In a mystical medieval-inspired world, the substance known as Pluton is a rare and valuable mineral that is the source of all magical power. Humanity has fallen back to a single city, known as Feste, which is the last stronghold against the terrors of the land. In order to seek out more Pluton, the explorers of the city, known as Bergmans, hire bodyguards to delve into mines scattered throughout the wilderness in order to seek out more of the precious ore and maintain and power the city. Following the adventures of Geoff and Vasily, a pair of bodyguards hired to protect the Bergman Anka, players are cast out into the land to seek out Pluton and stop the rising evil from the mines below.
Keeping to the standard that is common with most JRPGs, the characters and environments in NAtURAL DOCtRINE (yes, that is how it is spelled) are represented on two levels; rendered anime screens and 3D textured models. However for this game it becomes an issue and adds a disconnection between the two. Characters are vibrant and detailed in images, yet the character models almost barely match their anime counterparts. The characters themselves come off almost like figurines, with permanent expressions plastered on their faces, and clothing and armour that seems mapped to their model rather than independent. The design also looks like it may have been ripped straight from Fire Emblem or a Final Fantasy game, as there is seemingly nothing unique about them. When fighting enemies in-game such as orcs, goblins and knights, there is little variation between the character models and ends up looking like an army of clones, which can get confusing when fighting multiple units at once.
Similarly, the world map and imagery of locations are vivid and colourful, but the 3D environments are dull and generic. From the tutorial level it appears something is amiss; gameplay areas are isolated and do not feel like part of a larger world. Some wall textures were noticeably pixelated and low quality. It really did not feel like a next-gen game when playing it on the PS4, and I found that the game looked a lot more at home on the PS Vita via Remote Play.