Persona and Shin Megami Tensei lead reveals you won't be able to see every dungeon in Metaphor: ReFantazio in just one playthrough as the new JRPG offers "a lot more freedom"

Metaphor: ReFantazio screenshot showing a woman with long, straight blonde hair holding onto a leather-bound brown book
(Image credit: Atlus)

Mastermind Persona and Shin Megami Tensei director Katsura Hashino explains just how big Atlus' upcoming JRPG Metaphor: ReFantazio is - and why you'll probably have to play a few times to experience every dungeon.

There are only a few months left between now and Metaphor: ReFantazio's grand release this fall, and Atlus' new JRPG sounds downright massive. Speaking recently to GameSpot, director Katsura Hashino reveals just how big the game is, and how it stands apart from the studio's predecessors such as Persona. Much like Persona, there are plenty of dungeons to explore - but in contrast, they're not all that linear. According to Hashino, players have more freedom in Metaphor: ReFantazio to choose how and where to progress.

"Imagine if you go on vacation," the developer explains, comparing the choices one faces in reality to those one may find in-game. "You go to a city and you have 10 places listed on your travel log. Some of these might take two days to enjoy, whereas others might take half a day. Some might require a guide or more preparations, others might be a bit more safe. But you can't do it all." Just as a person "can't do it all" while making decisions in real life, they also can't accomplish everything available to play through in Metaphor: ReFantazio all at once.

"In this game, you travel a lot," Hashino continues, "and when you get to your destinations, you have a choice of multiple dungeons you can do. And all these dungeons have different difficulty levels as well, so it's kind of up to you how you choose to spend your time. In this way, there's a lot more freedom." The main story itself is fixed in Metaphor: ReFantazio, but it seems like there's still a lot of choice within it - it certainly sounds different than the TV World in Persona 4 or the Palaces in Persona 5, and I personally can't wait to play.

"It's definitely harder than Persona": Shin Megami Tensei lead explains that his new JRPG Metaphor: ReFantazio needed more challenge or else "it won't feel right"

Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.