The developers of the hit 3DS JRPG Bravely Default are teaming up once more to create a new JRPG for the Nintendo Switch called Octopath Traveler.
First off, that…unique title is a reference to the game’s eight main characters and eight explorable worlds. For the moment, though, it is being referred to as a working title. Given that Nintendo showcased the game via a four-minute trailer, however, we’re guessing that this game is fairly far along in development.
In terms of narrative and certain gameplay conventions, Octopath Traveler is very much a classic Square Enix-style JRPG. There are colorful characters, grand evils, and turn-based combat as far as the eye can see.
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That said, it wouldn’t be fair to call this project a throwback. For instance, Octopath Traveler will allow players to utilize characters special abilities outside of combat. This means that your warrior will be able to challenge most NPCs to a duel which may allow him to complete sidequests or access previously inaccessible areas. A dancer hero, meanwhile, can allure friendly and enemy characters. That last example is particularly hilarious as it means you’ll be able to lead certain foes to cleverly placed traps and avoid combat all-together.
Elsewhere, Octopath Traveler‘s visuals benefit from a style the developers are referring to as “HD 2D.” The benefits of this new approach are immediately apparent. Octopath Traveler brilliantly maintains the basic visual style of classic JRPGs but greatly benefits from a noticeable increase in environmental details and lighting effects. It’s a stunning visual design approach that we already want to see more of.
While Octopath Traveler sadly won’t get a global release until 2018, Square Enix is releasing a demo of the game that should be available to Switch users before the end of the night.
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