If you want to get a taste of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox before its launch next month, you’re in luck, with a free demo released on PlayStation 4 today.
The demo lets you jump into two different areas of the game, the ancient waterways of the Cloaca Maxima and the crumbling Dry Moat Ruins. Each area lets you get a taste of a few of the “Gifts” that will be a cornerstone of exploration in Ys IX: running up walls, gliding, grappling to marked points (or enemies), and a radar to see enemy positions, even through walls.
You can also get a bit of a feel for some of the playable characters in Ys IX, with four different party members across the two areas of the demo. Crimson King (aka Adol) and Raging Bull are part of the party for both levels, while the third spot in the party is filled by Doll in Cloaca Maxima and Hawk in Dry Moat Ruins.
Unfortunately, the demo is time-limited to 10 minutes per session, though you can play as many times as you like. That’s enough time to complete each area if you don’t dawdle, but if you take your time with exploring, don’t be surprised to find the demo ending in the middle of a dramatic boss fight.
Ys IX follows on from the excellent Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, this time swapping out the desert island for an ominous gothic city that lends itself to a very different style of exploration. It sees longtime Ys hero Adol Christin imprisoned in the “Prison City” Balduq, before being transformed into a Monstrum with supernatural gifts and embarking on a quest to uncover the city’s mysteries.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is coming to PlayStation 4 on February 2 (NA) / February 5 (EU) / February 12 (NZ/AU), with Switch and PC releases also on the cards for sometime later in 2021.