You assume the role of Ash Lambert, a hero torn between saving his country and restoring honor to the disgraced Lambert dynasty. As he struggles with his inner demons and personal problems, he will meet various companions throughout his journey. They will help your character fight to overthrow the oppressive regime and ward off an ancient being that threatens the world.
Vandal-Hearts is a 3D turn-based strategy game. Unlike many games of the genre, the various battlefields have sloped surfaces that will either work to your advantage or against you. It will be up to you to accommodate your strategy and amount an appropriate offensive assault against your foes as well as set up defensive measures.
Each character raises experience the more he or she moves and kills. Experience points result in your character becoming stronger and increases his or her overall level. Level increases usually allow your characters to move greater distances on the battlefield, wield new weapons and use new magical spells. When a character reaches a specific level, they can visit a town’s Dojo — an area of training and class upgrading.
Class upgrading is an important aspect of Vandal-Hearts — it allows your characters to become more advanced and stronger. For example, a hero can upgrade to a champion and eventually a paragon. A soldier can turn into a swordsman (a sword fighter) or a guardsman (a strong person with great armor). He can then choose to become a duelist or a dragoon depending on what you chose previous. Except for your hero (Ash), each character is given a wide variety of upgrades and classes.
Towns and map movement consists of hand-drawn and rendered images. When entering a town, you are presented with a menu which allows you to visit the Dojo, weapons/armor shop and the tavern. The tavern allows you to gossip with non-player characters about what’s going on in the world. The map movement screen is where you actually go from point A to point B. It outlines your journey and places visited.