What you need to know
- Artisan Studios have revealed Lost Hellden, a new JRPG they are developing with former Final Fantasy and Gravity Rush developers.
- Lost Hellden is a JRPG featuring a unique hand-painted art style, an epic storyline, and a combat system combining strategy and action.
- Lost Hellden is scheduled to release in 2025 for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG.com.
On February 7, 2024, Artisan Studios, the creators of Astra Ascending, unveiled a new JRPG project they are working on for home consoles and PC titled Lost Hellden. It is a retro-inspired JRPG with a 3D hand-painted, a real-time combat system, and a dramatic tale of self-discovery and adventure.
In addition, this game will feature music composed by Hitoshi Sakamoto, the composer for Final Fantasy XII, Tactics Ogre, Valkyria Chronicles, and more. Also, Lost Hellden will feature character designs and illustrations by Takeshi Oda, an illustrator who worked on the Gravity Rush and Siren series.
A tale of two brothers bound by Sin
Lost Hellden tells the story of Era, a world where people are bound to one of the Seven Deadly Sins before their first birthday through the 'Nexus Ritual.' The people of Era must live their entire lives fighting off the urges of the Sin they are bound to, and if they fail to do so, they will mutate into mindless, murderous monsters that must be put down.
One day, however, a woman gives birth to twin brothers, which has never happened before on Era. The ruler, Prime Arkhon, performs the Nexus Ritual on the twin boys, but something goes wrong.
Leht gets bound to all seven of the Seven Deadly Sins, while his Cyphel is bound to none. Sensing the hidden potential within these two, Prime Arkhon orders the boys to be sent to the capital city Avilah where they will spend their lives to become Arkhons — warriors who uphold the laws of Era and hunt down those who succumb to their Sins.
Deep 2D Technology and real-time combat
One of the selling points of this upcoming Xbox JRPG is the incorporation of Deep 2D, which will allow 3D character models to interact with beautifully crafted, hand-painted backgrounds visually enhanced with dynamic lighting and weather effects.
As for the gameplay, Lost Hellden appears to be adopting a real-time combat system similar to what you would find in Bandai Namco's Tales Of series. Battles are conducted in an arena where players control one character at a time while party members are driven by AI. During battles, you will need to move around the arena to dodge enemy attacks and use your character's unique abilities and combo attacks to defeat your foes.
Color me intrigued as an Xbox and PC gamer
As someone who grew up playing JRPGs during the PlayStation One and PlayStation 2 era of JRPGs, Lost Hellden looks fascinating to me. The presentation looks amazing, the story sounds riveting, and the combat looks stylish and fun.
This upcoming PC title's Deep 2D Technology is fascinating to me as it looks like a modern take on pre-rendered 2D backgrounds. This is a presentation styling choice from the early days of 3D JRPGs, where 3D character models would interact with intricately detailed, pre-rendered 2D backgrounds, making you feel like you're witnessing artwork come to life. Sadly, this art style choice became a lost art as JRPGs became more advanced and went full 3D, so seeing it make a resurgence in Lost Hellden warms my heart with nostalgia.
Not to mention, Lost Hellden has a hefty pedigree of talented developers working on it. We reviewed Astria Ascending, Artisan Studios' previous JRPG endeavor many years ago, and praised it for its beautifully painted art style and fun gameplay that blended 2D platforming with turn-based combat.
With these odds stacked in Lost Hellden's favor, will this upcoming Xbox title have what it takes to become one of the Xbox's best JRPGs? We will have to wait until next year to find out, as Lost Hellden is set to come out in 2025. The game will launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG.com
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Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!