While there’s still some debate over just how real the reveal trailer for Phantom Blade Zero was during a recent State of Play livestream, its standalone spin-off is already almost here. Due out on 2nd November on PS5 and PS4, as well as various mobile devices and PC, the side-scrolling Phantom Blade: Executioners will get the story started – and will be free-to-play. You can pre-register across all platforms, including on the PS Store, through the link.

“Phantom Blade: Executioners will have players join the mysterious Order to investigate the recent killing-sprees by clans that have used the forbidden Sha-Chi body-engineering technique,” the press release reads. “Select from four different heroes specializing in mystical Wuxia skills and eradicate Sha-Chi enhanced monstrosities from a gorgeous, hand-painted style 2D world.”

S-GAME, the title’s ambitious developer, claims this is the beginning of its broader Phantom Blade project, and that Executioners will “set the backstory for the hero Soul as the main protagonist in Phantom Blade Zero”.

The blurb continues: “Players must time moves perfectly to perform dynamic skill chain-based combos with a touch of a button. Earn Phantom bonuses throughout the course of the game and stack them on character skills to maximize damage and enhance martial art skills. When the battle is over, pick up valuable equipment to be used in the next fray. Mix and match gear however desired, then head to the procedurally-generated Purge Dungeons for a chance to earn highly coveted Sin Gears.” There’ll even be a co-op option for those eager to party up with a pal.

Artistically this looks pretty great, although we’re a little sceptical of the free-to-play business model and its importance to Phantom Blade Zero’s wider lore. Still, as a free-to-play experience it may be worth taking a look – there’s nothing to lose, after all.

[source youtube.com]