The new game from Square-Enix's Bravely Default team was revealed in a cryptic and confusing teaser during Nintendo's Switch reveal in January, but got a much longer explanation in today's Nintendo Direct.
The graphic style, made up of a mixture of CG and pixel-art, is called "2D-HD" by the developers, which might be the simplest named thing to come out of Square-Enix in the last decade. It practice, this method makes a very cool-looking 2D game that looks like a SNES Final Fantasy game out of time, invoking nostalgia in such an exacting way that makes some high-budget games look worse in relative comparison.
The title, which the Direct indicates is not final, refers to the eight characters and paths the player can take through the game. Every character has a unique skill that determines how they handle various situations in the game. The Warrior Olberic, for example, can challenge almost any NPC in the game to a duel. This can be used to expose evil people in the town or force a guard out of your way. The Dancer Primrose, meanwhile, can use her allure to convince anyone to follow her. This can be used to bring someone out of a dangerous area, or convince someone to follow her into one.
The game is built on the idea of the freedom to follow your own path with any of the eight characters.
In addition, a demo for the game will be released today. While the demo contents were not revealed, both Bravely Default demos were unique scenarios that were not part of the final game. After the demo is released, Nintendo and Square-Enix will solicit a survey for the game to get player feedback on Octopath Traveler. Finally, an extended trailer will be released later today.
Project Octopath Traveler is scheduled for a simultaneous worldwide release in 2018, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.