Tower of Fantasy hands-off preview: promising anime-themed MMORPG

Taking a look at a game like Tower of Fantasy, it was obvious that there would be unavoidable comparisons to HoYoverse’s Genshin Impact. However, I think there is enough here to differentiate the two games as their own games without comparisons needed.

Perhaps the similarities for the games are only skin deep and each game will have something unique to offer its player base. Obviously, both games have the anime art style, with a semi-open world that you can explore. But Tower of Fantasy has opted to go for more of an action-style combat system built around character customization compared to Genshin Impact’s more relaxed gameplay.

Tower of Fantasy
Developer: Hotta Studio
Publisher: Level Infinite

Platform: Windows PC (Previewed), iOS, Android
Release Date: August 10th, 2022
Players: 1

Price: Free to play w/ Microtransactions

That all being said, Niche Gamer was invited to participate in a one-hour presentation with the developers. After this Tower of Fantasy preview event, I was pleasantly surprised with all the content they were willing to show off to us. Here’s a rundown of all the information we’ve gotten so far:

Tower of Fantasy will be launching with ten different characters at launch with more characters to come as the story progresses. Your player avatar will be fully customizable, from the face, hair, and body type.

Along with character customization, the game will also ship with 19 different weapons to collect including bows, guns, swords, sickles, and others. Each character has the ability to use certain movement abilities like double jumps or a dodge as well. 

Another feature that stood out to me was the introduction of relics – these are machines that allow for easier movement around the world; things like jetpacks and motorcycles, to robotic horses or gigantic robots that you can ride in. As a big fan of mecha anime, this was right up my alley.

You can equip three different weapons at once and swap between them on the fly. Using your three weapons and your different movement abilities can allow for some pretty awesome combo potential.

If you are skilled enough, you’ll be able to pull off some perfect dodges, which will freeze time and allow you to build up your “discharge gauge”. You can then use that discharge gauge with other weapons to use “discharge skills” that are like ultimate weapon attacks that do massive damage.

You’re going to be able to combine different weapons, skills, combos, and special abilities to craft your own playstyle. You can also use different weapon residence effects onto different weapons, allowing you to build around a system with MMO style classes.

As far as crafting is concerned, the only crafting in the game at the moment will be cooking, but the developers did say that other forms of crafting may be coming down the line.

During our Tower of Fantasy preview session, we asked about how “open-world” this open-world RPG was going to be. We were told that the game will be a fully open world experience. Players will be able to fully explore five to six different regions with different types of terrain.

With the use of Relics, you will be allowed freedom of exploration. The developers were really stressing player freedom. Tower of Fantasy will have a time passage system as well, where every 40 minutes will roughly translate to one day in game.

Alongside with your avatar, you can also collect “Simulacrum”, which are other characters you can also play, who use different weapons and have different abilities. These are pre-created characters who can’t be fully customized like the avatar can. 

Back on the character creation, the developer has said that player avatars will indeed be fully customizable. Even though the build that we were shown had limited body customization, they did tell us that individual body parts will be customizable.

They have been highly encouraging people to fully customize their characters and to show them off with the export and import options. The developers told us that one of the popular things players have done is try to recreate their favorite anime characters in game, which is exactly what I plan to do.

Although the game is multiplayer focused, solo play is still very much a viable option, which is great news if you prefer single-play like I do. During the Tower of Fantasy preview event, we found out that you can play the entire game solo without a party.

If you want to join up with other players, you can join guilds, which are called “crews” that can have up to 180 players. The game will also have group finder features to help solo players join up with others to take down challenging bosses when they appear. 

From what we were told, players can join up in parties of four to take on content, but it can go up to 20 or 30 players to take down powerful world bosses.

Since Tower of Fantasy went into open registration on the 27th of June, over 2.5 million people have already pre-registered to play the game – and since Tower of Fantasy showed up on Steam, it has been added to over 200,000 wishlists. 

Tower of Fantasy will be launching on iOS, Android and PC devices with full cross-play integration on August 10, 2023 at 5pm PDT/8PM EST.

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Tyler was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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