Bandai Namco announced a forthcoming Sword Art Online virtual reality game on day 2 of the Tokyo Games Show.
The official title is Sword Art Online: Replication Project.
Sword Art Online is a popular anime series that features a virtual reality MMO in which players become “trapped” and are unable to log out of the game, and killed if their avatar dies in the game.
While there have been no hints as to which headset or platform Sword Art Online replication project will run on, Bandai Namco is already seeking testers for a special event that will be held from December 8th to December 10th 2017 at Space 634 at Tokyo Solamachi in Tokyo Skytree Town, a megamall that has also been home to a popup SAO cafe.
Prospective “5G Testers” must be at least 13 years old, and can apply between now and November 15th on Bandai Namco official website for the project. If accepted, these testers will be able to play the game for about 15 minutes at the special event at Space 634: long enough to meet a new character, Mist, and even fight alongside Kirito and Asuna, the protagonists of the SAO series.
“One day, you dive into the virtual reality MMO “Sword Art Online,” and in this world, you are taken prisoner on the floating castle of “Aincrad.” You are now participating in a death game, where “death in the game means death in real life,” and you encounter a lonely, sweet girl named “Mist.” Can you play this death game, in which various difficulties await, protect the girl, and survive until the very end…!?”
Would you be shocked if the testers are stuck in the game longer than 15 minutes? Would it be just too over the top for them to be trapped in the game for the entire weekend? Probably. But it’s still what I’m hoping for.
Bandai Namco also released gameplay footage featuring Kirito and Sinon from the upcoming Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, inspired by the Gun Gale Online virtual world in the SAO universe. Fatal Bullet is described as a “third-person shooter” that will mix shooter action and MMORPG elements, and will be available for PS4, Xbox and PC in 2018.