With PlatinumGames already neck-deep in development of Bayonetta 3, one of the biggest surprises to come out of February's Nintendo Direct was that the studio is also working on a brand new IP for the Nintendo Switch, Astral Chain. And like Platinum's other project, we still don't know too much about Astral Chain despite the fact that it's scheduled for launch later this year, and even got a set release date.

Save the Ark

Astral Chain

Stop the alien invasion

Play as a pair of twin cops out to save a futuristic city from an alien invasion in the latest adventure from PlatinumGames and Nier:Automata's lead designer.

There are plenty of remaining mysteries surrounding Astral Chain, but for now, here's everything we know about the game:

What is Astral Chain?

Astral Chain is a new action game being developed by PlatinumGames, the same studio that developed Bayonetta, Star Fox Zero, and Nier: Automata. And if you liked those titles, Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya is supervising the development of Astral Chain while Nier: Automata lead game designer Takahisa Taura is directing.

A debut trailer was shown at the last Nintendo Direct in which two characters, a male and female with somewhat similar appearances, fight enemies in a futuristic city, amid ruins, and in other locations. The pair appear to be part of a police force and also spend time wandering the city in between battles. More details revealed at E3 gave away more of the combat system, and as the release date looms we're sure to see even more of the game.

What is the story of Astral Chain?

You'll choose one of two playable characters, either the man or woman shown in the trailer, and the one you do not choose will join you in the story as your twin and partner. You're a rookie officer of a police special task force in an enormous, futuristic, multi-cultural city called the Ark at a time when the city is being attacked by strange alien invaders. You're not alone in your fight against the creatures, though. Your twin will fight alongside you, and you're also paired off with a mysterious living weapon known as Legion that will help you both solve cases and fight against the invaders.

How do you play?

Astral Chain is an action title where you control your chosen protagonist and a special weapon, called Legion. Legion is not a single weapon, but rather a number of them that you can swap between for different styles of combat. The main loop of combat in the game consists of you controlling yourself and often your siblings, completing combos to defeat enemies with Legion. Legion can be offensive, defensive, or supportive, and can be used to do the work for you while you back it up or strategically to take down enemies in a set pattern.

Legion isn't just a combat weapon, but it also assists in your police investigations. Its abilities can be used to find clues and solve environmental puzzles as you work to uncover the source of the strange aliens and reveal an alternate dimension called the Astral Plane.

You'll also simply be able to wander about the Ark, where you'll encounter a cast of characters that will aid and hinder your investigations as well as provide the story of Astral Chain. There will be a number of citizens, suspects, fellow police, and your sibling available to converse with.

Toilets and cats?

In various post-E3 interviews, we learned that every area in the game has a hidden toilet, and that finding them all means something good will happen. We don't have any more details than that, though!

Also, Takahisa Taura has mentioned during the Nintendo Treehouse at E3 that cats are extremely prevalent in the game, and you can track them all down across the Ark for fun.

When can I play?

Astral Chain is currently planned for launch exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on August 30, 2019. It will cost $60.

Save the Ark

Astral Chain

Stop the alien invasion

Play as a pair of twin cops out to save a futuristic city from an alien invasion in the latest adventure from PlatinumGames and Nier:Automata's lead designer.

Updated June 2019: Added in details and context from E3 2019 presentation.

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