A gorgeous 3D Metroidvania that's "inspired by Nier Automata, Zelda, DMC, and The Witcher" is one heck of a pitch, and Anima Song From the Abyss has already fully captured my interest.
Currently on the verge of smashing its Kickstarter goal, Anima Song From the Abyss is an action RPG featuring an open-ended world that expands as you unlock new abilities to reach new areas. In classic Metroidvania style, your character is highly mobile, with a suite of high-speed movement options like double jumps and air dashes that let you get into some challenging platforming.
Or really, I should say your characters, plural, as you control more than one at a time. A single button press lets you swap characters in the middle of any action, including attacks, allowing you to build combos between multiple characters in a fast-paced combat system inspired, in the developers' own words, by Devil May Cry and Nier Automata.
The Zelda inspirations are pretty clear in the game's aesthetics, though I'm less certain about why the devs are citing The Witcher here - maybe the ability to alter the course of the story "with each of your actions?" Either way, if the pitch itself wasn't compelling enough, just check out the footage. All the combat and platforming gifs on the Kickstarter are gosh-darned works of art.
This isn't the first game from three-person indie studio Anima Project. The devs previously worked on the Anima Beyond Fantasy tabletop RPG series, and followed it up with two video games. Both built on combo-driven ARPG action, Anima: Gate of Memories launched to mixed reviews back in 2016, while its follow-up, The Nameless Chronicles, got a more positive response in 2018.
Song from the Abyss was announced way back in 2020, and with this many years to refine the formula, the devs might just be on the verge of something truly special. Here's hoping the game can deliver when it hits Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox in what the devs expect to be a November 2024 launch. (A version for Nintendo platforms is "tentatively" in the works, too.)
Our list of the best Metroidvania games could always use a little more competition.