Tales of Arise (PlayStation 5) Preview

By Jenny Geist 03.09.2021

Review for Tales of Arise on PlayStation 5

Cubed3's Jenny Geist has arrived at PAX West 2021, and her coverage is starting with a bang! Jenny is a newcomer to Bandai Namco's critically acclaimed Tales series, but that didn't stop her from checking out the exclusive PlayStation 5 preview for next week's Tales of Arise. Will this arise to the expectations of long-time fans and newbies alike? Cubed3 dives into this exciting new JRPG.

The demo begins in the vibrant grassy plains of Elde Manancia, which of course, looks absolutely beautiful on PlayStation5. The colorful anime-esque art style, mixed with slightly more realistic environments, give the world a distinct look from other similar fantasy JRPGs. Couple this with a smooth-as-butter framerate throughout all of the flashy action, and Bandai Namco has themselves an absolute looker, one that fully utilizes the next-gen hardware that it runs on.

Screenshot for Tales of Arise on PlayStation 5

For those who are new to the Tales series, the gameplay can best be compared to last year's Final Fantasy VII Remake. The core combat combines active, real-time combat and strategic, cooldown-based arts, creating an engaging but thoughtful fight system that is instantly addictive, even for a newcomer. While the demo had several unique playable character options, this preview will focus on the agile marksman, Shionne. Wielding a rifle in battle, her arts vary from ranged, explosive arts, to supportive, healing moves. Compared to one's typical JRPG protagonist, Shionne's playstyle is focused less on rushing offensive attacks against enemies and more about carefully managing the flow of the battle, balancing long-distance attacks and an AOE-based team heal. Especially from the perspective of a new player, it felt quite refreshing.

Screenshot for Tales of Arise on PlayStation 5

The preview was only 20 minutes long, so it was difficult to gauge the quality of the story content in any meaningful way, but brief interludes were available to view at any point in the demo. These seemingly do not have much gameplay utility, but they are fantastic for letting one get to know the characters with cute, informational, fully-voiced bits. A good JRPG lives or dies by the quality of its writing and characters, and while the full plot was not immediately understandable off of this preview, Tales of Arise is off to a good start nonetheless.

Screenshot for Tales of Arise on PlayStation 5

Unfortunately, the music was quite hard to hear in the busy showfloor, but the sound design that could be heard was already beautiful. The demo is peaked off by a boss fight against an imposing dragon-like creature known as a 'Mantis,' and it is only made more exciting by the accompanying orchestral score. The composer, Motoi Sakuraba, is a series regular with an excellent track record, so this is certainly no surprise to long-time fans.

Screenshot for Tales of Arise on PlayStation 5

Final Thoughts

Cubed3's Jenny Geist may not be a fan of the Tales series, but this early preview definitely gave her a reason to check it out. Veterans will be drawn in by the beautiful expansion of their favorite series, and newcomers can be drawn in by the over-the-top action and wonderful fantasy designs. The demo only provided a small chunk of the experience, but it gave just enough to leave an impression. For those who want to check it out, a demo is available on PlayStation 5.

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 09.09.2021   North America release date 09.09.2021   Japan release date 09.09.2021   Australian release date 09.09.2021   

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