Everything We Know About Metaphor: ReFantazio


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The main character of Metaphor: ReFantazio and their ally, Gallica.

Metaphor: ReFantazio is one of our most anticipated games of the year, and the next RPG from the creative team that brought the world Persona 5. After leaving Persona development team P-Studio in 2016, director Katsura Hashino founded a new internal team at Atlus named Zero Studio. Soon after, Project Re:Fantasy was announced. Little did we know at the time that we wouldn’t hear about the game for another seven years.

Reemerging under a new name in 2023, Metaphor: ReFantazio is a dark medieval fantasy RPG in the vein of Hashino’s work on the Persona series. Developed as a counter to the modern RPG, Zero Studio set out to make a game firmly rooted in traditional fantasy tropes. The final game appears to skirt a line between fantasy and modern aesthetics, such as the use of skates to get around more quickly and devices and vehicles that seem to split the difference between fantastical and advanced technology. With the upcoming release of Metaphor: ReFantazio, now’s as good a time as any to recap everything we know about the game.


Who’s making Metaphor: Refantazio?

As noted, Katsura Hashino (director of Persona 3, 4, 5, and Catherine) is leading development on Metaphor: ReFantazio, but he isn’t the only Persona vet on the project. Shigenori Soejima, who worked as a character designer on many of the same titles, is once again collaborating with Hashino on the game. Shoji Meguro is also composing Metaphor: ReFantazio, making for a bit of a dream team who’ve made some of the biggest RPGs of this, and several previous, generations. A lot of staff that worked on the Persona games followed Hashino from P-Studio after his departure at the end of 2016.


Additionally, Koda Kazuma, who worked on Nier: Automata, and Ikuto Yamashita, whose credits include the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, are working on Metaphor: ReFantazio as a concept artist and mechanical designer, respectively. It’s safe to say that if you loved the big RPGs this team has made in the past, you’re likely in good hands with Metaphor: ReFantazio, and no shortage of talent is being thrown at the project.

Metaphor: ReFantazio’s release date and launch platforms

Though Metaphor: ReFantazio lacks a firm release date at the moment, it has been locked in for a release in the fall of 2024. In the past few years, Atlus has made a more concerted effort to release its games on multiple platforms at a time, and Metaphor: ReFantazio is following in those footsteps, coming to PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Windows. No, there’s no sign of a Nintendo Switch release just yet, but rumors are suggesting it might arrive on the Switch 2 instead. In the meantime, folks can finally wishlist the game on their desired platform ahead of preorders opening up in the near future.


The latest trailer for Metaphor: ReFantazio sheds some light on its features

The establishing shots of the latest trailer for Metaphor: ReFantazio draw a parallel between the world of the game and one that bears the appearance of our own, which the game seems particularly interested in exploring. The rest of the trailer sets up the royal tournament which will comprise the game’s main plot, as well as glimpses of open environments, a new take on the team’s tried-and-true turn-based combat, and the return of Persona’s relationship-sim elements. There’s another, much longer video that features the developers providing in-depth information on the world, characters, gameplay, music, and more.


Where does Metaphor: ReFantazio take place?

Metaphor: ReFantazio begins as the assassination of the king creates a power vacuum in the United Kingdom of Euchronia. The game’s set against the election of a new monarch—which the competitors frame as a tournament—to determine who will take the throne, at which point our player character enters the fray. Though they’ve been branded a heretic from the Elda tribe for having forbidden magic, it doesn’t stop them from entering and embarking on a journey to help their friend, the prince of Euchronia. From there, it’s on the player character to travel the world and rally people of various places and races to their cause in order to win the royal tournament.


As an interesting departure from genre conventions, the world of Metaphor: ReFantazio runs on magic, but that power doesn’t come naturally to any of the people in it. A special piece of equipment has to be purchased in Euchronia in order to be able to use it. Despite the lack of natural magic, the main cast of the game can magically transform into weapons known as “archetypes,” which will awaken like Personas.

How will Metaphor: ReFantazio play?

We haven’t seen much of Metaphor: ReFantazio outside of a couple of trailers, but it looks to follow in the vein of the team’s previous work on Persona. The battle UI and menu work seems in line with the aggressive stylization of the series post-Persona 5, and the game will be a turn-based RPG in which players exploit elemental weaknesses, draw power from archetypes, and summon them. There are, however, some interesting new ideas at play in Metaphor: ReFantazio’s approach to combat, relationships, and maneuverability that are worth mentioning.


On top of turn-based combat, which the team calls “command battles,” players will be able to assess opponents on the field and take them out without having to engage in a full turn-based fight. Though this new combat system is there to streamline fights against low-level enemies, it’s not like most automated battles that reward you by default and skip the fight entirely, and players will always have the choice to try this approach on opponents both weaker and stronger than them. Instead of combining and recruiting Personas to swap between, strengthening relationships and being inspired by them will awaken traits within the player character that can become archetypes.

Much like Persona, Metaphor: ReFantazio will feature calendar and relationship simulation systems that will be set against the aforementioned election that takes up the plot, but the team hasn’t detailed how the latter appears. The calendar will factor into the player’s need to travel around the world rallying votes and popularity as part of the royal tournament, setting up a similar tension to that of the Persona series, in which players have to prioritize their relationships and jobs in the “real world” vs. clearing dungeons and grinding in another realm. However, unlike in Persona, it seems that players will be able to weigh out where they want to go and tackle plot beats non-linearly.


Travel will be accomplished by those weird walking vehicles seen in numerous trailers now, which are known as “gauntlet runners” and seem to function as a hub for the party between towns. There also appear to be more open-ended environments between locations, where players can likely grind and complete sidequests, and players can explore on-foot or skates if they want to take in the sights quickly and in style.

Metaphor: ReFantazio releases for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC in the fall of 2024.

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