SEGAbits @ Anime Expo 2024: Metaphor: ReFantazio Demo Hands On Impressions

Thanks to the generous folks at Atlus, we recently had the opportunity to delve into an early hands-on demo of Metaphor: ReFantazio, their upcoming RPG slated for release on October 11, 2024, at Anime Expo. Developed by Studio Zero, renowned for their work on the Persona series, this title promises to captivate both longtime fans of Atlus and newcomers alike. Want to know our thoughts on our experience playing the demo? Hit the jump and find out!


At Anime Expo, where we were treated to a 15-minute demo showcasing three enticing gameplay modes: Scenario Mode, Dungeon Mode, and Boss Challenge Mode. Eager to explore the game’s mechanics, I opted to dive straight into Dungeon Mode, a decision that quickly immersed me in its captivating blend of real-time and turn-based combat. In the demo, Dungeon Mode starts off with the protagonist and his group heading to the Grand Cathedral with the objective to stop a necromancer and rescue the Paripus Woman’s friend.

From the outset, Metaphor: ReFantazio exudes the hallmark style of Atlus, with gameplay reminiscent of the dynamic combat found in Persona 3: Reload and 5 Royal. Engaging enemies in Dungeon Mode felt fluid and strategic, combining melee attacks for quick dispatch of weaker foes and tactical maneuvers to stagger and control stronger adversaries. The introduction of Squad Battles added depth, allowing me to summon diverse Archetypes with unique skills, enhancing both defensive capabilities and offensive prowess through devastating team attacks known as “Synthesis.”

What struck me most about Metaphor: ReFantazio, beyond its engaging gameplay, was its richly imagined world. Departing from the urban fantasy settings of Persona, this game transports players into a medieval-fantasy realm adorned with exquisite anime-inspired visuals. Every detail, from character designs to intricately crafted dungeons, evokes a sense of immersive storytelling that promises a deeply atmospheric experience.

The audiovisual elements further underscored this enchanting atmosphere; the haunting melodies that accompanied dungeon exploration seamlessly transitioned into pulse-pounding rhythms during combat encounters. Each character’s unique animations and expressive cutscenes added layers of personality and charm, reinforcing the game’s narrative depth and emotional resonance.

While my time with the demo was cut short, it left an indelible impression on me. Metaphor: ReFantazio is shaping up to be a standout title for fans of Persona and aficionados of turn-based RPGs alike. Metaphor: ReFantazio will launch on October 11, 2024 on Xbox Series X|S, Windows, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Steam. Physical and digital pre-orders are available now.



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