Global Nintendo fans have a reason to celebrate. The Nintendo Direct showcase has unveiled a lineup of upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch Console. Making it to the list is Vanillaware's Unicorn Overlord. You might have heard of the veteran developer.
Vanillaware has an impressive track record, including Japanese classics like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Dragon's Crown, and GrimGrimoire. Their reputation lies in creating hand-drawn, artistic-styled games, and it seems Unicorn Overload will be no different. But what exactly does this mystical title have in store for us? Will it be a boatload of adventures featuring unicorns? Will the upcoming title live up to the 13 Sentinels' legacy? Let's find out below as we unpack everything we know about Unicorn Overload.
What is Unicorn Overlord?
Unicorn Overlord is an upcoming, stunning tactical RPG by Vanillaware. The game promises a rebirth of fantasy tactical RPGs, and from the trailer, the game is a true testament to this vision. In hindsight, the game will go head-to-head with headlining titles such as Fire Emblem Engage, Triangle Strategy, and Tactics Ogre Reborn.
If you're familiar with Vanillaware's works, you know their ambition is far north of hot air. Take 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim as an example; the game branched out from the usual narrative of good versus evil into a complex and multifaceted storyline. As a result, the title has sold over a million units to date.
You'd expect the same kind of soaring success with the new title. It could be too early to tell, but the bits and pieces of information we've gathered so far look promising.
As mentioned, Vanillaware has a knack for crafting unique narratives that complement the game's visuals. Unicorn Overlord follows this trajectory with a cliché plot: A prince is on the verge of rescuing his kingdom from a malevolent ruler
In gaming history, such storylines have opened up to colossal inconveniences that make the protagonist's journey challenging. It has you wondering, Why did he start the journey in the first place? He could have easily skipped town and started a family elsewhere. But that takes out the fun of knocking the snort out of your adversaries. This shall be a coming-of-age journey where the prince steps out of his comfort zone into a tactical nightmare that waits for him.
As for the unicorn, bearing reference to the game's wacky name, you won't be riding a mythical creature to victory. Instead, the unicorn is a ring that has mythical powers. From the trailer, the ring is meant to purify evil, which means it will be a crucial possession in your adventure.
At its core, a tactical RPG combines traditional, intricate character development and storytelling with the nail-biting tactical gameplay of strategy games. Unicorn Overlord sticks to this precedent with an innovative battle system.
But before we dive into the nooks and crannies of its combat, the game's map is a delight to see. Exploration will be your primary maneuver in the expansive open world. It's unclear whether there will be a convenient means of transportation. However, the trailer shows the prince galloping on his horse, presumably as a scripted movement.
Additionally, you'll forge unique bonds with humans and mythical beings. The game will feature over 60 unique characters, including elves, beasts, and angels. You'll have to perform heroic deeds and grow your reputation to get into the right books with these beings.
Now, onto battle. The game hints at players forging armies and sending them on expeditions to fight wars. You'll control multiple units attacking enemy territories while retaining tranquility in your own territory. Movement on the map is in real-time. Seemingly, every character on the map represents a unit of other characters. When you encounter an enemy, both sides exchange blows until one side is overpowered.
Moreover, the developer is quite hush about details of the game's gameplay, but you can get a hint of what it's shaping up to be from its official description below:
Unicorn Overlord combines the timeless tactical RPG genre with overworld exploration and an innovative battle system for a unique epic fantasy experience in the iconic Vanillaware style. Traverse the vibrant world, cultivate a grand army with over 60 distinct characters, and grow your renown throughout the five nations in this epic fantasy experience. Liberate your kingdom and reclaim your destiny!
If you're unfamiliar with Vanillaware's impressive track record, this upcoming title will rope you in on their ingenious creations. The studio started its game development journey in 2006. Since then, every outcome has been a stunning, idiosyncratic affair. Most of the games by Vanillaware take a fantasy perspective with an infusion of modern gameplay. A great example is GrimGrimoire, a 2D real-time strategy game with tower defense mechanics. On the other hand, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, a story-driven RTS, launched to a soft start but later grew successful. Therefore, it makes sense for the developer to stick to this precedent for its upcoming title.
As for the publisher, Vanillaware is once again teaming up with Atlus. The studio is best known for the Persona franchise.
If the above information didn't hook you, the game's trailer will definitely do. Vanillaware's mastery for curating visually stunning games unfolds in the 1-minute 39-second trailer. The trailer introduces the protagonist and gives a brief history of his quest. It also hints at the gameplay and possible modes (online battle, offline battle, and prize exchange).
You can see it for yourself in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Unicorn Overlord is set to launch on March 8, 2024. The game will be available on PlayStation , Nintendo Switch, and Xbox. It's not yet available for pre-order; however, Atlus has revealed that pre-orders will include DLC. The DLC gives you access to add emblems from Vanillaware's previous games to your banners.
Moreover, the developer will also offer a collector's edition. This will include a 132-page art book and a soundtrack CD.
Interested in keeping up with the game's development? If so, then check in with the devs over on their social handles for all the latest updates here. If anything remotely interesting pops up ahead of its release, we'll be sure to fill you in on all the key details right here on gaming.net.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Unicorn Overlord next year? Let us know your thoughts on our socials here.