Exclusive Cris Tales Gameplay Shows How Time Travel Alters Combat And Story
In this GameSpot exclusive, the developers of Cris Tales explain how this tribute to JRPG classics brings a new twist to time travel in games.
Coming from co-developers Dreams Uncorporated and SYCK, Cris Tales presents a whimsical story and weaves in an unconventional approach to a high-fantasy adventure by giving players the ability to alter time at will. Earlier this year, we got a chance to check out an extensive look at the game. It wears its respect for the classics on its sleeve, yet it still presents several cool ideas of its own.
In this GameSpot exclusive, the developers of Cris Tales have shared an in-depth look at how Cris Tales' approach to time travel adds a new dimension to exploration, storytelling, and the game's turn-based combat. The story of Cris Tales focuses on the journey of Crisbell, a young adventurer who can alter the flow of time, allowing her to travel between three different time periods at will. In addition to exploring towns and interacting with characters across time, she can also use these abilities during battles to amplify her and her allies' attacks and even weaken monsters by shifting the flow of time.
"We call [Cris Tales] our love letter to the classic JRPGs of the past," said game producer Derek Neal in the walkthrough video. "And by that, we mean that this game takes a lot of inspiration from classics like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy IV and VI, Super Mario RPG, and more. But it also has a lot of its own style, personality and charm. Rather than just copying those games, we've done our best to build upon those elements that make them great."
While most other games use time travel as a story mechanic, Cris Tales presents a more hands-on approach. When playing as Crisbell, you can view three different timelines at once--the past, present, and future. As you would expect in every time-travel story, choices made in the past will impact future events. With a constant view of the past and the future, you can see opportunities around your environment, resulting in new events playing out in the proceeding periods. In addition to following the throughline of the main plot, you can also find other side encounters with citizens in town. As you look into the future, you may find a character down on their luck. When you view that same character in the past, it's possible to change their fate for the better by offering them help when they need it. Doing so will change not only their circumstances in the future, but can also open up opportunities in the present and future.
The mechanics of time travel are also at work in combat. Taking cues from turn-based JRPGs like Chrono Trigger, battles will have you prime up your attack and ready it for use against your foes. Along with Crisbell are other party members who have their own unique skills to complement the protagonist's abilities. This element comes into play by shifting periods during battle. During a boss fight shown in the video, you can use your time powers to age up enemies to make them slower and weaker and even accelerate the effectiveness of status effects, such as fire damage. With Crisbell setting up the enemies, her allies can swoop in to deal more significant damage. This added layer of altering time adds an even greater level of strategy, which can make for some engaging battles with your allies.
Originally, Cris Tales was set for release this year, but has since been pushed back to 2021. We've had some time with Cris Tales before, and we were impressed with how well the time-travel mechanics were woven into this RPG. Along with that, the game's visuals do a lot to convey whimsical adventure that shows great optimism but can also show some surprising emotion from its core cast of characters. Cris Tales currently doesn't have a release date, but it is set to release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Stadia sometime in 2021.
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