Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 Release Date & Everything We Know

Join the Expeditioners on their journey to break the Paintress' death cycle.

By Rayan, Posted 12 Jun 2024

Even though term-based JRPGs have a lot of fantastic games—including some of our favorites—the genre is gradually dying. A relatively new firm is responsible for developing the brand-new IP known as Clair Obscur: Expedition 33; an upcoming reactive tern-based RPG that will take us to a unique setting that combines elements of fantasy with art from the European "Belle Époque" era. It's being developed by Sandfall Interactive with Unreal Engine 5 and will be published by Kepler Interactive.


Clair Obscur: Expedition 33, Female Protagonist, Jennifer English, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed
 

Although we were unfamiliar with the name even a day before the 2024 Xbox Games Showcase, Sandfall Interactive is a French studio formed in 2020. They are currently getting close to the release window, which means that the development of Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 started four years ago, at least conceptually. The studio is comprised of different talents; many of whom have worked with AAA game development before. They have a section on their website where you can see the developers' profiles along with the games they like to play. It's interesting to note that the art director Nicholas Maxson-Francombe mentioned Dishonored, League of Legends, The Order: 1886, and Bioshock as his favorite games and we can perceive these titles as influences or at least share some of the same spirit.

Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 tells a story about a world where a Paintress awakens once a year to paint upon her monolith on a tower. As she paints the number that she cursed, all the young people of that age eventually disappear by turning into ashes. As time goes on, that figure decreases and more of the people disappear. The game starts when the Paintress awakens and is about to paint 33. Now, we, as the players are tasked to destroy the Paintress so that she can never paint death again.

The gameplay is fairly unique too. You'll take on the role of Gustave as he and the other Expeditioners set out on an impossible mission to break the Paintress's death cycle. Along the way, you'll meet strange creatures, fight deadly enemies, and learn about the history of the Expeditioners who came before you. Your friendship with other Expeditioners will deepen as you learn about their past. As a team, you'll try to solve the Paintress's riddle, a challenge that has plagued Expeditioners for years.

The gameplay, however, will adhere to the turn-based role-playing genre. It reminds us of Lost Odyssey, a Japanese role-playing game that we adore. The reason behind this is that the game employs a mechanism known as reactive term-based. In Lost Odyssey, you could time your actions with rings that would gradually overlap with each other to launch additional attacks with precision. Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 appears to have built upon this concept and added new features that enable parrying and other moves. This is likely to be a lot more complex and captivating particularly when it comes to the larger boss fights.


Clair Obscur: Expedition 33, Female Protagonist, Gameplay, Screenshots, JRPG
 

There is some additional information regarding this and the gameplay of the game that is provided in the press release. According to the developers, this new generation of JRPG puts real-time actions at the core of turn-based combat. You can create custom Expeditioners with skills, stats, and character synergies that fit your playstyle. Combat takes on a more active role, as you can dodge, parry, and real-time counter. You can also master attack rhythms to chain combos, and use the free aim system to attack enemies' weak points.

The trailer downplayed the perfect timing technique, which involves pressing a button inside a certain time window, rather than the rings from Lost Odyssey, which use a diamond form. The trailer also revealed the possible combat commands, which appear to include the ability to employ item skills, launch attacks, and freely target enemies' weak points. You may also view the command point gauge, which lets you execute skills, the turn order, and the current condition of your party members—both of which are crucial in role-playing games.

The battle interface, which contains a variety of abilities and their descriptions, was also showcased in the trailer. A single hit with the Y button indicates High lightning damage according to the charge quantity, allowing you to Overcharge an attack. Then, by pressing X, you can perform the Lumiere Assault, a low-damage physical attack that deals five hits (and one more charge for critical hits).

Your goal, it appears, is to charge up this ability until you can use the overcharged strike, which deals lightning damage. Also, you have the Marking Shot, an attack that deals modest lightning damage and leaves a mark. In addition to these choices, you'll see a list of skills that includes Form Fire, Powerful, and Recovery. Seeing a variety of physical and magical attacks is great because it shows that the game will have a wide variety of skills.


Clair Obscur: Expedition 33, Main Protagonist, Ben Starr, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed
 

Furthermore, the press release also revealed the game's characters and primary cast. Gustave and the other Expeditioners set out on a last-ditch mission to end the Paintress's death spiral with just a year to spare. As you get to know the members of Expedition 33 and follow their journey to find out what happened to them, you may also learn about the past Expeditioners and how they faced challenges by working together. You might recognize Ben Starr, the voice actor of the protagonist Clive Rosfield in Final Fantasy XVI, and Jennifer English, who gave the voice for Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3, and seeing both of them in this game is incredible.

Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 seems impressive visually too, and we're excited about the gameplay as well. We will post more about the game whenever we learn more about it, which we hope will happen shortly. Those interested can add Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 to their wishlists now as the game is set to release in 2025 for Xbox Series X|S (on launch day with Xbox Game Pass), PlayStation 5, and PC through Steam and the Epic Games Store.
 

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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