JRPG Metaphor: ReFantazio Launches on October 11, Previews Story and Gameplay

Image source: Official ATLUS West YouTube channel

Studio Zero‘s Metaphor: ReFantazio, the upcoming fantasy JRPG that has Persona alumni working on it, has received a gameplay and story-previewing trailer titled “The King’s Trial,” plus a 20-minute-plus showcase of its features and mechanics. It has also been revealed that the game will launch on October 11, 2024 for Xbox Series X/S, Windows, PS5, PS4, and Steam.

Metaphor: ReFantazio will send players on a world-spanning journey following a royal assassination that triggers an election. The player character, whose tribe is deemed as “inferior” in the setting, gets embroiled in this royal tournament, and also has to break a curse that ails a prince thought to be dead. The player’s interactions with NPCs will affect their popularity in the election, and you’ll also have to keep the main story’s set time frame in mind. 

“So in this game, we’ve captured the travel experience with pre-determined lengths of activities and structure, but within that, what you do, where you go, is up to each player who can choose to do things differently,” said game director Katsura Hashino (Persona 3, 4 and 5) in the showcase video.

One of the details that easily stands out from The King’s Trial” trailer is the shots of real-time combat. Hashino says that while the JRPG still maintains turn-based battles, real-time attacks and dodges have been incorporated into the combat portion. There will also be “dashing’ and “analyzing.”

By “confronting their anxiety,” Metaphor: ReFantazio‘s characters can awaken special “Archetype” powers. These Archetypes include the all-rounder Seeker, the Mage, and the Thief. The system includes the ability for characters to transform into “heroic figures” whose skills can be utilized in battle, and the game’s Steam page adds that awakening an Archetype will “unlock the power to channel and combine the abilities of unique job classes.” New Archetypes can be gained by strengthening bonds with followers.

Hashino doesn’t describe Metaphor: ReFantazio as an open world game, but the showcase does show off large desert and urban environments, with the latter offering Bounties, informants, shops, and NPCs that need your aid. There will be more than one urban hub in the game, and these are separated by dangerous wastelands. The player doesn’t have to explore these towns and cities on foot — the video shows the protagonist hopping on their sword and riding it like a magical skateboard. When it comes to moving across the world map, players will have a vehicle-slash-mobile base called the Gauntlet Runner, which transports you to your destination in real-time. The Gauntlet Runner experience is likened to “living in a camper with your travel companions.”

The background art in the game comes from Koda Kazuma, who was involved in games like NieR: Automata and Code Vein. Hashino also revealed that the game has Evangelion’s Ikuto Yamashita as mechanical designer.

In addition to the release date and gameplay mechanic reveals, it was announced that pre-orders for Metaphor: ReFantazio have opened, and that Studio Zero is “hoping” to provide hands-on demos at events around the world starting in June. Xbox and PlayStation owners can pre-order a Collector’s Edition that includes:

• Physical Base Game
• Steelbook
• Soundtrack
• Artbook
• Homo Tenta Metallic Pins
• Sticker Sheet
• Kingdom of Euchronia Cloth Map
• Costume & Battle BGM Set DLC Voucher
Shujin Academy School Uniform (7), Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
Yasogami High School Uniform, Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
Gekkoukan High School Uniform, Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
Seven Sisters High School Uniform, Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
St. Hermelin High School Uniform, Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
Jouin High School Uniform, Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
Samurai Garb, Battle BGM & Battle Jingle Set
Etrian Odyssey Series Classes Costume & Battle BGM Set
• Atlus 35th Anniversary Digital History Book + Soundtrack
• Pre-order Bonus Vouchers
Archetype EXP Chest Set
10x Hero’s Incenses (Increases Archetype Experiences by 100)
5x Hero’s Fruits (Increases Archetype Experiences by 500)
Adventurer’s Journey Pack
30,000 Reeve (In-game currency)
5x Expensive Medicines (Restores 200 HP to one ally)
5x Revival Medicines (Revives an ally)
3x Magical Breads (Gradually recover MP while in dungeon)
2x Stale Blackbreads (Deals heavy Almighty damage to one enemy)

Source: Official ATLUS West YouTube channel

Anime Trending News Writer who writes about all sorts of things, including upcoming anime series and movies, anime-related video games, animated music videos, manga and light novels, VTubers, and anime collaborations. Once in a while, he'll put out a review too. Every anime season, Melvyn looks forward to discovering new standout episodes and OP/ED animation sequences. Some of his free time is spent self-learning Japanese.
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