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A Heavenly Sword sequel is back on the table according to sources at UK magazine PlayGamer. Although the original game's creator, Ninja Theory, long ago distanced itself from the Sony-owned property, the magazine claims another unnamed studio has stepped in to pick up the pieces and take the franchise in an entirely new direction.
If the rumors prove true, the Heavenly Sword follow-up will take place a decade after the events of the first and feature an open-world format wherein players can replay missions at their whim. The original heroine Nariko is not likely to make an appearance (spoiler: she died), but the weapon for which the game was named will again be playable, but not until players have proven themselves worthy of wielding its powers.
Released for the PS3 in 2007, Heavenly Sword sold over a million copies and received above average reviews. In 2008, Ninja Theory's IT Manager “Peonic” confirmed the studio had moved on to other IPs (namely, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West), and it had no plans to head up a sequel, announcing, “We’re not abandoning HS just on a whim because we want to go off and do something different – there’s a great huge raft of reasons behind us taking the direction we are – and it’s also the nature of the business that I’m not allowed to share any of those reasons with you.”
Shortly after, Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe announced the cancellation of its own Heavenly Sword sequel, which it had assigned – albeit briefly – to its Sony Cambridge division.
No studio (UK or otherwise) has yet to claim responsibility for the rumored sequel, but like all video game hearsay that land in May, there's a good chance we'll get definitive answers at E3 next month.
May 9, 2011