A little over a week ago, I shared the announcement that Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will indeed be making its way to the West. Today, Bandai Namco has made that news official, with some additional information regarding the game's plot and gameplay.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will be taking place during the later half of the game's original story arc, so before ALFheim Online. Much like the .Hack titles, SAO will simulate a living MMO environment through a single player campaign.
Take on the role of Kirito, the main character of Sword Art Online, who has been locked into the VR world of Aincrad by the creator of the game along with thousands of other players, including popular characters from the original anime series. To escape the fantastical and dangerous world, players must explore and defeat the enemies contained within. Players will actively engage monsters and characters and experience aggressive battles with breathtaking attack actions, exhilarating combos and powerful burst attacks. Continuing to ﬁght is essential when locked in the VR world – if players die in the fantasy world, their character will die in real life.
However, arguably the best news for Western audiences is the inclusion of Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, which is the prequel title for the PSP, remastered in HD for the PS Vita, giving players the complete experience.
The final release date has still not been unveiled, but the game is slated for a Summer 2014 release.