My morning couldn’t be better as I, together with my Editor-in-Chief Lex, joined an exclusive developer press conference for the upcoming JRPG-inspired game titled Cris Tales. Hosted by Executive Producer of Modus Games, Derek Neal, he walked us through the gameplay and showed us a glimpse of what the game could offer. It’s a story about Crisbel, who is a Time Mage, traveling with companions across Crystallis to stop the evil Time Empress. I have seen the trailer and some demo footage online but nothing beats what I saw. Beautiful landscapes, intricate color schemes, and awesome artwork pop out every time the character moves or goes to another location. Character design is so unique and elegantly made. It makes you fall in love with the game even more.
Speaking of characters, I have to say that Crisbel has this ability that makes this game overly special. As a Time Mage, she can see into the past and the future in and out of battles. So how does it exactly work? Honestly, I have never seen anything like this. During the traditional turn-based combat, manipulating time may weaken your enemies. They may grow old and frail or too young to fight which makes it easy to win the battle. But, it may not work all the time as old knights might become younger and making them more lethal than before! Combining this concept with the abilities of your team members gives you the advantage you need. Wilhelm, one of your team members, can throw a strong bomb plant that gives a lot of damage but takes a lot of turns to grow. When Crisbel uses her time crystals to move the enemy into the future, this makes the plant grows and explode in the shortest amount of time dealing with maximum damage and thus, eliminating the enemies. Derek announced that there will be seven potential party members to choose from and I cannot wait to experiment with their abilities.
Here comes the cherry on top; Crisbels’ ability is not only limited to battles but this is also present whenever she walks around in towns. There’s this triangular vision you will see on the screen where the left image represents the Past, the center image is the Present and the right is for the Future. How cool is that?! As she walks around town you can see three images that correspond to the said time frame and this does not only apply to the environment but the characters as well. You might see a starting-out musician in the middle of the road in the present and nothing on the past (maybe he hasn’t found his love for music, yet?) but as you change to the future image, this musician might have turned into crime since he didn’t make it big. It is your choice if you want to help out this fellow and influence his future. If you proceed, all you have to do is send in another party member, Mattias the frog to help out these characters. Not only you will be changing their futures but the future of the town as well.
We were told the gameplay could last about 20 hours and that is unheard of in a 2D platformer game. I truly believe I could take more time than this since it is a joy exploring the map and the possibility of influencing characters and even the town! Derek showed us this particular house where we influenced the color through a mission and it was astonishing to see its multiple possible future states. It not only maintained the color we have chosen on the present but due to other hard choices, it became very posh and the owner a successful woman. Cross-referencing this with other colors and possible outcomes of chosen choices, there are at least 30 possible created scenes just for this house alone. That is not a simple task at all! Major respect to the development team who gave a lot of their dedication and imagine that level of detail put in a higher scale, in a finished game! The possibilities are truly endless.
Before we wrapped the session, Neal informed us further that the skill tree is present among the seven-party members. Although you can only have three party members played in combat, there will be multiple recombinations of skills to choose from. The release date is not concrete yet but definitely holiday this year is the goal. They are also looking into language localization of the game such as Thai, Japanese, and Chinese both traditional and simplified. Additional language localization includes English, Italian, German, Spanish, and Russian but more will be added soon. If you want to take a look at this game, a demo is available on Steam. Unfortunately, a demo has not been announced on PS4 yet but Neal did mention to keep an eye out! I simply cannot wait to get my hands on this game and even if the game isn’t out yet. I am foreseeing a sequel already. That’s how good it is!
Cris Tales is going to launch on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on November 17. A PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are being planned.