Following the release of the PS4 remasters of Trails of Cold Steel I and II earlier this year, the long awaited third instalment of the long running saga has arrived in English. On a side note, fans of the series will be pleased to know that Trails of Cold Steel IV is already out in Japan, so the wait for an English translation will hopefully be significantly shorter than with the previous instalments. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III has once again been developed by series creators Nihon Falcom, with NIS America to perform translation and publishing duties instead of XSeed Games. The third game in the Trails of Cold Steel series promises to be a strong JRPG like its predecessors, but does it live up to the legacy that it hopes to continue?
After the dramatic end to the Erebonian Civil War in Trails of Cold Steel II, Rean Schwarzer has now been offered a teaching position at an external branch of Thors Military Academy. He is unknowingly given a group of students to form his own Class VII, with the hope that they can recreate the elite fighting unit that was crafted at the main Thors campus. At first glance, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III brings us to a more peaceful narrative than the previous game. As time goes on however, it is shown that the scars that were inflicted in previous battles will take a long time to heal.
With the threat of more attacks by the Ouroboros terrorist organisation on the horizon, Rean must guide his new students to glory, and cope with his responsibilities that come with being the Ashen Chevalier. The plot twists made the first two games enjoyable have returned in spades, with some of the late game events blowing everything you knew about fan favourite characters completely out of the water. The new students blend well into the Cold Steel universe, with Juna and Kurt having initial relationship troubles that echo back to Rean and Alisa’s first meeting, and Altina feeling like an outsider but eventually finding her place among the new Class VII.