Bandai Namco originally announced the next chapter in its Tales franchise, Tales of Arise, in 2019. It was planned to be released in 2020 but experienced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Producer Yusuke Tomizawa announced the team had switched to remote working but was continuing its development. He said that “In the meantime, the determination of our development team has not weakened. It is always darkest before the dawn” and released the image above. A new trailer for it has just been released.
The goal for Tales of Arise is to provide a familiar but innovative gameplay experience to fans of the series while pushing the technical envelope to deliver a high level of graphical quality to impress both long-time players and those who have never played a Tales Of game.
Tales of Arise uses Unreal Engine 4 and incorporates a unique custom shader to achieve watercolor and fog effects for its visuals. Yusuke Tomizawa explained how the team modified the popular game engine in order to align with the visuals for the franchise.
To clarify, Unreal Engine 4 creates a very realistic texture for the default arts, but to have the representation of the [Tales of] look, it would be something different. That is where we started the project of creating an original shader (a filter that processes shadowing) that can be added in layers.
The release date for Tales of Arise has not been revealed, but it is planned to launch on both console and PC in spring 2021.