What was the best Metroidvania of 2021? I’m talking about Ender Lilies, naturally. From newcomer studio (comprising veteran individuals) Binary Haze Interactive, Ender Lilies took a familiar dark, grim anime style and told a much more interesting story with it. Alongside some neat gameplay gimmicks, it was a standout among its peers. Binary Haze has revealed its second game, this time hopping over to a very different genre: tactics. Redemption Reapers is a dark fantasy strategy RPG about a warband known for its wanton violence finding themselves the final line of defense against a world-altering threat.
In the trailer, which I’ve embedded below (although, due to its darker content, you may have to go to YouTube anyway), we get a real keen sense for what Redemption Reapers is. While Ender Lilies was a more stylized affair using anime-like aesthetics, Redemption Reapers has more of a pseudo-realistic Final Fantasy-ish vibe. This is a heavily scripted game with full voice acting from well-known actors on both the English and Japanese sides.
If you look at this footage and think to yourself, “looks like grimdark Fire Emblem,” you aren’t totally off-track. The director of this project is Masayuki Horikawa, who has a long history at Intelligent Systems. He’s been a scenario writer there since 1999, and even director on a few Fire Emblem titles including fan-favorite (and very expensive) Path of Radiance. Granted he also directed Shadow Dragon which everyone hated, but you can’t hit home runs every time.
For the most part, the features alluded to in press materials are what you’d expect for a tactical strategy RPG of this style. What stands out as more distinct are sneak attacks and combo attacks seemingly being a big part of the formula. We’ll learn more about this stuff later, of course.
Redemption Reapers is, for now, eyeing a February 2023 launch for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.