Visions of Mana Preview - Get Lost in Colorful Landscapes

We got the chance to go hands-on with Visions of Mana ahead of its release date to explore its vibrant, intricate world.

Published: March 28, 2024 9:00 AM /

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A hero riding a giant fox in Visions of Mana

At PAX East 2024, we had the chance to meet with the Square Enix team and get hands-on Visions of Mana gameplay. I spent about an hour playing through a couple levels, switching up my elemental abilities and taking on a beautifully designed ant boss at the end of it all. 

It has been some time since I've revisited the Mana series, and seeing as this is the first new mainline entry in over 15 years, it felt like the perfect opportunity to check it out ahead of the Visions of Mana release date.

See what we thought in our Visions of Mana preview! 

A looming mountain in Visions of Mana

Visions of Mana Preview: A Colorful & Expansive Open World

There were two areas I got to explore during my Visions of Mana preview: Fallow Steppe and Mt. Gala. Fallow Steppe is a very open area with an abundance of enemies to face off against and defeat. I had a blast exploring this region that reminded me very much of The Great Plateau from Breath of the Wild

This was the perfect area for me to get my bearings with my party, made up of three heroes with different weapon loadouts and elemental abilities. You can seamlessly switch between party members on the go or during battle – my preference was a hero who had dual blades that could quickly slice through enemies. 

Fallow Steppe had plenty of markers to explore and collectibles along the way. There was lots to discover, and battles along the way kept me engaged with the potential threats that inhabited this otherwise beautiful landscape. 

This training area helped me get comfortable with the controls before loading into the mission-based area: Mt. Gala. 

A character using an elemental wind attack in Visions of Mana

Visions of Mana: Swap out Elemental Vessels 

Your party's powers come from elemental vessels, and you can switch these out for each hero to better test out different effects as you battle. I got to experiment with three elemental attacks during my Visions of Mana preview: Wind, Ice, and Fire. 

My favorite by far was the fire attacks. It was extremely satisfying conjuring a fireball and blasting it at an enemy from a distance. Most of the low-level enemies were able to be defeated with melee attacks, but when it came time for the boss battle, I had to throw everything I had at him to take him down. 

The boss himself was a gigantic ant beast that nearly defeated me, but in the end I was able to get the best of him. As a taste of what the boss battles will have in store for players, it's clear Visions of Mana will provide a challenging and rewarding experience. 

A giant fox in a field in Visions of Mana

Visions of Mana Preview: Final Thoughts 

The semi-open world in Visions of Mana was vividly colorful and extremely satisfying to explore. As action RPGs go, this experience sets itself apart with its brilliant art direction and versatility of swapping out elemental vessels to change up attacks. 

Even though it has been a while since I've played a game in the Mana series, so much felt familiar and user-friendly. Visions of Mana is an excellent experience for those looking to pick up a new action RPG later this year.

Visions of Mana was previewed on a PlayStation 5 at PAX East 2024.

Previews you can trust: To ensure you're getting a fair, accurate, and informed review, our experienced team spends a significant amount of time on everything we preview. Read more about how we review games and products.


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| Staff Writer

Dan is a Boston-based writer who has been with TechRaptor since the end of 2020. He has been working in the online writing, editing and SEO space for nearly… More about Dan