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.

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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.

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