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Octopath Traveler Preview

A brief look at the upcoming RPG title Octopath Traveler.




Eight paths, one story.

Octopath Traveler is the latest JRPG coming to the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Silicon Studio – the team behind the Bravely series – Octopath Traveler takes the best of classic RPGs with modern-day storytelling. Published by Square-Enix, Octopath Traveler takes several cues from the Final Fantasy series. Featuring eight protagonists, each one has special abilities that are used in and out of battle. Utilize their abilities to interact with NPCs. How you use them is up to you.

Octopath Traveler

In Octopath Traveler, you will play out the story of eight different protagonists. Olberic the Fighter, Primrose the Dancer, Alfyn the Apothecary, H’aanit the Hunter, Tressa the Merchant, and Therion the Thief. The game reflects their abilities as traditional RPG classes. For instance, Olberic has high strength and a sword. Meanwhile, Primrose has special abilities from her dances. What separates Octopath from other RPGs, however, is the ability to use these abilities on the field. Olberic can challenge anyone in the game to a duel, while Primrose can use her special dancing to allure NPCs and have them fight for her. Hence, your actions are judged as Noble and Rogue acts. You can learn more about character interactions and reputation here.

What’s in the demo?

Nintendo released a demo of Octopath Traveler last year. The demo features several hours of story and two character previews. You learn most of what the game is about through these interactions. In the story of Olberic, you’re a retired fighter. You’re in a village and people ask you for help fighting off bandits. A man who lost his king and his country, Olberic lives in this village defending it and training other fighters. What makes these interactions special is your ability to fight any of them. Some of them are surprisingly strong. However, you can level up for EXP and purchase weapons and armor for strength.

Octopath Traveler

In Primrose’s path, she’s a dancer working for a nobleman. Unsavory rumors pass among the man named Helgenish, who treats his dancers poorly and abuses them in the worst of ways. A former noble, Primrose seeks her father’s murderer. Using her dancing as a guise, her endless pursuit brings her new direction during a culmination of events that leads her on her path. Using her dancing abilities, she can gain information from NPCs and bring them to fight for her in battle. With several hours of gameplay and story, Octopath Traveler’s demo is still available on the Nintendo eShop. Download it to find the truth behind the stories of Olberic and Primrose.

What separates this game from the rest?

Octopath Traveler brings in a unique visual style. Known as “HD-2D,” it sets itself apart using a retro visual style. The character style features the retro, 2D sprite visuals of a 90s JRPG. The beautiful HD artwork brings out a crisp, crystal clear beauty only possible on the current generation of consoles. A gorgeous, artistic masterpiece, the animation in the game blends well with the pixel art of a foregone era. Complete with a beautiful, epic soundtrack and sterling voice acting. In addition, players who prefer Japanese voice acting, however, are welcome to use the game’s dual audio option.

Octopath Traveler

The game’s story is more than your typical JRPG fantasy fanfare. It tells a darker story of human nature and what the worst types of people are capable of. If you’ve played Bravely Default, you may be familiar with the darker story elements. Certain characters – such as Mephilia – were part of a story angle that surprised players with a notably dark turn. Octopath Traveler isn’t afraid to pull punches with its story. Its well-written dialogue draws you in while the story is told with its gorgeous visuals and exciting storytelling.

Fighting in Octopath Traveler.

The battle system in this game features the appearance of a 2D Final Fantasy game. You get attacks, magic, and so forth. What separates it from FF, however, are its unique abilities. For starters, it takes a cue from Bravely Default. In the Bravely series, you had “Brave” abilities. This allowed you to take multiple turns at once while costing you those turns afterwards. This means using 2-4 attacks at once. If you didn’t kill your enemy, you suffered for it as the enemies attacked your hapless teammate. In Octopath Traveler, you utilize “Boost Points” to augment your stats or abilities. Consequently, the neat part is the aura that grows around your character as they yell out a battle cry.

Octopath Traveler also features a job system. Players familiar with Final Fantasy or the Bravely Series will find familiar territory.  Octopath Traveler’s job system allows characters to transfer abilities in battle. Furthermore, you can utilize various combinations to customize each character. These secondary job abilities will allow for multiple possibilities. Consequently, some of these could make several of your characters quite powerful. For more info on the job system, check out this preview from Nintendo!

Final Thoughts

Silicon Studio always brought a unique flavor to their games. The cute, chibi visuals in Bravely Default belied a dark story. The composer of Bravely Default, Revo, composed the opening for Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon Crystal, and many other anime. Plus, both Bravely Default and Bravely Second hide secrets in their games’ subtitles. The game’s plots make use of these for decisive plot twists as well. Have you noticed the name of the game is already revealed by six characters? The character’s names – their first letter – make up the word “Octopath.”

The game is looking to be quite beautiful. I’m also incredibly happy that the development team listened to fan feedback after the demo. Square-Enix flexed their publishing muscle for some of the most noteworthy games in recent history. Noteworthy examples include the Tomb Raider reboot and last year’s NieR: Automata. The latter was nominated for multiple Game of the Year awards. Silicon Studio already has a solid track record with the Bravely series. However, their Switch release will unquestionably be their biggest release. The console already established a name for releasing quality titles, such as the noteworthy JRPG – Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Fans of JRPGs, be sure to check out Octopath Traveler when it launches on July 13, 2018. Pre-order the standard edition or the Wayfarer’s Edition here!

Octopath Traveler

Thank you for reading our Octopath Traveler preview. Have you played the demo yet? Are you excited for the full release? Let us know in the comments below!

Rango has been gaming since 1993. He loves Action/Adventure, JRPG, and Platforming games the most. When he's not writing reviews, he competes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments.


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