The trailer’s combat was captured “in-engine,” with the game looking “much clearer” and having a “stable camera with larger view scope.”
Among the many titles featured in the PlayStation Showcase, S-Game’s Phantom Blade Zero attracted some attention. The hack-and-slash title is coming to PS5 and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store, and the developer revealed some new details in a Discord Q&A (via MP1st).
As a sequel to the mobile title Phantom Blade: Executioners, the story sees protagonist Soul betrayed. He’s injured, and his friends have turned against him. It’s “like watching a prequel movie of John Wick if there was one. In that case, you may see a younger John Wick with some cool friends. And then you begin to watch the actual John Wick series, and see how he has to kill them all.”
The main story alone will take about 30 to 40 hours to complete. However, there are also “tons of side quests to play with.” A robust end-game with a boss rush, an abyss with rogue-like elements and multiplayer dungeons are promised. The developer also explained that “all combat scenes are captured in-engine. They are real.
“But we set a more ‘cinematic’ camera to capture the trailer footage. Some angles are specially set. The actual game will have a stable camera with larger view scope. The combat will look much clearer, but less impactful as it is in the trailer (or it’ll be too dizzying).”
It also discussed the Combo Chain system, which it worked on for mobile games but “we found it work on all kinds of controllers just fine. Players will edit their skill orders in two chains, and press the two bottoms to release super complex and fast combos. It makes everyone’s gameplay look like a professional Twitcher of DMC or Ninja Gaiden. But there is still depth in organizing the skill order, and other timing-related skills (parry, dodge, etc).”
While its combat is similar to Ninja Gaiden, there is a semi-open world map to explore with “multiple paths forward” instead of a linear environment. And while it doesn’t have a release date, the early concept was written and designed in 2017 (when the team was limited to 2-3 core members). Development began in early 2022.
Interestingly, despite only announcing PS5 as its release console, the developer said it doesn’t have “any exclusivity on any platform.” Whether an Xbox Series X/S version will be announced further down the line remains to be seen, so stay tuned for more details in the coming months.