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Cris Tales - What We Know So Far

Described as "an indie love letter to classic JRPGs," turn-based RPG "Cris Tales" promises a unique take on a beloved genre. As detailed on the official website, "Cris Tales" transports players to a vivid, hand-drawn 2D environment. In the role of Crisbell, a young orphan who manifests time-based powers, you'll encounter a diverse cast of characters on your quest to unravel a scheme to destroy the world.

Indie developer Dreams Uncorporated and publisher Modus Games have not been shy about the games that influenced "Cris Tales," a list that includes titles like "Chrono Trigger," "Bravely Default," and "Persona 5." These roots are evident in "Cris Tales" core gameplay loop, which involves exploring a variety of locations, facing off against different enemies, and recruiting powerful allies, each with their own skillset. Though this formula will sound familiar to JRPG fans, the art style and time-warping mechanics set "Cris Tales" apart.

Like many projects in development during COVID-19, "Cris Tales" has faced its share of setbacks; however, it seems the teams behind it were up to the challenge. Here's what to expect from "Cris Tales" when it launches later this year.

What is the release date for Cris Tales?

"Cris Tales" has endured a long and rocky journey. In 2019, Modus Games revealed "Cris Tales" at the PC Gaming Show with a targeted 2020 release. Just over a year later, "Cris Tales" received a November 17, 2020 launch date alongside a cinematic teaser. In October, Dreams Uncorporated CEO Carlos Rocha Silva shared the decision to delay the "Cris Tales" launch to early 2021 so the team could deliver on its vision and incorporate the feedback received from demo players. The title suffered a second delay in April, with Modus confirming a summer launch.

Barring further setbacks, "Cris Tales" will come to PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Stadia on July 20. If you can't wait to get your hands on the RPG, you can check out the "Cris Tales" demo on your platform of choice. It offers a taste of the story and gameplay, along with an optional Coliseum mode designed to help players get a feel for the combat system.

Is there a trailer for Cris Tales?

Dreams Uncorporated and Modus Games have shown off what "Cris Tales" has to offer in a variety of trailers that focus on everything from gameplay to characters.  The most recent trailer debuted on April 14 as part of the announcement for the new release date. At just under a minute in length, the clip blends cinematics and gameplay to shine a light on the title's key features and in-game personalities.

The time warp system, vast cast of characters, and hand-drawn graphics take center stage in the Cris Tales – Release Date Announcement Trailer. You see various, highly-detailed locations filtered through the lens of past, present, and future, accompanied by quick shots of Crisbell and company combatting different enemies. While an effective highlight reel, the latest trailer provides less information than previous drops, such as the February 1 Overview Trailer, which includes a more comprehensive look at the story, world, and mechanics.

What's the gameplay like in Cris Tales?

"Cris Tales" combines classic RPG elements with turn-based combat. You'll traverse beautiful, 2D environments, interact with a large cast of NPCs, and recruit allies with their own skills and equipment along the way. According to the official description, it will take more than 20 hours to unravel the plans of the enigmatic "Empress" and save the world through the power of teamwork and Crisbell's time manipulation abilities.

The teams at Modus Games and Dreams Uncorporated have repeatedly billed the time warp mechanics as the game's breakout feature. "There are several ways we want to innovate the classic formula, for starters, you are able to see past, present and future at the same time, so if you see someone in the present, you can also see how that person looked like in the past (if said person was born at all), and how they will look in the future (or if they died)," Silva explained during a Reddit AMA. The way you use Crisbell's abilities will affect just about everything, altering the flow of combat or even the fates of characters or locations.

It seems your choices will play an important role in "Cris Tales," including whether you get to see its "True Ending."