In this issue, we celebrate the role-playing genre, with a special focus on the games we can't wait to play in the coming months and years. One RPG that has our attention is Tales of Arise, which is just a few months away from its September 10 release. We have 14 pages devoted to the next entry in Bandai Namco’s long-running franchise, which the esteemed developer is calling a “reinvention” of the series. For our cover story, we played the first chapter of the game and chatted with key members of the development team to discover exactly what this reinvention means. Find out everything from how the new progression system works and how it incorporates the series' hallmark "Titles" to why boss battles are so much more intense this time around.
You’ll also learn more about the two fascinating worlds Bandai Namco created, Rena and Dahna, which are rife with conflict and interesting personalities. At the game’s helm are two very different characters from these two very different worlds. One can’t feel pain, the other can only cause it. Our cover story dives into how this interesting dynamic drives the narrative and explores darker topics around loss, elitism, and societal decline. And that’s only scratching the surface of what’s in store for this important entry in the 25-year franchise.
Tales of Arise isn’t the only reason to dive into this issue. We also round up some of the most promising RPGs on the horizon and give you a list of games we can't wait to play. This includes deeper looks at Elden Ring, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Astria Ascending, Rune Factory 5, and Shin Megami Tensei V. If you're looking for an RPG to put on your wishlist, we've got you covered.
Next, we spoke with Red Hook Studios' founders Tyler Sigman and Chris Bourassa about the upcoming Darkest Dungeon II. In this deep-dive exclusive, find out what you can expect as the tantalizing turn-based combat of Darkest Dungeon transforms into a roguelike romp across an apocalyptic wasteland. We've got the details on an all-new character coming to the game, The Runaway, and a grotesque faction centered on horrific hunger, The Plague Eaters. Hop on the caravan and get ready to experience the stylized cosmic horror in an all-new way.
Brian Shea also takes time to reflect on Sonic the Hedgehog's 30th anniversary. Blake Hester profiles video game developer and internet phenom Ikumi Nakamura about her time across the industry working on projects like Ōkami, Bayonetta, and most recently Ghostwire: Tokyo. Matt Miller rounds up a few RPG tabletop games that can help refresh your game night. And, we round out our previews section with heavy hitters like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Halo Infinite, and Metroid Dread. All that and much more in this issue of Game Informer!
Print subscribers can expect their issues to begin arriving in the coming days/weeks. The digital edition of this issue launches this afternoon, July 27, for PC/Mac, iOS, and Google Play. You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on Nook and Kindle. To subscribe to either the digital or print version, click here.