With the Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor releasing on Stadia tomorrow and Final Fantasy XV already on the platform, it feels like we’re really starting to get more of what a lot of people have felt was really missing – Roleplaying games. During the Summer Games Fest, we received a lot of game announcements. Cristales is one of those announcements and it’s slated for release on Stadia!
Peer into the past, act in the present and watch as your choices dynamically change the future – all in one screen as you play! Beautifully hand-drawn 2D animations bring life to a world where your choices will change the present and the future across more than 20 hours of gameplay.
From what we can tell, it looks like this cone shaped mechanic seen in the screenshot above is responsible for showing you the past (left) the present (center) and the future (right) as you play. Looking at the past helps you discover clues in order to make decisions in the present and looking at the future can help you see how your decisions will influence the world around you going forward. I’ve seen several indie games use a mechanic which shows you an alternate reality this year, but none have gone so far as to let you affect three timelines simultaneously.
The official description of the game mentions that there will be a unique combination of branching storylines and classic RPG progression. It’s actually inspired by JRPGs, so it looks like the developers have poured a lot of heart and inspiration into it. As a part of that, there’s this really neat 2D art style going which extends to its animation as well.
Discover a beautiful world – climb aboard an airship or boat and traverse this handcrafted, dark fairytale world. From the shining kingdom of Crystallis to the slums of Saint Clarity, discover each unique location and shape its future.
Its combat menus are very stylistic like those of the Persona series. Though there is turn based combat, you have the ability to parry an enemy’s attack if you press a button at the right moment, shaking up the traditional formula. That’s cool! Actually, you can warp your enemies into the past, present and future too. Although this sounds innovative, I’m concerned that it’s just a way to temporarily remove them from play on what can only be described as Photoshop layers. It would be cool to see if shifting an enemy into the future forces you to face them again another day. The characters talk to each other during combat and add to the story which is also interesting and different. Normally, you’ll fight off the baddies and then see the story in a cutscene. It feels like they have a lot of opportunity to show us something new in the turn based arena, but we’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, too often it’s easier to simply implement turn based combat in a straightforward and stale way, so they still get credit for trying.
What I’m getting at here is that every aspect of this game seems unique and refreshing, so it will be a welcome addition to our Stadia libraries when it launches on November 17, 2020.