Nintendo surprised us during today’s Nintendo Direct by announcing a demo of Project Octopath Traveler, a game so early it’s still going by a ‘working title’.
The Square Enix published game comes from the producers of Bravely Default and Bravely Second.
Project Octopath Traveler is set in the fictional land of Osterra, and gives you the choice of eight playable characters right at the start, each with unique talents and stories, each one positioned differently on the map. Which character you play as, and how you use them, will change how the game plays out for you.
Each hero has unique interaction abilities that change how they move through the world and get things done. The warrior Olberic, for instance, can challenge ‘almost anyone’ to a duel, exposing evil or disposing with obstacles along the way, while the dancer Primrose can use her ‘allure’ ability to lure enemies into traps, lead lost NPCs back into town, or summon allies into battle. This will allow for a ‘true role-playing’ experience, the trailer promises.
Combat is turn=based, with a ‘boost’ system that sounds similar to Bravely Default’s combat mechanics. During battle you accumulate ‘boost points’, which you can then spend on powerful ability boosts, chain attacks, or for healing your team mates.
The game has an interesting visual style, using sprite models on top of a 3D world, which the developers are calling ‘HD-2D’. It could take some getting used to.
The demo is up now on the Switch eShop, but because the Switch eShop is terrible this isn’t immediately clear when you log in – check ‘coming soon’, or search for the game directly. It was up in the Australian store, and should be available in all others as well. No release date for the game has been announced yet.