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?

Metaphor: ReFantazio is a turn-based JRPG set in a fictional world that mixes high-fantasy concepts and magic with modern-day technology and 1960s fashion aesthetics. The protagonist of this game is a young man on a journey to save a kingdom from a dark calamity while being accompanied by a fairy girl named Gallica. Along the way, they will meet powerful warriors who will join them on their quest and fight against hideous and terrifying monsters that defy human comprehension.

While the exact details of the story’s premise are currently shrouded in mystery. What we do is that according to the game’s director, Katsura Hashino, says that Metaphor: ReFantazio’s story will tackle themes of “facing your fears.” This could mean that the story may include scenes that examine how fear affects the characters and the players as people – whether fear cripples us, causes us to spiral into madness, or inspires us to push forward past our fears and perform heroic deeds.

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

From what we can tell from the debut trailer, 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 and take on quests for people to earn lucrative rewards.

In addition, there will be segments where you will be able to converse with your party members and strengthen your bond with them through various activities to increase their power like in the Persona games.

The turn-based combat from what has been shown so far will look familiar to veterans of Atlus JRPGs. You will be able to attack enemies with weapons, guard against attacks, pass turns to other party members, and summon forth spiritual creatures called “Archetypes” to aid you in battle. Given the design of these Archetypes and Atlus’ previous franchises, I speculate that these creatures will function similarly to Personas — the spiritual manifestation of a person’s personality in Atlus’ Persona games.

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 is scheduled to launch sometime in 2024 and will be released for the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Windows and Steam.

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 in 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!