Square Enix closed out its E3 2021 presentation with a first look at Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin, an action game in development by Team Ninja. It’s coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in 2022, with a PS5 demo scheduled to drop sometime today.
Stranger of Paradise seems to be set in the world of the original Final Fantasy, first released for the NES in 1990. The talk of defeating a great evil named Chaos and the appearance of armoured baddie Garland are dead giveaways, but we also had some heads-up in the form of a Fanbyte report from last month that provided early details leading up to E3 2021.
Going by that report and the brief trailer above, Stranger of Paradise is apparently an action RPG, possibly in the same vein as From Software’s Dark Souls series. Its gameplay is expected to hew closely to that of Team Ninja’s Nioh but with changes to appeal to a wider audience. Stranger of Paradise also includes a job system, from which players can select two professions to switch between on the fly. Magic points will apparently play a big role as well, as they can be used to temporarily strengthen main character Jack and be replenished by striking monsters with a Soul Burst, the violent move seen in the trailer that turns enemies to bloody crystals.
According to producer and Final Fantasy veteran Testuya Nomura, the initial Stranger of Paradise concept has existed since the release of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy in 2011.
“I was thinking to myself about making my next game into one that featured action elements in which locations are conquered, rather than the kind with battles against characters,” Nomura explained. “Some time passed without anything coming of it, but separately I was also thinking to myself about another plan for a new series of Final Fantasy titles revolving around ‘the story of an angry man.’”
“While it is Final Fantasy, it feels different, but there’s no doubt that the blood of Final Fantasy runs through its veins,” Nomura added. “We’ve undertaken the challenge of finding this difficult middle ground for this mature and stylish title. We need a little time until we’re able to complete it, and while the battle system is a bloody one, it does links to the story, so I hope you’ll use this opportunity to give it a try.”
Stranger of Paradise is being directed by Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII planner Daisuke Inoue with a story from Final Fantasy VII Remake writer Kazushige Nojima. Team Ninja’s Fumihiko Yasuda, who directed and wrote both games in the Nioh series, is also involved.