Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam (PC)
Release Date: July 10th, 2020
"Kirito has awoken in a mysterious yet somehow familiar virtual world where AIs behave like humans. In this world, Kirito meets a young man named Eugeo. They make a promise where their destinies will soon become entwined. To keep that promise and stay together, they must venture onwards. "
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is set in a medieval world ruled by a Church, whose will and complex "taboo index" is enforced by a mysterious knightly caste. Our protagonist, Kirito, finds himself immersed in this environment, without a way back out to his "reality", and completely unaware of how and when he got there. Now he must find his way out.
Unlike all previous Sword Art Online games, Alicization Lycoris is a (liberal) adaptation of the anime and does not follow the separate video game continuity.
Q&A with Producer Yusuke Futami said:Q: This game follows the Alicization arc of the anime. What made you decide to follow the canon anime storyline instead of creating a game-specific storyline?
When describing the Alicization Arc, in order to express the vast world of the original work and the anime, we came to the conclusion that the opening part should be the same between the anime and the game. We wanted to explore themes of the original work such as Kirito and Eugio’s friendship, Artificial Intelligence, the differences among humans, what defines a spirit and so on. It is straightforward even for those who watch the anime or read the original work but haven’t played the previous games, so I think it is easier to jump in.
Q: Were there any challenges in adapting the anime storyline into a video game?
As you know, the volume of the first half of the Alicization anime is colossal. I assumed we could actually make a game out of the first 24 episodes. With that massive volume in mind, it was challenging to adapt the story in a way that it could coexist with the gameplay. We made sure players can play the anime story in the game without feeling stressed.
Noisy Pixel said:Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris marks a new era of Sword Art Online games, both graphically and narratively. This is an adventure for fans and newcomers that truly builds upon this virtual world through new characters and hundreds of quests. The downside is that you may have to clear a lengthy first chapter to discover everything it has to offer, but luckily for those who do, there’s so much awaiting them. There’s still some quality-of-life work that needs to be done in terms of loading times and assist pop-ins, but as a fan of the previous SAO games, this entry simply blew me away. [FULL REVIEW HERE]
Attack of the Fanboy said:People have been waiting for years to finally get what could be considered a really good Sword Art Online game, but the fourth time is certainly not the charm for developer Aquria with probably the most disappointing attempt yet due to the overall squandered potential in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris. [FULL REVIEW HERE]