When we last covered action RPG, Anima: Gate of Memories, developers Anima Project Studio were running a second Kickstarter campaign on the heels of an already successful first in order to fund a number of improvements to the game.
Between then and now, they’ve achieved their funding (raising more than $150 000 in total) and have won the Unity China Award for Best Indie Game (on the basis of the Alpha of Anima), but have otherwise been quietly working away in their studio in Valencia, Spain, except for releasing the occasional update.
The latest of those updates, featured above, is a video that gives us an idea of what we can expect of the combat. The developers have stated that the combat style is inspired by various action games such as Devil May Cry, Castlevania, and Kingdom Hearts. Players will be able to switch between two characters at will—even during attacks, which will perform a joint combo—and each cater to a particular style of play.
Defeating enemies nets the player those enemies’ souls, which they can sell for special items. Apart from combat, the game will also feature infiltration and puzzles.
This is an RPG, so Anima will have skill trees, allow for character customization, and give players the freedom to choose which areas they visit and what missions they pursue. This variability means, of course, that there will be multiple endings for the game.
Due to budget constraints, cutscenes will apparently be more spartan than one might expect. One of the goals of the second kickstarter, however, was to get full voice acting into the game, so don’t worry about that lack in the videos. It’s on its way.
The world and its story are based on the pen-and-paper RPG, Anima: Beyond Fantasy, which is set in an anachronistic, supernatural alternate universe.
You play as two characters. The first is The Bearer of Calamities, a woman who works for a secret holy society which investigates strange events. Her partner and source of her supernatural powers, Ergo Mundus, is a powerful being called a Messenger, who is sealed inside a book; he is also the second playable character. When we first meet them, The Bearer is on a mission to find an artifact. However, just when she thinks she’s captured it …
They awaken in a strange structure, the tower of Arcane, which begins to be besieged by other Messengers. Even stranger is what the tower does in these creatures’ presence: it changes, taking on their qualities, from ruins to forest to battlegrounds.
The developers have also released environmental footage of the game, featured above. It gives us a glimpse of plains, the tower of Arcane, and snow-strewn mountain trails that players will traverse throughout their stay. It’s worth a watch for the gloomy, momentous music alone.
Anima‘s music will consist primarily of evocative orchestra that is “touched with a mix of melancholy and mystery”, while combat themes introduce something more rock-y, meant to convey the tension of the battles. Below is another sample of the game’s original score for you to enjoy.
The game is certainly rough around the edges, and has obviously been developed on a limited budget. However, maybe these shortfalls will lend it a charm that players will find endearing. It seems to be guided by a singular vision, and that could pull the experience together. Those who backed Anima will find out soon enough, when it enters Beta some months from now.
Anima: Gate of Memories is planned for all of the platforms, eventually—PC, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well as Wii U—but for now the focus is on a PC release. When that will be is still unknown.