On the island on which Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is set, a ritual sacrifice is offered once every ten years to keep monsters at bay. But when the monsters begin attacking long before the next ritual sacrifice, the next ceremony is decided to be held early. Setsuna, an 18-year-old girl with strong magical powers, is the sacrifice candidate. The protagonist is her bodyguard, keeping her alive on an escort mission where she’s sent to die. There will be customization elements and such, which Square Enix plans to elaborate further about later on.
Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna features a world map that connects things such as towns and dungeons. While there are no enemy encounters on the world map, you can find items and explore.
While in town, players can talk to villagers to develop the story. If you look around, you can also find treasure boxes.
In shops, you can buy items, some of which Final Fantasy fans will recognize (Potion, Ether, and such). But there are also unfamiliar items like “Mistone,” which lets you run away from battles since there isn’t an “Escape” command.
In dungeons, battles begin when you make contact with the enemy. They’re symbol encounters, meaning that you see the enemy on-screen before the battle initiates, but battles take place right there on the area map. It’s a seamless transition from exploration to battle.
The battle system is the command-based Active Time Battle system. Actions available to the player include “Attack,” “Magic,” and “Item.” At the bottom of the screen are each character’s HP and MP, and below that, their ATB gauge. Next to that is an orb-like gauge with a snowflake in it, though it’s purpose is currently unknown.
Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is due out for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in Japan in early 2016. While there isn’t an exact release date announced, director Atsushi Hashimoto said on the stream, “Since it’s a snowy game, it’ll be out before it gets warm.”
Watch the gameplay from the stream below.