During the recent PlayStation Showcase, Chinese developer S-GAME has announced the action RPG Phantom Blade Zero via a new trailer. A release date was not announced, but the game will launch for PlayStation 5 and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. The game is set in a semi-open world, with “bleak and punishing” gameplay, with players having access to several weapons, armor, artifacts, skills, and more. In Phantom Blade Zero, players play as Soul, “an elite assassin serving an elusive but powerful organization known simply as “The Order.””
Additional details via PlayStation Blog:
“What’s your plan, knowing you have only 66 days to live?”
This journey began with Rainblood: Town of Death, an indie game I made back in 2010. The development process was a creative outlet for me as an architecture student, first in Beijing and later New Haven.
When I returned to China, I founded my own development studio, S-GAME, and Rainblood grew into a franchise that would later become Phantom Blade. Most of these titles were for smartphones and never released outside of China, but we still managed to build a fan base of over 20 million players.
Now, allow me to introduce Phantom Blade Zero, the spiritual rebirth of the original Rainblood and the game we always wanted to make.
Phantom World, the universe in which the game is set, is a place where many kinds of powers converge. Here you’ll find Chinese Kung-Fu, intricate machines reminiscent of steampunk, arts of the occult, and other intriguing elements that don’t quite fit into any of these categories.
In Phantom Blade Zero, you play as Soul, an elite assassin serving an elusive but powerful organization known simply as “The Order.” Soul is framed for the murder of The Order’s patriarch, gravely injured in the ensuing manhunt, and, though his life is saved by a mystic healer, the makeshift cure will only last for 66 days. Now, he must fight against powerful foes and inhuman monstrosities, all while seeking out the mastermind behind it all before his time runs out.
From Louis Cha’s Wuxia stories and Bruce Lee’s films to Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once and Donnie Yen in John Wick: Chapter 4, Phantom Blade Zero draws on a wide range of martial arts icons, but with a twist of its own. What we call “Kung-Fu Punk” instills a heavy dose of punk spirit and our unique visual aesthetic.
Phantom Blade Zero unfolds in a semi-open world, consisting of multiple large maps filled with diverse, handcrafted activities.
This world of Phantom Blade Zero is bleak and punishing, a constant reminder to never let your guard down. Seeking out the game’s many challenges and power foes will reward you with weapons, armor, artifacts, skills, and other ways to customize or progress your character.
Authentic Action by Mr. Kenji Tanigaki, Action Director
Having a decade of mobile development under our belts, we’ve learned to simplify control inputs for touchscreens, giving players ways to execute elaborate moves without mindless “button-mashing.” We’ve taken these lessons and applied them to action gameplay with a controller.
And we’re honored to have Mr. Kenji Tanigaki as our action director, the fight choreography master behind many of the classic martial arts films that inspired us. For Phantom Blade Zero, Kenji-san physically demonstrated each move in the game to be scanned by a camera matrix. This data was then used as reference material for our animation artists, who would then rebuild these moves by hand for use in the game.
This is all we can disclose for now, but there is much more to come.
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