Three Things That Makes Tales Of Berseria Feel New And Exciting

Tales of Berseria marks a lot of firsts for the series. It
stars the franchise’s first solo female protagonist, and is the first entry
built with the PS4 in mind. I recently went hands-on with the game at a Bandai
Namco Event and spoke to its producer, Yasuhiro Fukaya, to get more insight into
what this entry offers. Here are my biggest takeaways.

The Revamped Combat Introduces More Options

Gone are the days of regular attacks and artes being
separate in this action/RPG. Now you can assign artes to each face button and depending on where
you are in your combo each will do a different move. In my hands-on time, the combat felt smooth
and responsive, but it’s not as button-mashy as the other recent entries, like
the Xillia games. Now you only have a certain amount of moves you can do before
you need to pull back and recover stamina. You can still attack if you’re low
on stamina, but these hits will not be as powerful, as you need to take a few moments
to catch your breath. Stamina increases by not attacking, so you can still
dodge the enemy onslaught while recovering, as you can freely move on the
battlefield.

This is the first entry to have 60 FPS in the battle system,
and it shows in the smoother combos. You fill a “Soul gauge,” by stealing enemy
souls on the battlefield, but enemies can also steal yours. Once you fill it
completely, you can trigger a special, powerful attack; each character has a
different ability and attack to execute and these form some of the biggest
combos in the game. For instance, Velvet’s allows her arm to possess different
elemental attacks to weaken the enemy.

Velvet’s Journey Is Much More Personal

Most protagonists are good-doers by nature; Velvet is by no
means evil, but she’s out for revenge. After a tragic accident happens that
affects her family, she discovers powerful emotions that can’t stay hidden. Most
Tales games start off lighthearted, but Fukaya says, “The story is rather dark,”
and gets there quickly. The game delves into the emotions quite a bit, as the
antagonist, Abbey, wants to remove all emotional things. With Velvet teeming
with strong feelings due to her past, we can only guess that this isn’t going
to go over well.

The Reworked Visuals And Scope Shows

When I spoke to Fukaya, he said he wanted Berseria to ring
in a new era for the Tales series. “We put everything we had not done yet in
previous titles into the Berseria,” he says. This included Velvet as the first
female character to lead a game, innovating the battle system, and having a
darker story than previous titles. Skits have been revamped, with better animations
to show more facial expressions and allow characters to have a variety of
actions to some of your choices during them.

Exploring the beach area my hands-on time, the landscapes
already seemed much larger and looked better than they have in previous entries
with more detail and depth. They’re still littered with plenty of treasure and
enemies to fight, but I also just enjoy how vibrant and fun they are to
explore. Fukaya emphasized that developing with the PS4 in mind allowed them to
create a much bigger world, and you will visit multiple territories throughout
your trek, whereas Zestiria focused on one. The world is so vast that you even
get access to a pirate ship, but don’t expect to control it. It’s mainly for
you to select different ports to send it to as a way to get around easier.  In addition, plenty of side content is available throughout. “There are so many side quests that show different sides
to the characters,” Fukaya says. “Actually, in Japan, those who have played the
game really love [the side content].”

Tales of Berseria comes out early next year on PlayStation 4
and PC. 

Beta Test Three Things That Makes Tales Of Berseria Feel New And Exciting

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