After One Piece Odyssey’s announcement in March, producer Katsuaki Tsuzuki teased fans with the promise of a “full-blown” roleplaying game with an authentic One Piece feel. Thanks to an update on the game’s website, we know that Tsuzuki’s wasn’t capping. One Piece Odyssey will feature a sandbox exploration component as well as a classic turn-based battle command system.
Adventure in One Piece Odyssey involves exploring the mysterious Waffle Island the protagonists known as the Straw Hats find themselves jettisoned on. You can traverse areas on the island using the crew’s unique powers like Luffy’s stretchy arms and Franky’s craftsmanship. Here’s hoping the game goes the extra mile by integrating Zoro’s sense of direction (or lack thereof) as an ability like in One Piece: World Seeker.
Unlike the musou crowd control battle system in other One Piece games, One Piece Odyssey features a command-battle system, a staple in JRPGs, emphasising the positioning of party members. While musou battles in previous games accurately emulated the frenetic scope and scale of One Piece battles, mindlessly mowing through waves of enemies didn’t allow for fulfilling strategization of the Straw Hats like a command system could. By picking the attack range of the Straw Hats in a battle area, like having Sanji take point while Usopp does his marksman thing at a distance and Chopper doctors from the rear, you maximise the effectiveness of their attacks.
Battles also feature random events called Dramatic Scenes, vaguely described as “troubles unique to One Piece.” Honestly, this could mean anything from Smoker and the marines popping up to spoiling the fun or an impromptu pirate olympic games for crew members. I doubt Bandai Namco and ILCA, Inc. plan on making Dramatic Scenes that random, but successfully making it out of one leads to big bonuses for the crew. Likewise, meeting conditions during battle encounters results in party members unleashing a powerful combo attack called Kizuna Arts.
It wouldn’t be One Piece without mingling with the locals. Alongside gameplay info, the One Piece Odyssey website gave us a nugget of information on two characters who’ll be accompanying you on your island romp. First up is Adio, a Skypiea island-looking drifter who serves as the Straw Hat’s guide on Waffle Island. The second local is a mysterious child named Lim who discovers the Straw Hats after they wash up on Waffled Island’s shores. Unlike Adio, Lim hates pirates for “reasons.” Veteran One Piece fans won’t be surprised by Luffy’s inevitable attitude adjustment on Lim’s worldview on the swashbuckling life of pirates.
One Piece Odyssey is slated to release later this year on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X.