PAX West 2022: Mato Anomalies Hands-On Preview

Head to Mato Anomalies To Uncover the Dark Truth of the Big City


Mato Anomalies | Featured

It’s fair to say I’ve been fascinated by Mato Anomalies since it was first announced. So when the chance came to demo it at PAX West, I could hardly refuse. Developed by Arrowiz and slated to be published by Prime Matter, it’s an exciting cyberpunk JRPG coming to all consoles and PC in 2023. While the demo I played was still in a somewhat early state, that hardly matters. I was completely enchanted by this noir adventure.

Mato Anomalies | Big City

The first thing that caught my attention about Mato Anomalies was the setting. It’s a cyberpunk version of old Shanghai. There’s all sorts of gambling, crime and miscreants afoot. And wouldn’t you know it, you play a private eye named Doe. He quickly gets into trouble, and is roughed up by some hooligans. But that’s just a means to get him to a proprietor that wants a favor. Something strange is getting smuggled into Mato, and she wants you to discover how. Which you do, moments before everything goes totally crazy.

Mato Anomalies | Dungeon

Doe wanders into a crate, and gets transported into some parallel world. Worse, it’s full of horrifying monsters that guns barely slow down. Luckily the day gets saved when Gram intervenes, using swordcraft to save Doe’s life. Combat in the game plays out a lot like in games like Persona, but this is hardly a clone. It’s just a really suave and compelling adventure inspired by some greats of the genre. I especially love the cel-shaded art style, which makes it look like a living comic book lit by neon lights.

Mato Anomalies | Heroes

One aspect about Mato Anomalies that is wholly unique is the minigame where you hack into people’s brains. You do so armed with cards that have various effects. The person you’re trying to hack has defenses to protect themselves that will resurrect every few turns. Your job is to use your cards to weaken the resolve of your mark, while getting through their defenses. As someone that loves card mechanics in games, I was very happy with this element.

Mato Anomalies | Cinematic

Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of Mato Anomalies. I thought that it was very polished and easy to get lost in, even at this early stage. While it’s not coming until 2023, the good news is that it’s coming to pretty much everything – PC, Nintendo, Sony and Xbox. So if you want an exciting mashup of noir, cyberpunk and demonic combat, stay tuned. We’ll have a lot more to say about this stunning new JRPG vision.

Josh Speer
Got my start in the industry at oprainfall, but been a game fanatic since I was young. Indie / niche advocate and fan of classics like Mega Man, Castlevania and Super Metroid. Enjoys many genres, including platformers, turn based / tactical RPGs, rhythm and much more. Champion of PAX West and Knight of E3.

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