Metaphor: ReFantazio is 100% shaping up to be medieval Persona and I cannot wait

Metaphor: ReFantazio
(Image credit: Atlus)

With Metaphor: ReFantazio just five months away, there's been surprisingly little information for us to glean about Atlus' medieval fantasy RPG. Thankfully, the developer has released in-depth info on some mechanics and dungeons we can expect in the game, and it really is looking to be modern Persona with an aesthetically archaic flair.

We were privy to some of this information during the Xbox Showcase a couple of weeks ago, but a recent press release has delved into some of its offerings in more detail along with brand-new screenshots, and having a read through its offerings has left me thoroughly excited.

Of course, it's not totally like-for-like with Persona, but it's for sure a bread-and-butter Atlus game, which I couldn't be happier about. Instead of fighting alongside demons or personas, Metaphor: ReFantazio has the protagonist transforming into different Archetypes. Atlus describes them as "heroic images residing in your heart," with different Archetypes serving different purposes. 

You've got your jack-of-all-trades in the form of the Seeker Archetype, which includes magic, healing and attack buffs. Classic roles like Mage, Knight, and Thief are also available for the protag to take the form of. These Archetypes can also extend to the party, and Atlus promises there'll be plenty of strategy in figuring out which ones you'll need to equip yourself and your squad with before you roll out to the dungeon. 

It looks like some—such as Warrior—may excel more in single-target combat, while others will work wonders on large groups of weaker enemies. A screenshot for the Warrior Archetype shows that it's "skilled in physical Slash attacks with a sword," boasting "strong single-target damage." The weakness system is still here and present, with different Archetypes having abilities that can exploit enemy elemental weaknesses while being weak to elements of their own. 

Taking these Archetypes into combat can be done in two different ways: Fast or Squad. The former is a quick real-time battle system designed to easily take down weaker enemies, while the latter is the traditional Atlus combat I know and love. Using the Fae Sight ability will let you see how strong an enemy is in relation to your level—if they're highlighted green, feel free to mop up quickly using Fast combat. If they're yellow or red, jumping into Squad combat will be the best way to tackle foes.

One of my favourite turn-based RPG elements has also made it into ReFantazio: Frontline and backline rows. There's no word just how it'll work yet—perhaps it'll simply be a damage in/damage out change, or maybe it'll affect which abilities party members are able to utilise. I kinda hope it's a little bit of both, and with Atlus promising that "the difficulty level of battles is intentionally made to be high," I feel like it would be the perfect extra layer of strategy.

Outside of more mechanical deets, Atlus has shared some new screenshots that give us a peep at what looks to be a grand castle interior for part of the dungeon, complete with both inanimate stone gargoyles and ones that are baying for blood. There's also a few glimpses of the bustling city Royal Capital Grand Trad along with smaller towns like The Old Castle Town Martira. With ReFantazio retaining the classic Persona calendar, figuring out how to adequately squeeze time out of every location on a day-to-day basis will no doubt end up being a big part of how the game functions.

I for one am ridiculously excited to see a more medieval fantasy spin on the modern Persona formula. I'm a huge lover of the series, but I'm also a lover of big shiny swords and cool castles, which makes Metaphor: ReFantazio a game I am almost guaranteed to adore. Especially as I grow older and the high school flavour of Persona becomes less relatable, throwing myself into full fantasy seems like the perfect alternative.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.