Chinese developer S-Game captured attention during the latest PlayStation Showcase by unveiling their upcoming action RPG Phantom Blade Zero. Using Unreal Engine 5, the small studio aims to deliver an AAA-quality experience blending Chinese Wuxia fantasy with Hollywood action flair.
While S-Game found mobile success with Phantom Blade: Executioners, they are shifting focus to PC and console with Phantom Blade Zero. We interviewed S-Game Founder and CEO Soulframe Liang to learn more about this ambitious project.
Targeting International Appeal with New “KungfuPunk” Style
Liang explained the studio is moving from mobile/domestic to PC/console/international. While based on Chinese Wuxia culture, Phantom Blade Zero features an entirely original dark fantasy setting Liang calls “KungfuPunk.” He drew inspiration from 70’s Hong Kong cinema, manga like Vagabond and Berserk, and games including Ninja Gaiden and Sekiro.
Unlike competing titles based on classical Chinese novels, Phantom Blade Zero blends Eastern and Western influences into something fresh. S-Game aims for broad appeal beyond China.
Leveraging Next-Gen Power with Unreal Engine 5
Made possible by Unreal Engine 5, S-Game seeks to minimize the gap between small and large developers. Impressive features like Lumen, Nanite, and hardware ray tracing raise visual quality without requiring massive engineering teams.
Targeting 4K 60FPS on PC and 2K 60FPS on PS5, S-Game is optimizing performance with help from AMD, Nvidia, and Epic. DualSense haptics and adaptive triggers will provide immersive feedback.
Crafting an Original Wuxia Action Epic
Phantom Blade Zero tells an original revenge story focused on narrative, art direction, and gameplay. The progression system ties to the plot. S-Game is hand-crafting challenging, intense boss battles reminiscent of Dark Souls but less punishing.
While the campaign is single-player only, multiplayer dungeons become available after completion. Liang aims to provide a focused, cinematic journey first.