While the big PS Showcase this week was ultimately a bit of a disappointment, there were some awesome PS5 games in it – and one title which particularly caught the eye was Phantom Blade Zero, the high-octane Chinese action game with the less than stellar voice acting. This is being developed by a team called S-GAME, which has previously worked on a bunch of mobile games. In fact, believe it or not, this is not the first Phantom Blade – there are others available for smartphones.
That obviously makes the leap in quality here remarkable, but many have already noted that the gameplay in the trailer doesn’t look quite right – almost like it’s animations without any actual controller input. In a Discord Q&A recapped by Twisted Pixel, the developer assured it was real gameplay utilising cinematic camera angles, but it went on to raise more questions. For example, it reckons the release – which has only been in development since 2022 – will have a full 30-40 hour story. Okay, that’s fair enough – but it doesn’t end there!
For example, the team says there’ll be plenty to keep you coming back once you’ve polished off the plot, including – wait for it – a full multiplayer mode, roguelike missions, dungeons, and several side-quests. Oh, and by the way, it says it’s also utilising a “semi-open world” structure that it reckons will allow you to approach the content in unique ways, without having to traverse vast expanses of terrain.
So it sounds good, then, but is it legit? Well, with respect, this wouldn’t be the first Chinese title to make a remarkable first impression and then never actually appear to make much meaningful progress. Do you remember the likes of Lost Soul Aside and Black Myth: Wukong, for example? S-GAME’s really promising a lot here, and we sincerely hope it all comes together. For now, though, consider us extremely sceptical.