Atlus USA has announced that Japanese tactical RPG Lost Dimension will be coming to America for the PlayStation 3 and Sony Vita this summer. Created by Japanese developer Lancarse (Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Etrian Odyssey) and originally released in Japan in August of 2014, Lost Dimension offering what sounds like an intriguing twist on the genre.
While Lost Dimension’s name is almost aggressively generic, what been revealed so far about the game definitely isn’t. The player takes the role of the leader of SEALED, a group of 11 warriors with various psychic powers charged with the task of defending humanity from an enigmatic menace known simply as “The End.”(Not the elderly sniper with a bird, presumably. Though Konami renting out Metal Gear villains to moonlight as RPG bosses would probably be pretty entertaining.) You command the members of SEED in turn-based tactical battles against the forces of The End, build up their skills, and talk to them after battles to build emotional bonds with your comrades and figure out which of them should be summarily executed as traitors.
Yes, that’s a thing in Lost Dimension.
Unfortunately, not everyone in your team is actually loyal to humanity. Some of them are secretly agents of The End, and it’s up to you, using your investigative skills, a keen eye for suspicious behavior, and whatever insights can be gleaned with your powers, to figure out which ones they are. As you advance through Lost Dimension, you’ll periodically have to select a teammate to kill in the hope of rooting out the treachery in your midst— and once you reach The End, any surviving traitors in your ranks switch sides for the final battle. Hope you didn’t unwittingly dispose of too many loyal comrades whose skills might have been useful.
It sounds intriguing. It certainly puts a very different spin on the usual RPG tradition of building up emotional attachments to characters, developing their in-game abilities, and developing strategies when the possibility that your favorite character is actually working against you is always looming. The identity of the traitors is randomized with each game, so the potential replay value is considerable provided the characters are compelling enough to make going through the story repeatedly to see different story outcomes and tactical scenarios worthwhile. The battles look interesting, seemingly combining conventional tactical RPG mechanics with elements reminiscent of Valkyria Chronicles.
Lost Dimension is scheduled for release in North America on PS3 and Vita some time this summer. A European localization published by Nippon Ichi Software America is also in the works. Atlus USA has launched an official Lost Dimension website you can check out, though there’s not much there yet.