Written by Bad Demoman 17th September 2017
From the moment it was announced, Project Octopath Traveler had every JRPG fans eye intently focussed on it. With its distinctive graphics, and being from the developers behind Bravely Default, it’s definitely enticing. With the most recent Nintendo Direct, we got a few more details. More interestingly though, we got a rather sizable demo, clocking in close to the 2 Hour mark! I’ve played through both stories included in the demo, and I’m here to present my (spoiler free!) first impressions on Project Octopath Traveler.
Given that presentation is what drew most people to Octopath, it’s definitely the aspect most worthy of comment. With its intricate mix of highly detailed sprite work reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics, combined with some gorgeously detailed 3D backgrounds, it’s an interesting combo. However, the most noticeable aspect of the graphics for me was the lighting -
Fans of Bravely Default may find some familiarity in the combat system, with something akin to the Brave and Default system returning. Each turn, you’ll accumulate Boost Points that can be used to either empower your special attacks, or increase the number of strikes your normal attack will do. This is an important distinction due to the Break system. Each enemy will have a weakness, and each character has a few different kinds of attack they can use -
Each of the eight characters in Octopath will have a special action they can perform to set them apart from everyone else, with the two characters available giving us an example of what to expect. Olberic can use his Knightly standing to challenge people to duels, allowing you to fight most townspeople! This does lead to some odd situations -
Primrose is a tad daintier than our Knight in Shining Armour, and therefore she can utilize certain other abilities to help her in battle. She can dance for various people in town, alluring them and convincing them to come to her aid. Again, our hero has a somewhat questionable means, potentially leading helpless townspeople out into the wilderness. This leads to an almost Pokemon-
I highly recommend you check out the demo for Project Octopath Traveler (Which I fully expect to be renamed at some point into a full on Bravely Default title, given the exact same font is used for the title screen!). At approximately 2 hours long, it’s a decent length to get your teeth into for a free experience, and it’ll definitely leave you anticipating the full release. Unfortunately, the full game won’t be available until 2018, so I’ll be waiting with bated breath until then.