Project Octopath Traveler is a brand new RPG exclusively for the Switch, no word on a release date as of yet but it’s got some great credentials behind it with the producers of Bravely Default on board. A demo was released on the eShop straight after the latest Nintendo Direct on 13th September and I’m here to give you my thoughts.
The first thing that struck me when starting up the game was the incredible visuals, there’s no denying that. There’s a lot of stigma around “retro” looking games that I would love not to exist, we live in a day and age where 4K and HD are the norm and our eyes are very used to pretty and polished visuals. I’ve come across people that will point blank turn a game away just because it looks like something from the 80’s, never mind that the game could have amazing gameplay which to me is way more important than graphics.
However, Project Octopath Traveler is proving you can have a retro looking game just as pretty as the rest of them. It’s a mix of sprites and 3D visuals, the backgrounds really pop out and when you see the game in motion; that’s when it clicks. It just works.
There are 8 different characters to choose from in the full game, in the demo you could choose between 2. They are Olberic and Primrose, of course I opted for the beautiful looking Primrose on my first play through. I always sway towards female characters!
Each character has a different story and I don’t want to spoil it too much because the two on offer are really engaging, best played without any knowledge of their backgrounds I’d say. There are various abilities your character may have, for example Primrose has the ability to ‘Allure’ people into following her which can help in battle or on side quests.
If you’re used to the RPG genre then you can be sure to find lots of chances to level up your characters through an interesting battle system, it’s turn based but throws in a few curveballs. Each enemy can have a couple of weak points that you need to figure out, this can be by attacking with a dagger or using your magic amongst other things and once it’s been exposed you have that knowledge forever. So once you know what they’re weak to you can cause a “break” in battle. This means they won’t attack for one turn and leaves them wide open.
Another thing that’s interesting for the battle system is the “boost” effect. You gain 1 boost point per turn and you can store up to 5, you can activate the boost effect by pressing the L button and this pretty much makes you super powerful for one turn. You can use 1, 2 or 3 times the boost depending on how much you’ve saved up. I found it to be a great system when battling as it can drastically turn the tide in battles especially when you think you’re about to be crisp toast.
The final thing I want to mention is the music and voice acting, I was shocked to hear so much voice acting as I really didn’t expect it. It works so well and all the voices I heard fit each character perfectly, the music changes to the situation and sets the tone throughout. It sounds like the rest of the game is gonna be a real treat for the ears and from the small amount of gameplay you can get from the demo you can tell this is one for any RPG or Square Enix fans.
What do you think of Project Octopath Traveler? Have you played through the demo? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @wtfgamersonly. If you’re after some geeky goodness you can also follow me on Instagram.