Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 may have the most convoluted villain story I've ever heard of, but at least the action looks cool

 Lady smiling with the sun in her face.
Lady smiling with the sun in her face.

There were plenty of fantastic trailers at the Xbox Games Showcase, but Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 stood out to me for its beautiful locations, cool fight scenes, and really convoluted antagonist backstory.

The reveal trailer shows us quite a lot about this new world from Sandfall Interactive. Set in what looks like a destroyed civilisation with something that resembles the Arc de Triomphe cut in half, here lies a handful of survivors who live in constant fear of someone called The Paintress.

This god-like being and presumed villain of Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 wakes once a year to paint a new number, counting down each time, and this year's digits are, you guessed it, 33. Now, these numbers aren't just for show, apparently: once The Paintress draws a number on her canvas, everyone who is of the same age just disintegrates into dust as if Thanos just snapped his fingers.

To try and stop her from killing the next set of people, who will be 32 or 33, I'm not quite sure, an expedition has to be sent out across the sea to The Paintress' lair with the intent of killing her and breaking the cycle. While it does seem like an odd thing to sink so many people and resources into, as it looks like more people die on these trips than The Paintress actually kills, at least it means we can explore what looks to be a stunning setting.

The world looks like a fairytale gone bloody with flower meadows, icy tundras, and foggy forests, and each place seems to host a new kind of creative boss. There are plenty of fights shown off in the reveal trailer, with each one looking different from the next. My favourite so far is the golden knight, who wields two brightly coloured swords.

The action also resembles DMC's combo fights as players dodge, parry, and attack just at the right moments to hit increasingly more powerful attacks. One of the fights also has some quick time events, which will presumably give you the chance to attack more or hit harder.

Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 currently has a release window of sometime in 2025, so hopefully, we'll be able to learn more about the story and combat in the remainder of 2024 or early 2025 if we're not so lucky.