If there’s one thing I love about Final Fantasy, it’s the music. Sultana Dreaming from Final Fantasy 14 somehow always makes me tear up, bringing back memories of my first venture into Ul’dah on a dark summer night. Music, for me, makes a game, so when I heard about Lost Hellden, the new JRPG that features Hitoshi Sakimoto’s music and Takeshi Oga (of Siren fame)’s artwork, I was over the moon.
Lost Hellden thrusts you into the world of Era where, as part of tradition, citizens (Erans) must bond themselves to one of the seven deadly sins at birth. If you give into the temptation, you become a monster – a fate that Artisan Studios claims is “worse than death.” If you remain resolute, however, you’ll reach the sacred land of Hellden, where you’ll live a happy, immortal life.
You’ll be playing as Cyphel and Leht, whose stories dictate the JRPG‘s overarching narrative. Something has gone wrong with their bonding ceremonies, and now they’re on a mysterious journey fraught with unknown perils and what look like some epic boss battles.
Combat feels very Final Fantasy: there are high octane fights, flashy abilities, as well as a degree of exploration. What differs, however, is the art style, which has been described as “deep-2D.” While it features bright colors and heavy outlines like a comic book, it has a 3D feel to it, a little like Borderlands.
However, the characters are heavily manga and anime-inspired, with several of the monsters channelling Studio Ghibli with their weird, creepy smiles. For me, it’s the art style that immediately caught my eye – I oftentimes find anime to0 clean and pure; perfect in its own way. But this has a slightly more rugged edge to it, and I absolutely love it.
The release window for Lost Hellden is set for 2025, but Artisan Studios does note that a demo will be available to play later this year – you can use this link to sign up.
In the meantime, though, we have a rundown of all the best anime games for you to while away the hours (and, let’s be real, days) with, as well as a list of free PC games if you’re looking to save some cash.