SNK Announces New Samurai Shodown Fighting Game

SNK has announced a new entry in their long-dormant fighting game series Samurai Shodown. Known as Samurai Spirits in Japan, the series last release came out a decade ago. The new title is coming to the PS4 sometime in 2019. SNK announced the game at the PlayStation LineUp Tour press conference Monday morning.

The game’s reveal trailer showcases a new art style and the move to 3D characters on a 2D plane. Unlike some games in the series that attempted to transition the series into a fully 3D fighting game. SNK is building the game in Unreal Engine.

Samurai Shodown games are set in late 18th century Japan through the early 19th century, and feature a wide cast of characters. Unlike many fighting games, Shodown‘s cast is largely Japanese. The series’ affection for Japanese culture is integral to the stories it tells. International releases of the games preserve their attention to language and culture by not recording voice-over in different languages.

As a weapons-based fighting game, Spirits has a greater emphasis on attack range and the clashing of swords has been a main mechanic since the original game. The new entry in the franchise is the the twelfth mainline entry in the series. The game is set in 1787, in-between the events of Samurai Shodown V and Samurai Shodown (1993).

SNK has a storied history dating back to 1973. The developers at SNK have produced classic franchises including Metal Slug, The King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Spirits/Shodown. Their most recent title, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy was released on September 7, 2018. Their return to Samurai Spirits comes after the last title—Samurai Shodown: Sen—was poorly received in 2008. That game was a fully 3D fighter. Not much is known about the upcoming game, but SNK has said there will be more information on the official website soon.