Lab Zero's upcoming Metoridvania/JRPG is shaping up to be a beautifully animated adventure with some neat gameplay ideas. When I first heard about the game, I wasn't quite sure how'd they'd be able to pull off such a hybrid between two genres. However, after getting my hands on the demo and talking to some representatives from 505 Games, I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to join Anja and her friends on their quest.

A little help from my friends

The demo presented to me introduced two different gameplay modes: exploration mode and battle mode. In exploration mode, the game takes on the form of a 2D Metroidvania platformer where players control Anja as she runs, dashes, jumps, and discovers new characters, items, and abilities.

As with other Metroidvanias, Anja can use abilities and items she's discovered to unlock other areas.

In battle mode, each party member is assigned to different buttons on the controller. Pressing each character's assigned button allows them to attack, block, or dodge. Players familiar with classic JRPGs such as "Paper Mario" and "Final Fantasy VI" will feel right at home with this combat system. As with the former, players can successfully dodge or block incoming enemy attacks with the proper timing. Just as an enemy is about to strike, if the player presses the character's assigned button at the right time, damage can be reduced or avoided altogether. Also, like "Paper Mario," players are rewarded for striking their enemies before a battle is triggered.

Successful moves also fuel a special bar that can grant Anja special abilities that allow her to heal party members or dish out successive strikes like in "Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door." Gamers who've played "Final Fantasy IV" will easily grasp the meter-based system that each party member has. When the meters are filled, players can attack enemies.

Big bosses and lovely visuals

Boss fights mix the two systems together as players are tasked with both fighting the enemy in turn-based battle mode and pursuing them in the 2D platforming mode. The boss I fought, a giant spider, dished out more damaging attacks than the enemies I had faced prior and would retreat after I had taken down his health bar, forcing me to evade attacks (such as dripping slime from the walls) and strike him when he lowered his defenses.

Bolstering the experience is the lovely animation and lively locales. Characters are well designed with diverse proportions and distinct personalities.

Look for "Indivisible" on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows in 2019.