Gaming

Visions of Mana Announces Release Date With Its Most Exciting Trailer Yet

Visions of Mana looks like it’s worth the wait.

screenshot from Visions of Mana
Square Enix

At the beginning of this year, the 2024 release calendar was looking pretty thin, with almost no release dates announced past this spring. But after Summer Game Fest, the summer and fall slates are starting to fill out a bit more. The latest announcement comes from Square Enix, sharing the word that Visions of Mana will arrive in just a few months’ time.

Square Enix shared its anticipated launch date trailer for Visions of Mana, showcasing nearly four minutes of gameplay and cutscenes along with the reveal of its August 29 release date. To coincide with the announcement, Square Enix also dropped a new blog post going into even more depth than the trailer on Visions of Mana’s story, characters, and combat.

Visions of Mana announced its release date with an exciting new trailer.

That story might sound quite familiar to anyone who’s played Final Fantasy X, as it involves a young girl who’s been chosen as a sacrifice to supposedly ensure the continued safety of her people. In this case, the girl in question is Hinna, a childhood friend of the story’s hero, Val. Their journey to the Mana Tree to fulfill Hinna’s calling forms the backbone of Visions of Mana, but even in this short trailer, she has second thoughts about her sacrifice, which we’ll certainly see more of as the game progresses.

The new trailer also serves as an introduction to Visions of Mana’s five party members. Each has a different elemental affinity and playstyle, from the fiery swordsman Val to Palamena, a mage who attacks at range with potent water-based attacks. Players can choose three characters to form their party at any time and swap control between all of them in battle. Along with playable characters, you’ll be able to recruit NPC support companions — including Hinna — who aid you in battle but can’t be controlled directly.

Based on what’s been shown so far, gameplay in Visions of Mana is taking a lot of cues from 2019’s remake of Trials of Mana, but with faster action and more spectacular magic. Each character also has access to multiple classes through the use of Elemental Vessels. These rare items are each imbued with the power of a different element, granting new abilities to use in combat and while traversing the world. Square Enix highlights a few in its blog post. For example, an Elemental Vessel called the Luna Globe can manipulate time. In combat, it can be used to slow enemies down, and out of combat, it can restore a nearby area to the past to open new paths and hidden secrets. Any character can equip any Elemental Vessel, and doing so will unlock a new class unique to each party member, so the system seems to offer a lot of flexibility in how you build your team.

Combat in Visions of Mana takes cues from previous games of the series but has plenty of new ideas of its own.

Square Enix

While combat seems to be borrowing a lot from the last game in the series, its world looks like a massive expansion. Even in a few short minutes, we get a look at a diverse world, with environments housed in forests, deserts, and even underwater. To navigate this larger world, you’ll have your trusty Pikul — a beautiful dog I’ve already written odes to — along with even more esoteric methods of transit including flying on a rocket and on the back of a frankly pretty silly-looking dragon.

While the Mana series has gotten a few remakes in recent years, Visions of Mana in the first brand-new game in more than a decade. It’s clear that Square Enix is trying to make the next game stand out, bringing back elements of the series that fans liked while still making room for plenty of innovation. As a fan of the Mana series, I was already looking forward to Visions of Mana, but the latest quick look has me even more eager for its release at the end of this summer.

Visions of Mana will be released on PlayStation, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 29.

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