix up your team compared to bringing your most powerful units.
▍Grinding is Easy, But a Time Sink.
Leveling up characters early on is easy. You can also use skip tickets when you complete a stage, allowing you to bypass playing a stage again for its rewards. These are best saved for your daily stages, which do give a pretty healthy amount of EXP, even in the “easy” version of the stage.
Sadly, f4samurai decided to add a daily limit on the number of times you can run a type of daily stage to 6 runs per day, 3 runs normally, and 3 additional runs using Sakuradite. This means no matter what kind of player you are, you hit a progression wall sometime in the day.
While you can run story stages infinitely, the drop rate for EXP in story stages is abysmally low. Here is me running 2-2, a stage with EXP items as a drop, and 7 times with skip tickets.
You also have the option of Awakening a pilot, increasing their base stats further, while also increasing the total Pilot rank for all characters. This gives small bonuses to everyone sharing the same class, such as an attack rate bonus, and a defense increase. While the bonus is minor, it will add up over time. Since lower-rarity pilots cost less to awaken, it’s worth upgrading even weaker units for this universal bonus.
Once you get a character to level 60, you will unlock their second, most potent skill. Any further than that though requires a character’s locket, which comes from pulling them again.
If you want to unlock a character’s maximum level, you will need to pull them several times I can’t speak for how necessary this is because the game’s story only goes up to chapter 3, but with each character’s max level being 99, this may become necessary in future updates.
While you can buy universal lockets for each rarity, the price for higher rarity lockets is so high, while also needing so many makes grinding out a character this way a task you will very slowly chip away at. With a drop rate of 3% and a low 0.6% for a specific character, the challenge won’t be getting your favorite 4-Star, but rather trying to max them out. Once the game starts adding even more characters, the chances of doing so will be even slimmer.
▼ Code Geass Lost Stories’ Gacha rates.
▍Many thoughtful little additions for players!
Code Geass Lost Stories also has many little small touches that make the game incredibly friendly to non-japanese speakers, as almost every button is designed clearly, and will have English text written under it, making it very easy to navigate even for those that are not proficient in Japanese!
Another really nice touch is being able to change the game’s soundtrack in every menu, and even in battle! As of writing though, you can only purchase BGMs using the paid premium currency, hopefully at some point Code Geass Lost Stories makes some BGMs available without needing to pay.
▍Code Geass Lost Stories is Good, But Not Great…Yet
Overall, Code Geass Lost Stories has a lot going on for it. It’s one of the better-looking mobile games currently out there, with several convenient features like a skip button, and not losing any stamina on loss, which makes playing, and grinding out stages easy, and fair.
However lack of variety leads to repetitive visuals, and combat encounters can lack a strategy or engaging tools during a stage’s play-by-play. Currently, the game is definitely lacking in content, with a missing Arena mode, and a Guild feature which will presumably revolve around that feature too. These problems can all be solved with time, and updates, and if DMM Games is committed to updating Code Geass Lost Stories regularly, this could become one of the better tower defense games on Mobile!
Wher you love the Code Geass IP, are a fan of Arknights, or both, I highly recommend giving Code Geass Lost Stories a try!