Metaphor: ReFantazio is the high fantasy Persona of your dreams

A new look at Metaphor: ReFantazio has strengthened its ties to Atlus' Persona franchise.
metaphor refantazio gameplay combat

Atlus has shared a fresh new look at Metaphor: ReFantazio, revealing new details that better align the upcoming game with the Persona franchise. While the game is considered a “brand new” experience, it’s clear there are core ties to Persona in the game’s overall design, its battles, and the appearance of its demon creatures. Basically, if you’ve ever wanted a “high fantasy” version of Persona, this is the game for you.

In a new presentation sent to media, Atlus has detailed plenty of new details about the upcoming game, including how its battle system works, and how it relies on the power of friendship. As outlined, Metaphor: ReFantazio will actually sport two combat options for players – “Fast” and “Squad.”

Fast and Squad battles

In “Fast” mode, players will be able to directly attack enemies in real time, and in “Squad” mode, players will be able to navigate turn-based battles. Per Atlus, players can switch between these modes at will, shaking up how battles take place.

“‘Fast’ is an effective way to fight a lower-ranked enemy you have already fought previously,” Atlus explained. “On the field, you can also use the lock-on function, dash, and evade. If you wipe out enemies with ‘Fast’ while watching out for their attacks, you will be able to comfortably proceed with your dungeon exploration.”

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Image: Atlus

“Squad” battles are for tougher enemies outlined in yellow or red. You won’t be able to tackle these enemies through “Fast” battles easily, so you’ll need to shift to “Squad” battles to plan your attacks strategically. You may stun tougher enemies in “Fast” battle, but it seems you won’t be able to defeat them entirely in this mode.

Read: Metaphor: ReFantazio launches in October 2024

Once in “Squad” mode, you’ll assemble an army of up to four companions, and use their abilities to take down powerful beasts. There will be seven total companions in the game, so you’ll be able to switch up who you bring along in your adventure.

Buttons are used to deploy attacks, with the UI and battling system likely to be familiar to Persona fans. While Atlus has simplified the system this go around, the spirit of Persona 5 seemingly lingers on.

Archetypes

There’s also touches of Persona in the game’s Archetype system, which allows your heroes to transform into a creature that represents “the power of heroic images.”

“Archetypes are diverse, each with different abilities and personalities,” Atlus said. “There are a variety of archetypes, from the basic Seeker, who is an allrounder in battle, the Mage, who strikes weaknesses with offensive magic, to the Thief, who can plunder resources. Players will have to decide which Archetypes to awaken and how to configure their members to create a stronger party.”

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Image: Atlus

Each Archetype in the game has its own special skills, and they can be swapped out when the need arises. Notably, Atlus has confirmed “the difficulty level of battles in this game is intentionally made to be high” so you’ll need to plan your moves and team lineup well.

That goes doubly so as you enter the game’s many dungeons, which are described as “perilous.” In these locales, you’ll find dangerous enemies – but equally, you’ll be rewarded with valuable treasures and new weapons to help you survive.

Bonding and bounties

In your travels, you’ll also discover new characters and new bonds, with various friends waiting past these dangers. As in Persona, each of your companions has their own stories, and you’ll need to discover them by interacting with them, and bonding. Eventually, they will become trusted allies and necessary for battle, so it’s best to treat them well.

Elsewhere in its preview, Atlus also revealed more of the game’s main locales, including a fantasy town known as Martira, Old Castle Town. Here, you’ll have a chance to sit down with your friends, share a meal, meet castle inhabitants, and also take on the classic Giant Sandworm that threatens the peace of the region.

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Image: Atlus

You can spend your time here relaxing, or helping out on a number of main and side quests, including bounty hunts for roaming creatures. Then, when you’re done building your bonds, you’ll head back on the road, on a quest to save the United Kingdom of Euchronia and its missing Prince.

There is another twist in the game, as revealed by Atlus: your adventure is on a semi-formal time limit.

“In order to save the cursed prince thought dead, the protagonists decides to partake in the ‘Royal Tournament’. To become the king, they need to be the most popular in the country, and in order to win the trust of the people of the country over powerful rivals, the protagonist embarks on a journey around the world.

The time limit to decide for the next king is about six months. Will the protagonists be able to gather the trust of the people in the given time? And what can they accomplish in that period?

It won’t be long before you’ll be able to tackle this quest for yourself. As previously announced, Metaphor: ReFantazio launches for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC on 11 October 2024.

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Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.