In the first section of game trailers during Sony's June 11 PlayStation 5 reveal event, the company aired a trailer for a new Square Enix game titled Project Athia, and it looks like someone put a superhero in Dungeons & Dragons. For anyone who wanted Lumen in the Land of Nanite (the gameplay demo that Epic Games used to reveal Unreal Engine 5) to be a real game, Project Athia seems like an even better alternative.
Developed by Square Enix subsidiary Luminous Productions, Project Athia is the first title in what feels like a totally new franchise from the same team that created Final Fantasy XV. The trailer shows a young woman with ominous teases about her rise to power, and we see her demonstrating great powers as she combats all sort of fantastical creatures.
"In a world not her own," the trailer says via subtitles, "where resolve will be tested, truths will be questions, and devotions will be doubted, she will rise." Curiously, her pants and shoes look like something from the real world, so it seems like the protagonist is some kind of normal woman who is transported to a magical reality with glowing demonic jackals and even dragons.
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The trailer then shows her leaping impossibly long distances in rocky terrain, then with a gesture of her hand, she's able to summon vines that come out of the ground to smother some jackals. She also confronts other magical phenomena before making a superhero landing. The final shot shows a massive dragon with its chest ripped open, glowing as it seemingly prepares for some kind of attack.
The trailer also confirms that "Project Athia" is a working title, and that it's designed exclusively for PlayStation 5.
"Project Athia is the culmination of Luminous Productions’ philosophy to create a completely new and fresh gaming experiences that fuses together the latest technologies with art," the game's official description reads. "With the PlayStation 5, their vision truly comes to life, and with Project Athia you can look forward to being transported to a vast and detailed world filled with beauty and dismay."
More broadly, the same description calls Project Athia a "thrilling story-led, action-packed adventure."
Luminous Productions was originally helmed by Hajime Tabata, who helped develop FF15 and Square Enix's Luminous Engine. He left in November 2018 and was replaced by Takeshi Aramaki. Famitsu published (h/t DualShockers) an interview in December 2019 with Luminous Project Manager Saya Nakahara and Lead Concept Artist Yuuki Matsuzawa who teased a “Triple-A title created with a worldwide perspective” that would be a new IP.
“There’s not much we can tell you for now (laughs)," Matsuzawa said. "We decided on certain elements of the game, but others elements are still under consideration. People like me who are at the top of the development process are very busy. It’s a brand new IP, so some things about it are different compared to what we’ve done until now. Meaning it’s a project difficult to work on and takes a lot of time.”
It sure seems in retrospect like Project Athia is this particular AAA title that "takes a lot of time."
Considering that this project is in such early development that it doesn't have an official title just yet, then it probably won't be released until 2021 or later, but it remains to be seen exactly when this game will be released.
Project Athia will be released for the Sony PlayStation 5, but there is no known release date.