Metaphor: ReFantazio’s intriguing plot and combat system details revealed

Posted on May 8, 2024

Atlus, developer of the upcoming sci-fi RPG Metaphor Refantazio, has confirmed new details of the game’s setting and premise, as well as how its unique combat system will work. Included in the announcement are several new pieces of information regarding its gameplay and its similarities – and differences – with Atlus’ famous Persona series.

In Metaphor Refantazio, your goal is to save the cursed prince, who is thought to be dead. In pursuit of this, you must partake in the “Royal Tournament”, a six-month competition to win the trust of the people and become king. Similarly to the Persona games, this puts something of a time pressure on the player, with certain actions taking a certain amount of time or days, meaning that smart use of the time allotted is important.

In the game, your party members can equip and transform into Archetypes, which are somewhat analogous to the titular Personas from Atlus’ other famous RPG franchise. These Archetypes are based on popular RPG classes, including the all-rounder Seeker, the spell-focused Mage and the item-stealing Thief. Players will awaken many Archetypes throughout the game by forming new bonds with NPCs, and can switch them out when appropriate to respond to new challenges.

The most important confirmation of Metaphor Refantazio’s combat system is that it is two systems in one, called “Fast” and “Squad”. Fast battles are suited for lower-ranked enemies which have been previously defeated, and are conducted in real time instead of turn-based. For foes of the same or higher level, players must use the turn-based Squad battle style, which allows a greater degree of control over tactics. Players can determine an enemy’s level from a distance using the Fae Sight ability of the fairy companion Gallica to analyse their surroundings.

When you aren’t delving through dungeons, of which there are mandatory “Main Dungeons” as well as optional “Side Dungeons”, you are travelling the world in the Gauntlet Runner. The Gauntlet Runner is the large armoured vehicle which carries the protagonists between settlements in the dangerous wasteland. While in the Gauntlet Runner, players can take part in a variety of optional activities, such as cooking, reading, talking with friends, or just napping.

The game overall seems like an interesting refinement of the depth and style of the recent Persona games, placed into a distinct sci-fi setting. The separate “Fast” and “Squad” battle systems should hopefully streamline any grinding which is required. Furthermore, despite its unusual setting, there are enough familiar trappings, from the user interface to the emphasis on time management and befriending NPCs, that Persona fans should definitely find Metaphor Refantazio very approachable.

Metaphor Refantazio’s release is still some ways away. The game is set to come out on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and PC on October 11th, 2024.