Famitsu published a long interview with Tales of Arise producer Yusuke Tomizawa. Our comrades at Game’s Talk published a summary of the interview, making my task much faster. Here are the main tidbits and new information we learned.
Tales of Arise‘s development began long before the Tales of Vesperia Remaster was announced in June 2018.
As already mentioned, Tales of Arise is a challenge for the development team, with a huge boost in graphics, and new evolutions while keeping the series’ traditions and touch. This is to keep Tales of Series going forward and bringing in new fans to the franchise. With that said, older fans shouldn’t worry, as while the first trailer looks quite different from the rest of the series, Tales of Arise is definitely a Tales of Series game through and through.
Tales of Arise uses a new engine based on Unreal Engine 4 that allows far more beautiful graphics, such as better light effect, or better shaders for the character models. Tales of Arise aims to be as immersive as possible and aims to make the player feel as if the characters are truly alive. This will be expressed through many details, such as how the characters move. For example, if you run and make a sharp turn, they turn around realistically, not instantly like in most video games.
Tales of Arise‘s main character designer and art director is Minoru Iwamoto. It’s the first time for a main Tales of Series game that both of these positions are held by the same person. This allows reflecting the cultures of Tales of Arise‘s planets Dahna and Rena through the characters’ designs and clothing, making the game even more immersive. MInoru Iwamoto previously worked on the character designs of Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Zestiria and Tales of Berseria.
The graphics for the characters’ facial animations and the various camera work aims to look as good as recent 3DCG anime. However, Tales of Arise will also feature 2D animated sequences like in other Tales of Series games.
Tales of Arise is developed internally at Bandai Namco. Part of the staff on it previously worked on the very first game in the series, Tales of Phantasia, and some others were on the latest game, Tales of Berseria. This mix of old and new staff will allow Tales of Arise to bring forth new evolution to the series while keeping its traditions.
Who is handling Tales of Arise‘s OST will be revealed at a later date. The game will also have an opening theme song. Producer Yusuke Tomizawa keeps mentioning “tradition”, so it’s just my personal guess but it’ll probably be Motoi Sakuraba doing the OST, coupled with Go Shiina, because of Producer Tomizawa also being God Eater and Code Vein‘s producer.
One of the stories’ themes will be standing up for change, as the main character is from Dahna, and Dahna’s people are being enslaved by those of planet Rena. The main character wears a mask and armor because of a certain reason related to his body. And he will change armors and clothes depending on certain situations, which will be reflected visually as well.
The female main character shown in the trailer is a cool, strong-willed woman from planet Rena. Both characters don’t get along when they first meet, seeing the relationship between their planets, but they will slowly learn to know each other beyond their prejudiced beliefs.
Tales of Arise‘s battle system, which will be detailed at a later date, is designed to be exhilarating even for those who never played the series. It’s speedy and intuitive. A lot of monsters were designed to be scary and menacing. Some developers might think that making the monsters scary in a series with a massive female player fanbase such as Tales of might be a bad move, thinking that women would feel intimidated. Tales of Arise‘s development team thankfully didn’t think that way and made the enemies super scary to give players a sense of accomplishment when defeating them. It’s not like the game has no cute monsters though.
The development team is currently going through all the staples of the Tales of Series like the action battles and the skits, thinking “why is it popular?” and “how can it be improved and evolved?”, to include them in Tales of Arise. So Tales of Arise should have Skits but they’ll probably look different.
Seeing it has been a few years since the last Tales of game, (many were skeptical whether a new game was actually in development or not), Producer Tomoziwa mentioned they’ll give regular updates on social media to show how Tales of Arise’s development is progressing. There’s also a new category for Tales of Arise development updates on the Tales Channel official blog. He can’t guarantee it, but he’d also like us to be able to try out Tales of Arise before launch too, hinting at a demo.
“Arise” was the game’s early code name, and it indicates how they’re trying to elevate the series to new heights, that’s why they kept that name even if there’s already a TOA, Tales of the Abyss. As such, to avoid overlapping with Tales of the Abyss, Tales of Arise is shortened to TOARISE or アライズ instead of TOA.
Lastly, when asked about around when Tales of Arise might release, Producer Tomizawa mentioned that the game’s development is well advanced, but they still wish to brush it up. There are also multiple elements still under development, like the battle system and story parts.
Tales of Arise will launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC via Steam in 2020. Bandai Namco revealed Tales of Arise at E3 2019. You can read about the story, check out the first trailer, screenshots and more comments from Tomizawa in our previous article.
More info on Tales of Arise will be coming at Tales of Festival 2019 on June 15.
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