Metaphor: ReFantazio for Xbox and PC — Story, gameplay trailers, launch date, and more

Promotional screenshot of Metaphor: ReFantazio
(Image credit: Atlus)

During the 2023 Xbox Games Showcase, unveiled a wave of huge JRPG announcements for the Xbox Series X|S. First was Persona 3: Reload, a remake of the 3rd entry of the popular Persona series. Persona 5 Tactica, a strategy-RPG spin-off of Persona 5. And finally, a brand new, original IP called Metaphor: ReFantazio.

Originally teased back in 2016 as Project ReFantasy, Metaphor: ReFantazio will be the first JRPG Atlus has ever created that will take place in a pure fantasy setting in contrast to Shin Megami Tensei and Persona which primarily take place in fictionalized versions of our worlds. This game will have the player exploring a stylized, dark fantasy world riddled with secrets, engaging in a story about overcoming your fears, and fighting disgusting, nightmarish monsters in intense turn-based battles.

Here is everything you need to know about Metaphor: ReFantazio.

Metaphor: ReFantazio: What is it about?

Metaphor: ReFantazio is set in the United Kingdom of Euchronia, a fictional kingdom that mixes high-fantasy concepts and magic with modern-day technology and 1960s fashion aesthetics. This kingdom enjoyed for many generations until one tragic day when the king was assassinated, plunging it into chaos.

Amid this strife, a magical spell known only to the king called Royal Magic has been conjured. This causes various factions across the world to participate in a grand tournament to claim Euchronia's throne and our main protagonist (who can be named by the player) is one of the contestants. 

The protagonist is a young boy hailing from the Elda tribe, a group of people branded as heretics by Euchronia's state religion because they believe the Elda tribe practices dark magic. Our hero is participating in the tournament because he is on a quest to lift the curse of Euchronia's prince whom everyone believes to be dead.

To save the prince and bring peace to Euchronia, our protagonist must journey across the land and recruit allies from other tribes so he can have a better chance of winning the tournament.

Metaphor: ReFantazio: What will the gameplay of be like?

Metaphor: ReFantazio’s gameplay will be divided between exploration and turn-based combat. The exploration portions of the game will have you visiting grand cities and vast countryside vistas to learn more about the world, gaining the support of NPCs through the Follower system to unlock special perks for your characters, and taking on side quests to earn lucrative rewards.

However, much like the Persona games, there are time limits and deadlines for everything you do in this game from main quests to side quests. To make matters more complicated, traveling between locales in your mobile base (a.k.a. the Gauntlet Runner) causes days to pass, eating up precious time on your calendar. 

You will need to plan your schedule carefully to make sure you meet the deadline for the main story quests while leaving time for sidequests along the way. If you can't, you will make future battles more difficult or worse, cause a game over if you don't complete a main story quest in time.

While traveling, you can walk around in your mobile base to converse with your party members and strengthen your bonds with them through various activities to increase their power. In addition, you will also be able to do cooking, camping, sleeping to skip trips, or prepping your gear before exploring a dungeon.

The combat system is a refinement of battle systems seen in other Atlus RPGs like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series. While exploring, you can hack and slash weaker enemies on the field to kill them instantly to avoid combat. However, if you encounter stronger enemies, you can still swipe at them to stun them for a turn to gain an early advantage before turn-based combat begins in earnest.

Turn-based battles are conducted with a squad of four party members and switch out active party members with reserve members during combat. During turn-based combat, players can attack enemies with weapons, guard against attacks, pass turns to other party members, and summon spiritual creatures called “Archetypes” to aid them in battle. Characters can also hand over their turn to another party member if a player wishes to take advantage of their abilities to strike an opponent (carrying over Persona 5's Baton Pass mechanic).

Archetypes function similarly to Personas — the spiritual manifestation of a person’s personality in Atlus’ Persona games. They govern a character's stats and allow them to perform powerful attacks and magic by transforming into their equipped Archetypes. In addition, every Archetype has unique properties such as the Mage Archetype which grants characters magic spells, or the Thief Archetype which lets a character steal items from an enemy.

However, every character in Metaphor can access multiple Archetypes to equip, unlike Persona games where only the main characters get access to numerous Personas. 

There is also an action command called "Synthesis" which lets you team up with someone to perform an attack mid-battle. I speculate that this is a carry-over of Persona 5 Royal's "Showtime" mechanic, where two party members team up to unleash a flashy, tag-team, super move on your enemies.

Metaphor: ReFantazio: When is the release date?

(Image credit: Atlus)

Metaphor: ReFantazio will launch on October 11, 2024, for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Windows and Steam.

Metaphor: ReFantazio: Will there be Special Editions and pre-order bonuses?

(Image credit: Atlus)

Yes, there will be a special Collector's Edition of Metaphor: ReFantazio to buy, along with several pre-order bonus DLC.

Pre-ordering either the Standard or Collector's Edition will net players the following DLC:

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Archetype EXP Chest Set
10x Hero's Incenses (Increases Archetype Experiences by 100)
5x Hero's Fruits (Increases Archetype Experiences by 500)
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Adventurer’s Journey Pack
30,000 Reeve (In-game currency)
5x Expensive Medicines (Restores 200 HP to one ally)
5x Revival Medicines (Revives an ally)
3x Magical Breads (Gradually recover MP while in dungeon)
2x Stale Blackbreads (Deals 300 Almighty damage to one enemy)

The Standard Edition merely contains the base game while the Collector's Edition contains the following content:

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Metaphor Re:Fantazio Collector's Edition
Base Game
Homo Tenta Metallic pins
Sticker Sheet
Kingdom of Euchronia Cloth Map
ATLUS 35th Digital History Book
ATLUS 35th Digital All-Time Best Soundtrack
Costume & Battle BGM

Are you ready to experience Atlus' first fantasy story?

(Image credit: Atlus)

From a visual perspective, Metaphor: ReFantazio is looking to be one of the craziest games Atlus has put out in recent memory. The art style is so over-the-top and richly detailed that it makes Persona 5 look subtle by comparison, it has the highest production values of any Atlus game, and the gameplay seems to be taking the best elements of Shin Megami Tensei and Persona.

Will this upcoming Xbox title be able to rise above its predecessors, Persona and Shin Megami Tensei to become a respectable franchise in its own right and be hailed as one of the best JRPGs on Xbox? Or even become one of the best games on Xbox in general? Stay tuned to find out as the mysterious and dangerous world of Metaphor: ReFantazio will soon be open for players to wander and explore on October 11, 2024.

Alexander Cope

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!