Bandai Namco is returning to the world of Sword Art Online for its next RPG title, the publisher has announced. Revealed last week, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet will be taking fans into third-person shooter territory, blending its beloved RPG mechanics with fast-paced gunplay.
Launching on PS4, Xbox One and digitally on PC in early 2018, Fatal Bullet sees players taking on the role of several characters from the anime, including series protagonist Kirito. Each character will have two weapons at their disposal, plus four abilities and four gadgets, and they’ll also be able to traverse long distances using a special grapple hook.
“The reception’s been really positive, especially with our hardware platforms,” producer Yosuke Futami told MCV@gamescom. “Sword Art Online sales have been getting better and better. It started with the Asian market, and from the third game, sales have been better in the EU, so players are now in all territories.”
The game will also feature the full Japanese voice-over, with other languages in subtitles, but Futami is hoping that Fatal Bullet’s appeal will extend far beyond its anime fan base.
“I’m sure we’ll reach a wider target [audience],” he said. “With this game system, we’re also looking for new players. If you have someone who likes this world setting, the world of Sword Art Online, they won’t have any problem [with this game], but we’re hoping fans of games from other companies like Persona 5 and Nier: Automata, as well as JRPG fans, we hope they’ll enjoy this game.”
Gamescom is the perfect time to announce the title, too, says Futami.
“E3 was kind of too far away and the Tokyo Games Show is only for Japanese people, and we wanted to show it to the world, starting with the EU and then the Asian market, then Japanese fans, and then the rest of the world. So the timing was perfect.”