It may be set in a cyberpunk world where an interdimensional invasion looks set to destroy humanity, but the early concept for Astral Chain was quite the opposite.
Instead, PlatinumGames had wanted to create a fantasy game in which the player would wield magic. However, when Nintendo raised a concern about how many fantasy-based games were coming out, their plans changed.
“First off, I should start by saying that we didn’t start working on Astral Chain thinking we’d make a cyberpunk game. We were actually trying to make a fantasy game where you would use magic,” game director Takahisa Taura explained to Polygon.
“What you see now is the result of talking a lot with Nintendo along through the development process, because we realized that there were lots of other games set in a fantasy setting. We wanted to make Astral Chain stand out among other games. And that’s what you see now.”
He added: “While we were making it, actually, I was influenced by a lot of different anime that I liked. For example, Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed. And we used designs like that as a motif to build the setting that you see before you now.”
In Astral Chain, when gates to another dimension suddenly appear in the Ark, a multi-cultural city in the near future, dangerous creatures start to emerge that attack the people and pollute the land.
With normal police forces unable to compete with them, a brand new, special police task force known as Neuron is formed.
You can choose between two playable characters – one male, one female – on your adventure, with whichever character you don’t choose appearing as your younger twin and fellow Neuron member.
In order to fight back against these creatures, humanity developed a special weapon called the Legion. It acts as your partner and helps with your investigations, however, in battle, it shows its real ability.
Working together with Legion you can use different combat styles to fight your enemies. That could see you both attack the same enemy simultaneously, target different opponents, or send Legion on the offensive while you support it with items.
Astral Chain will release exclusively for Nintendo Switch worldwide on August 30th.