Sekiro-style Phantom Blade 0 will have soulslike elements, but it's "not going full throttle on difficulty"

Phantom Blade 0
(Image credit: S-Game)

Phantom Blade 0 will include soulslike elements, but it's "not going full throttle on difficulty".

Viewers of Sony's recent PlayStation Showcase were so impressed with the newly unveiled Phantom Blade 0 that for many, it was the 'game of the show'. The reveal trailer showed intense and intricate sword battles, so it's not surprising that it's drawn a lot of attention from Sekiro fans in particular, but is it really a soulslike?

That's what S-Game was recently asked on the Phantom Blade 0 Discord channel, and according to the developer, it will have aspects of the genre, but whereas FormSoftware games like Elden Ring and Sekiro delight in putting the player through their paces, Phantom Blade 0 is dialling down the difficulty in favour of a more approachable experience.

"There are Souls-like elements, but we're not going full throttle on difficulty and punishment," S-Game explains. "Approachable is the key here. The idea is that you don't need lightning reflex or supersonic finger movements to find fun in the game".

Whilst this may be a tad disappointing to those that thrive on the brutal challenge the genre typically offers, if you dig the action and atmosphere of soulsikes but don't enjoy being greeted by the 'game over' screen at every turn, Phantom Blade 0 could be just the game for you. 

Elsewhere, the developer confirmed that no elements of Phantom Blade 0, such as weapons or equipment, will be unlocked through in-game purchases. "You'll be paying for a complete experience," S-Game says. “No gacha or microtransaction”. And in terms of weaponry, what's been shown in the reveal footage is just the tip of the iceberg. "Each weapon affects gameplay with unique moves and combos," the developer says. "What you saw in the trailer is only part of your arsenal in the final game."

What we've seen of Phantom Blade 0 so far has been big, flashy and layered with polish making it all the more surprising that the game has its roots in a very small-scale indie JRPG series

Here's why Phantom Blade Zero is the perfect post-Elden Ring tonic.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.