Platinum Games debuted a new game during today’s Nintendo Direct, complete with a flashy trailer. Developed exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, Astral Chain is scheduled for release August 30 and will feature a pair of twin space cops fighting interdimensional aliens with the help of robotic companions called Legions.
The trailer is absolutely packed with details that raise about as many questions as they answer. We get glimpses of characters walking a vast, Blade Runner-inspired city, though it’s not clear how much we’ll be able to explore in the full game. The game’s eShop page says that the city is “the Ark, a multi-cultural city in the near future,” though given the level of technology on display, that seems to strain the meaning of the word “near.” One character is also shown riding a motorcycle, but whether that will factor into actual gameplay is still up in the air. The trailer does seem to imply that you’ll spend some time in the city picking up garbage while wearing a dog costume. Seriously, just watch the trailer.
When it comes to combat, Astral Chain shows its Platinum pedigree. Players will combine fast sword slashes, nimble evasive moves, and futuristic firearms with coordinated attacks using their Legion partner. More than just a cool anime-ish title, the Astral Chain looks like it will factor heavily into gameplay, as some shots in the trailer show the player character tethered to their Legion. There at least appear to be the option to wrap some enemies up in chains rather than outright killing them, lending the whole thing a kind of cyberpunk Ghostbusters vibe.
There’s so much going on the trailer — from hints at a conspiracy plot to a boss that would fit in among Neon Genesis Evangelion’s angels — that I got this far without even mentioning the rideable robotic dogs.
If that’s still not enough, the development team is a stacked deck of Platinum talent, with NieR: Automata designer Takahisa Taura directing, and Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya supervising.