Phantom Blade Zero release window, platforms, and more

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First revealed in May 2023, Phantom Blade Zero is an intense sword-fighting kungfu punk game that looks like it borrows a lot of inspiration from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

In Phantom Blade Zero, players take on the role of a warrior who has had his heart stolen and is left with a mere 66 days to live. He’s using those 66 days to try to reclaim his heart, but he’s also going to need to fight through some of the strangest and most imposing enemies in the land. Faceless foes and humans with colossal augments are just some of the boss-like enemies you’ll be battling, but there’s so much more to the game than combat encounters.

What is the release window for Phantom Blade Zero?

guy with a huge lion cannon in phantom blade zero
Screenshot via PlayStation’s YouTube channel

The release window for Phantom Blade Zero is unknown at the time of writing. However, the game’s official Twitter account did confirm in July last year that a fully playable 30-minute demo would be available at some point in 2024.

However, we also don’t have a release date for this demo right now. If Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth and Stellar Blade are anything to go by, the demo will be released roughly one month before the game, but we won’t know when either of these products will be released until the time is right.

What is Phantom Blade Zero?

two npcs with no faces in phantom blade zero
Screenshot via PlayStation’s YouTube channel

Phantom Blade Zero is the latest and possibly most ambitious entry in the Phantom Blade series. As explained in a PlayStation Blog post, Soulframe Liang, CEO and Founder of developer S-Game, began work on an indie title called Rainblood: Town of Death while studying architecture.

He went on to found the development company, which has now released several games in the Rainblood/Phantom Blade series, though most aren’t playable outside of China. Phantom Blade Zero is a considerably more ambitious game in the same universe and one that aims to hit a worldwide audience with the same dark world that over 20 million fans have been enjoying for the past few years.

The overarching style that S-Game has adopted with this latest release is what it describes as kungfu punk. With so many steampunk elements combined into martial arts-inspired arenas and Chinese architecture, it’s the best way the developer could describe the world it’s created.

Protagonist Soul uses authentic kungfu moves in the epic trailers and gameplay shown to date. This will be core to the way players interact with the world, since most people in it seem to want to kill Soul before he retireves his heart.

The dark world that seems devoid of color is used to emphasize Soul and the characters with pure intentions he encounters. It also helps highlight the weapons and skills you can acquire for Soul as you progress and defeat the monstrosities that stand in his way.

Phantom Blade Zero looks like nothing I’ve ever played before. The closest titles I can point to are probably Devil May Cry 5 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I don’t think it’s wise to try to put it in a box with any other games as references, though, since it seems to be spearheading its way onto PS5 as a trailblazer in many new spaces.

What platforms will Phantom Blade Zero be available on?

rising foreboding character in phantom blade zero
Screenshot via PlayStation’s YouTube channel

The official S-Game website for Phantom Blade Zero lists it as coming to both PS5 and PC. However, without a release date, it’s hard to tell if these releases will be simultaneous or if there’s a period of PS5 exclusivity. We’ll need to wait for more information to be released, but I don’t see the game releasing for any fewer platforms, given it was part of a PlayStation Showcase and has a PlayStation Blog post up on it.

Is Phantom Blade Zero open world?

enemy with mask face in phantom blade zero
Screenshot via PlayStation’s YouTube channel

No, Phantom Blade Zero is not a fully open world game. Instead, it presents you with several smaller open world areas that are densely packed with enemies to fight, NPCs to meet, and intriguing encounters to stumble upon. This is a deliberate move from S-Game because it wanted to make every environment feel unique and handcrafted rather than have a huge open world where players might see a few reused assets and textures repeatedly.

All Phantom Blade Zero trailers

Below, I’ve listed every trailer we’ve had for Phantom Blade Zero to date. Each one should give you a new view of what to expect in the game when it’s eventually released.

The Year of the Dragon trailer shows very little gameplay, but it does show something running on PS5 towards the end that shows off the atmosphere of the world.

There are listings for an 8-minute trailer out there but these are, from what I’ve seen, just videos of every other piece of gameplay stitched together.

The announcement trailer for Phantom Blade Zero gave us our first look at the title, and it’s an intense, almost 4-minute ride through its dark fantasy world.

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