Square Enix’s second trailer for SINoALICE teases its gameplay and story mechanics, sharply influenced by creative director Yoko Taro’s past work. Taro has teamed up with NieR composer Keiichi Okabe on the mobile game planned for release in early 2017. The NieR: Automata director is known for his gut-wrenching stories that pull no punches when aiming right for the player’s heart. SINoALICE’s announcement trailer hinted at a similar tone for the mobile game, its fairytale-inspired characters sharing a common wish to “revive the author”. To achieve that goal the girls will fight, kill, and betray one another.
Players will choose which character’s story they want to follow. This omnibus format gives the player more freedom in how they’d like the story presented, though finishing every route will be pivotal in fully understanding the overarching narrative. If SINoALICE is anything like Yoko Taro’s prior work, players can expect the game to hide pivotal information from them—right until they’re shown another point of view. We saw this earlier this year with the release of Yoko Taro’s Nier: Automata, which required multiple playthroughs to get the full story.
Weapon Stories, a common feature of Yoko Taro games present in NieR: Automata and Drakengard 3 will be making their return in SINoALICE. These short stories motivate the player to upgrade weapons and will add flavor to the world he envisioned. According to Gematsu, there will be more than 150 weapons in the game. SINoALICE will be unique in including Job Stories, analogous to Weapon Stories, but related to the game’s character progression. They will be more specifically tied to a character’s backstory and inner thoughts.
SINoALICE will release for Japan on Android and iOS in Spring 2017. It will be a free-to-play title with in-app purchases. No international release has been announced, yet the runaway success of NieR: Automata—which surpassed one million combined shipments and digital sales—may be the mobile title’s saving grace. Automata has been one of many fantastic games released in 2017, receiving critical acclaim for its combat, story and level design.