Astral Chain, Platinum's Upcoming Cyberpunk Switch Exclusive, Began as a Fantasy Game

Astral Chain, Platinum's Upcoming Cyberpunk Switch Exclusive, Began as a Fantasy Game

Astral Chain wasn't always set in a cyberpunk future.

Astral Chain is an upcoming action game from the developers at PlatinumGames. Set in a futuristic city, players serve as future cops and fight robots and demons. You know, normal police stuff. But those elements sound way less strange when it was revealed that Astral Chain began life as a fantasy game.

Astral Chain director Takahisa Taura recently sat down with Polygon to talk about Astral Chain ahead of its August release. According to Taura, Astral Chain's cyberpunk setting and the genre's current moment in the video game spotlight thanks to games like CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 are entirely coincidental.

"I should start by saying that we didn't start working on Astral Chain thinking we'd make a cyberpunk game," Taura says. "We were actually trying to make a fantasy game where you would use magic."

"What you see now is a result of talking a lot with Nintendo along through the development process, because we realized that there were lots of other games set in a fantasy setting. We wanted to make Astral Chain stand out among other games."

As the genre for Astral Chain morphed from fantasy to cyberpunk, Taura used important anime films as influences. Taura cites works like Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed as references for Astral Chain. Furthermore, its character designer Masakazu Katsura is the author of a science fiction manga called Zetman.

Taura previously served as the lead game designer on Nier: Automata, and says that Astral Chain's progression is somewhere between Bayonetta's linear structure, and Nier: Automata's open-world areas. Players can choose to follow the story, but also return to previously completed levels as well.

Astral Chain is out exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on August 30. Check out our Nintendo E3 recap for more news from this year's event.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

Why Astral Chain Might Be the Year's Biggest Surprise for the Nintendo Switch

In a year of Fire Emblem and Pokemon, PlatinumGames has found success on the Switch.

What Game Are You Playing Over the Long Labor Day Weekend?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | It's a three-day weekend for most people out there, and a lot of games came out this week.

Abuse Accusations and "Censorship" Drama Were at the Forefront of a Busy Week in Games

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | A series of accusations of abusive behavior dominated the industry during a week full of new releases.

Astral Chain Review

PlatinumGames veteran Takahisa Taura steps into the director's chair for this Switch exclusive.

PlatinumGames Studio Head Thinks Battle Royale Genre "Would Be Interesting" to Explore

"We wouldn't want to make something that was just shooting."

Blizzard Reduces Suspension of Hearthstone Player and Casters Following Community Outcry

Both Blitzchung and the two commentators have had their suspension halved.

More News

Blizzard Reduces Suspension of Hearthstone Player and Casters Following Community Outcry

Both Blitzchung and the two commentators have had their suspension halved.

Blizzard Gives Gay WoW Classic Guild its Name Back, But Makes No Guarantees That It Won't Change Again

On top of the ongoing Hearthstone controversy, WoW Classic guild "GAY BOYS" is bringing attention to Blizzard meddling with their name.

More on Switch

A New Fortnite Battle Royale Map May Have Been Leaked on the App Store

Fortnite's map has changed a lot over its 10 seasons. Is it about to be replaced?

Untitled Goose Game Developer: "I Could Never Have Seen These Last Few Weeks Coming"

House House's Nico Disseldorp talks about Untitled Goose Game's organic, unorthodox success (and the best goose memes) with Vox.

"How Big Is This Going to Get?“: The Future of Killer Queen And Its Console Counterpart

Talking with developers and a few members of Killer Queen's dedicated New York arcade scene about the new multiplayer spin-off.

The Witcher 3 Skellige Gwent Cards - Where to Find the Best Gwent Cards for the Skellige Faction

Here's where you can find the best Skellige Gwent faction cards in The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3 Bestiary List - Every Monster Weakness

Everything you need to know about monster weaknesses and more in The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3 Mutations - How to Get and Use Mutations

Here's how to unlock Mutations and use them correctly in The Witcher 3.

More Action Games

This Year's Scariest Halloween Costume? Movie Sonic

Ruin Trick-or-Treating for everyone with one easy purchase!

Apex Legends Halloween Event Release Date - All the New Halloween Skins So Far

This guide covers the Apex Legends Halloween event release date, as well as all the new Halloween event skins we've seen so far.

Monster Hunter World Rajang - Track and Kill the Rajang, All Rajang Armor Sets

Here's our guide on tracking and killing the Rajang in Monster Hunter World, including all Rajang armor sets.

Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Exotics List - All New Exotic Weapons and Armor for Shadowkeep

This is our guide to all the new Shadowkeep Exotics, including weapons and armor, featured in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep.