Monark is a new Japanese role-playing game by ex-developers of Atlus’ cult classic Shin Megami Tensei series. Teased last week, the new title now has a trailer and tons more details released. An early 2022 release is confirmed via the release trailer and the official site.
The game follows a nameless protagonist in a mysterious school, Shin Mikado Academy, separated from the rest of the world by a barrier. There are various obstacles around the school, like the madness-inducing mist, cryptic phone calls from the “Otherworld,” and seven “Pactbearers” wielding Daemonic Authority ruled by Egos.
To survive, players use their Daemonic power, Authority of Vanity, to control ego and madness. If this all sounds confusing then that means the SMT style is working.
The gameplay seems to be standard Shin Megami Tensei affair. Ego is an experience system in the game, used to strengthen “sense of self” through a level-up map. Players can edit their attributes and their Fiends/Daemonic beings, which are similar to Persona or Demons in the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series.
The battle system is moving from SMT and Persona’s usual standard turn-based JRPG formula to a strategy RPG style, similar to games like Fire Emblem. It features a “free movement system” that allows players to move anywhere on the battlefield without being limited to certain spaces.
Players won’t be able to freely use their Daemonic power of their Authority, as each use increases your madness rate. To win players will; need to strategically choose when to use their party members’ abilities.
The exploration side of the game sends players through Shin Mikado Academy, where they’ll search for phone calls that connect them to the Outworld and solve puzzles.
The game features four companion characters that players can increase their bond with, ala Persona. Like Shin Megami Tensei’s “Reason” characters, bonds with these various characters will lead to different endings.
The game definitely doesn’t try to hide its Shin Megami Tensei inspiration in the tone and mechanics at all. With Shin Megami Tensei 5 apparently releasing soon it seems that fans of the series have a lot to look forward to.
Monark is set to release in early 2022.
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