Octopath Traveler is a genre-defining first person shooter published by the entertainment arm of the Japanese secret police. At the off, players select their preferred psychopath from a pool of Yakuza spawn, each bearing a unique ability to wreak havoc on the peaceful townspeople sharing their world.
Allbrick, for example, is the de facto sword-slave who kills anyone foolish enough to stand by their own house; he has several qualms about his own past but none whatsoever about placing Granny in a full nelson. Another is Ophelu, a snow cleric who fell prey to the dark side looming somewhere in her sister’s colossal shadow. Ophelu can convince various townsfolk to follow her, presumably by means of the Cruciatus Curse. Ophelu then summons her captives into battle where they are swung like bags of potatoes at her enemies. In sum, Allbrick is blooddrunk, Ophelu is Voldemort, Theriot robs the elderly, Primjo is a nega Ophelu, Alfud is a jibjab, Cyduck can use mean look and blizzard, but otherwise bears no resemblance to his pokemon counterpart, and not one player has chosen Trolla because merchant is not a class. Octopath’s plot walks a delicate line somewhere between Slimerancher and Slenderman, wherein players must cleanse each of their eight farms of monsters before being caught and consumed by Slenderman, who may disguise himself as a tree, a butterfly, or most often one of your own party members. Along the way, players will encounter all manner of creatures big and small that are vulnerable to whatever weapon the player isn’t carrying, so make sure to have one or two of those in the back pocket. Octopath’s music and the environment really missed the mark, feeling more as though they were designed for a fantasy game rather than the action, puzzle racer this is. Therefore we at the Debuff award Octopath Traveler six healing grapes and a bottle of refreshing jam because it is so refreshing to see a real time sports strategy game surface from the rabble and then sink back down again.