Jump Force release date, roster, gameplay, and everything we know so far

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It's hard to go wrong when you take some of the strongest warriors from all of manga and anime and throw them into a raucous fighting game. First shown during the Xbox E3 2018 press conference, Jump Force is a 3D crossover fighter featuring mega-popular Shonen Jump series like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, and the newly revealed Bleach, as combatants duke it out in 3v3 bouts. It'll still be some time before we get to jump in and mix it up with these iconic characters from throughout Shonen Jump history, but if you're looking for all the known Jump Force facts, you've come to the right place. Here's everything you need to know before the game hits PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2019.

Jump Force's release date is sometime in 2019 

All we know for certain about Jump Force's release date is the vague "2019" window teased at the end of the reveal trailer - but it could be here sooner than you think. Dragon Ball FighterZ (also published by Bandai Namco) made its official debut at Microsoft's E3 2017 presser, and launched about half a year later on January 26, 2018. Though there's no guarantee that Jump Force will follow suit with a short timeline of its own, Bandai Namco may be in the habit of revealing its fighting games when they're well on their way to being finished, so as not to make the wait too agonizing. Jump Force was reportedly around 60% complete when it was first shown, so chances are good that we can expect an early 2019 release date. 

Jump Force's roster features Shonen Jump's greatest hits (with some exceptions) 

The characters in Jump Force all hail from Weekly Shonen Jump, a manga anthology you'll find at any Japanese newsstand that's been consistently popular for decades. Here are all the confirmed playable fighters in the Jump Force roster, along with the series they originally appeared in: 

  • Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Luffy (One Piece)
  • Naruto (Naruto)
  • Ichigo (Bleach)
  • Sasuke (Naruto)
  • Rukia (Bleach)
  • Aizen (Bleach)
  • Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Zoro (One Piece)

Though we see Death Note's Light Yagami and Ryuk make a brief cameo in the reveal trailer, they won't actually appear as playable brawlers. Granted, all Light would have to do to win a duel is just write down the name of his opponent - "He'd be too strong" said producer Koji Nakashima in an interview with Siliconera. Instead, certain characters will play a part in the story - which has Jump universes mysteriously merging into our reality - without actually joining the in-game fights. 

With only six characters revealed so far, it's easy to let your mind race at the possibilities for more famous characters from Shonen Jump (or its parent company Shueisha). This is pure speculation, but I'm willing to bet we'll see heroes and villains from My Hero Academia, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and Yu Yu Hakusho, for starters. But one thing's for certain: don't expect to see your favorite sports manga folks joining the fray. "Adding in sports manga characters is a bit difficult… it’s mainly battle manga characters," said Nakashima. In other words, it might be a bit odd if the teenagers of Haikyu!!, Prince of Tennis, or Slam Dunk got into a fistfight with Goku. That match would be over in a hurry.

Jump Force's gameplay features 3v3 brawls set in real-world locations

With a behind-the-back camera reminiscent of Spike Chunsoft's own DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi, Jump Force pits two teams of three against each other in sprawling 3D arenas. Because the story of Jump Force takes place in our world, you'll be able to duke it out at famous locations like New York City's famous Times Square or the snowy peaks of the Matterhorn (the real one in the Alps, not the Disneyland attraction). The levels look like they'll all feature stage transitions a la Injustice 2, complete with quick cutscenes of mass destruction as the fighter on the receiving end gets tossed around like a ragdoll. 

Though the stages look massive, there will be plenty of ways to close the gap if your opponent tries to create distance and pepper you with fireballs; most of the fighters look like they have a way to dash or teleport to their target to continue the beatdown. Interestingly, all three characters on your team share the same one life bar - so tagging in your other fighters only serves to extend your combos, rather than regenerating lost health as in games like Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. There's also an Awakening meter that acts as a comeback mechanic, though little is currently known about its precise mechanics. And it looks like some fighters will have their iconic transformations for super moves, like Goku going Super Saiyan, Luffy becoming Bounce Man, and Naruto unleashing Kurama, the Nine-tailed Demon Fox.    

Mastering these Dragon Ball FighterZ tips will help pass the time until you can play Jump Force!