Expedition 33 is a new turn-based RPG starring FF16’s Ben Starr

A turn-based RPG? In this economy? It’s more likely than you think
Sandfall Interactive

It’s pretty rare to see a turn-based RPG from a new IP take the spotlight at a showcase, but that’s what happened with the Expedition 33 trailer at the summer Xbox Games Showcase. Clair Obscur: Expedition 33, to use its full name, is the debut game from new studio Sandfall Interactive, a “reactive” RPG that blends art and narrative into what looks like something pretty promising.

And if you think you heard Ben Starr (Clive Rosfield from Final Fantasy 16) in the trailer, you’re right. Starr confirmed his involvement in Expedition 33 on Twitter, and while he didn’t say which character he voices, it seems likely he’s the talent behind lead character Gustave.

Gustave lives in a world inspired by French and Parisienne art, where the Paintress awakens once every year and daubs a new number on her monolith. Everyone whose age matches that number instantly dies, and this year, the metaphorical clock ticks down to 33. Gustave and his fellow soon-to-be-doomed 33-year-olds decide enough is enough and set out to destroy the Paintress for good.

Expedition 33 draws on classic RPGs for inspiration, but it aimes to distinguish itself through a real-time turn-based combat system. Attack and defense skills require real-time inputs, similer to something like Paper Mario or The Legend of Dragoon, and there’s also a free aim system that lets you target any point on an enemy in the hopes of discovering a weakness.

“We poured our hearts and souls into creating the game of our dreams, something that would feel fresh and new, so we sincerely hope you will enjoy discovering the world and characters we crafted with love,” Guillaume Broche, Sandfall’s founder and Expedition 33’s creative director, said in a press release. “With an incredible and epic story, a unique reactive turn-based system, and a vast hand-crafted world to explore, we gave our all to make the journey in ‘Expedition 33’ one that you will never forget. We can't wait to share more with you as we get closer to release!” 

Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 launches for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5 sometime in 2025.

If you're after more new game announcements, check out our Summer Game Fest roundup and all the games shown off during Day of the Devs2024.

Published |Modified
Josh Broadwell