Within any gaming circle, we’ve all heard of games such as Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Lunar as some of the greatest RPG adventures of our time. It’s not that these titles are graphically extensive, but their advancements in the systems and presentation of the RPG genre were just as memorable as the characters. The staying power these games have is seen in many titles that aim to recreate those same experiences for modern players.
After seeing an early previous of the Sabotage-developed RPG Sea of Stars, I was left in awe after seeing what this team is creating. It’s a game that enhances the imagination of the player while offering turn-based combat and light puzzle exploration. It’s this experience that held my attention throughout the presentation.
Sea of Stars is an adventure that closely mirrors retro JRPGs. It’s easy to see this game’s influences, but it isn’t until you see it in action that things start to change. The lighting will likely first catch your eye as the sun moves across the sky and you notice the shift in the shadows of the world.
As night comes around, the streetlamps and lights of the houses flicker on, causing the entire world to feel alive. This lighting is also seen in the camps and cave dungeons that show an attention to detail from the developers as you explore these damp and gloomy areas.
This was about when my mind was blown. The party began to climb up cliffs and hop down them with ease. There’s a sense of verticality in these dungeons that I never thought I needed in a retro RPG. The team has created a playground for players to push what they think they know about this genre and introduce new ways to enjoy it.
This ended up being so much more than the indie RPG efforts I’ve seen in the past. While I believe there is still room for those types of adventures, I was glad to see this team put in the effort and development time to create these features. It’s almost as if the game is teasing you to try new things, and then when it works, your mind is blown. We were told that it’s for these reasons the game has been in development for so long now. The team is constantly thinking of new ways to interact with the world.
Thierry Boulanger president and creative director at Sabotage Studio shared their team aims to “break the limitations of the genre,” and from what we saw, it’s doing precisely that. This world begs to be explored, and we are entirely on board to jump into this adventure later this year.
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