Stylistic, dramatic approaches to Eastern culture have been rather prevalent in the industry lately. Games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Ghost of Tsushima, and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty are soon to be joined by Phantom Blade Zero, a game that begs the question, “What’s your plan, knowing you have only 66 days to live?”
Phantom Blade isn’t a new series, though you may never have heard of it. Birthed from Rainblood: Town of Death in 2010, Phantom Blade was primarily a mobile series exclusive to China. But thanks to the passion of developer and founder of S-Game, Soulframe Liang, the West will finally get its time in the Phantom World.
Phantom Blade Zero Release Date
Revealed at the May 24th, 2023 PlayStation Showcase, Phantom Blade Zero presented a gloomy art style with plenty of action-packed combat and eccentric characters. What the trailer was missing, though, was any sort of release window.
Considering this is the first we’ve heard of Phantom Blade Zero, and the details were pretty slim, it’s likely that this semi-open world adventure won’t drop until 2024.
What is Phantom Blade Zero About?
According to Liang, Phantom Blade Zero follows Soul, an elite assassin in a precarious situation. When the organization he works for suspects him of murder and leaves him mortally wounded, his life is saved by a healer who restores him to health—but only for 66 days. Soul can use that time to cherish life or embark on a quest for revenge, battling through inhuman fiends to seek out the truth and clear his name. Can you guess which he chooses?
Liang describes the game as “Kung-Fu Punk” and confirms that the story will unravel across several large, semi-open maps. Players that take on challenges throughout the Phantom World will be rewarded with new armor, weapons, skills, and more.
Combat will be a core part of Zero’s gameplay, and to fine-tune it, the development team turned to Mr. Kenji Tanigaki, a fight coordinator known for his work in classic martial arts cinema. Tanigaki provided via body scans the references used by the game’s animation artists to create Soul’s fighting style.
Phantom Blade Zero is Liang’s spiritual rebirth of the game that started it all for him. Though part of the Phantom Blade series, Zero is a standalone title that borrows some of the conventions of mobile game development, such as simplified controls.
What Platform Is Phantom Blade Zero Releasing On?
Co-developed by S-Game and Cruel Man studios, both of which worked on the series last release Phantom Blade: Executioners, Zero will release on PC and PS5. At this time, there’s no word of a possible Xbox release in the future.
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