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Mato Anomalies - What We Know So Far

Past meets future in turn-based RPG "Mato Anomalies." Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the anime-inspired offering follows a protagonist duo and their quest to save the metropolis of Mato. Players can track down leads and clues as private investigator Doe or enter a parallel reality and beat back a demonic threat as exorcist Gram. To save the city, the pair must complete missions, recruit allies, and unravel a dark mystery.

Story plays a large role in "Mato Anomalies," as does its neo-futuristic setting. Blending a neon aesthetic with traditional Asian architecture, Mato has plenty of shops to explore and factions to navigate. Politics and corruption may make it difficult to distinguish friend from foe, but Doe and Gram need connections to accomplish their goals.

"Mato Anomalies" appears to draw inspiration from several series and genres, including "Persona," "Shin Megami Tensei," "Blade Runner," cyberpunk, and detective. Developer Arrowiz aims to put a unique spin on this collection of influences, and has provided a fair amount of information about "Mato Anomalies" to entice gamers.

When will Mato Anomalies release?

Shanghai-based Arrowiz and publisher Prime Matter have yet to share a release date for "Mato Anomalies," but they did offer a launch target: 2023. Players will have the option to purchase the title for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, or PC via digital and physical storefronts. There's no word yet on pricing or potential pre-order bonuses.

Horace Xiong, CEO of Arrowiz, revealed that "Mato Anomalies" had already spent two years in development as of July 2022. Over 50 people contributed to the project during that time. Founded as a VR studio in 2016, Arrowiz later shifted its focus to narrative-driven games with the Lovecraftian visual novel "Hermitage Strange Case Files."

Bolstered by the success of "Hermitage" (and a hefty investment from Tencent), "Mato Anomalies," the studio's first 3D RPG, entered the prototyping stage in 2020. Based on past release schedules and the fact that demos have already reached members of the press, 2023 seems like a reasonable release window for the entry.

Is there a trailer for Mato Anomalies?

Arrowiz and Prime Matter shared the announcement trailer for "Mato Anomalies" in July 2022. At just over a minute, the sequence appears to include a mixture of gameplay and cinematics.

Viewers get a taste of the titular city of Mato, complete with a larger-than-life holographic projection of a woman reminiscent of "Blade Runner 2049." Doe runs through the crowded streets, no doubt in pursuit of information, while Gram takes to the tunnels to hunt down enemies.

Multiple scenes offer a glimpse of different allies players will have the chance to recruit – a list that includes the woman depicted in the projection. These individuals, as well as Gram, wield unique abilities and weapons against some manner of robotic or mechanical foes. The trailer also provides a quick look at a more relaxed moment, showing the main characters conversing with two other people in a room filled with cameras and framed photos.

What's the gameplay like in Mato Anomalies?

"Mato Anomalies" conveys its story and character interactions through a combination of voice-acted cutscenes and written dialogue. Certain sequences even appear as comic book panels. Doe handles the detective work, assisted by a card-based Mind/Hack system. Meanwhile, Gram takes care of all the turn-based fighting.

As the name of the system suggests, Doe can infiltrate the minds of other people using a special Mind/Hack glove. Success doesn't come automatically, however. Players must use offensive and defensive cards to reduce their target's Mind Power to 0 while defending their own pool. Doe gets a set amount of action points per turn, dictating which cards he can play.

Eliminating demons (or "Bane Tide" in-game) as Gram will likely feel familiar to JRPG fans. Players select from a list of abilities, each with set effects and cooldowns. Turn order also plays a key role in determining strategies. According to the Steam page, all team members share the same health pool, and upgradable skills look to be divided between two categories: personal and weapon.