Soulframe Liang, founder and CEO of S-Game, stated in the post on the PlayStation Blog where the inspiration for the game originated. The journey began with Rainblood: Town of Death, an indie game created by Liang in 2010 during his time as an architecture student. Building on the success of Rainblood, Liang founded S-GAME and expanded the franchise, amassing a dedicated fan base of over 20 million players with their smartphone titles. However, this is mainly limited to the Chinese market.
Therefore, Phantom Blade Zero marks the spiritual rebirth of the original Rainblood and represents the game S-GAME has always aspired to create. Set in the universe of Phantom World, a realm where various powers intersect, players will embark on an extraordinary adventure blending Chinese Kung Fu, steampunk aesthetics, occult arts, and other captivating elements.
Phantom Blade Zero follows the story of Soul, an elite assassin serving “The Order,” a mysterious and influential organisation. After being framed for the murder of The Order’s leader, Soul is left gravely wounded and faces a dire predicament: a mystical healer saves his life but provides a temporary cure that will last only 66 days. Now, Soul must embark on a perilous journey, battling formidable enemies and unearthly creatures while uncovering the mastermind behind the conspiracy before time runs out.
The game draws inspiration from a vast array of martial arts icons, from classic Wuxia stories by Louis Cha and iconic films starring Bruce Lee to modern action stars like Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. Combining these influences with their unique visual aesthetic, S-GAME has coined the term “Kung-Fu Punk” to describe the distinctive flavour of Phantom Blade Zero.
Phantom Blade Zero offers a semi-open world experience, featuring multiple expansive maps filled with meticulously crafted activities. Within this unforgiving and bleak world, players will face numerous challenges and powerful adversaries, with rewards ranging from weapons and armour to artifacts, skills, and character progression options.
To ensure authentic and mesmerising action sequences, S-GAME utilised the expertise of Mr Kenji Tanigaki, a renowned fight choreography master known for his work in classic martial arts films. Tanigaki physically performed each move in the game, which was captured by a camera matrix. This data served as reference material for the animation artists, who meticulously recreated the moves by hand, ensuring an unparalleled level of authenticity in the game’s combat.