PlatinumGames’ Astral Chain is looking like an excellent prospect. Right now, it looks like it’s got a lot going for it, but chief among those things has to be its distinct cyberpunk setting and aesthetic. It’s giving the game a very unique look and flavour, and is undoubtedly going to be one of its biggest strengths at launch.
But as it turns out, if things had happened a bit differently, Astral Chain may not even have had a cyberpunk setting. Speaking in an interview with Polygon, the game’s lead designer Takahisa Taura said that originally Astral Chain had been envisioned as a game with a fantasy setting, in which players would be using magic. However, Nintendo and PlatinumGames ultimately decided on a cyberpunk setting to help the game carve out a unique identity for itself.
“First off, I should start by saying that we didn’t start working on Astral Chain thinking we’d make a cyberpunk game,” said Taura. “We were actually trying to make a fantasy game where you would use magic.
“What you see now is the result of talking a lot with Nintendo along through the development process, because we realized that there were lots of other games set in a fantasy setting. We wanted to make Astral Chain stand out among other games. And that’s what you see now.”
I, for one, am glad the change was made. Fantasy settings are excellent, but it’s an overcrowded place, while cyberpunk has been criminally underused for many a year- and it definitely seems like Astral Chain is doing it justice.
The game’s out on August 30 for the Nintendo Switch. Take a look at an extended gameplay demo for it through here.