Square Enix Announces New RPG from Tales Series Director Hideo Baba

Project Prelude Rune was announced today from Square Enix and Studio Istolia. Development on the RPG is being led by Hideo Baba, best known for producing many games in the Tales franchise. The new game is confirmed for the PS4, although no release date was given.

Square Enix announced Project Prelude Rune in a brief trailer showcased at the PlayStation LineUp Tour press conference. The trailer opens with the words “may you always be just     My beloved children” before several in-game shots of the world are shown. The player character is seen running through several forested locales before coming upon a cliff, where they overlook the game’s world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAYeIor4lfQ

The game’s art style looks distinctive—almost as if each frame is hand illustrated. Project Prelude Rune is being developed in Unreal Engine, which has become a favorite of publisher Square Enix of late. Studio Istolia’s website doesn’t divulge any more secrets than the trailer.  In a message posted (translated via Google) on the Japanese PlayStation blog, producer Hideo Baba said, “we are developing the game with a warm, gentle, painting-esque expression. With this artistic direction, we want to depict a fantasy world and  a story imbued with themes and messages.”

Studio Istolia president Hideo Baba has an extensive history with Square Enix and RPGs. He has served as producer on nearly every Tales of game since Tales of Innocence released in 2006. Square Enix announced the new studio in February 2017. Baba’s most recent credit is as a producer for Tales of Zestiria which released in 2015 on the PS3, PS4, and PC. We thought the game was okay, with a fun combat system dragged down by an uninteresting story and a bland open world.

Hopefully Project Prelude Rune will give Baba and his team the creative freedom to explore new ideas in a new world.