Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have made quite a name for themselves with the Dynasty Warriors series and over the last few years they have been branching out that style of gameplay into numerous anime and manga adaptations beginning with Gundam. Now the latest series to be given the Warriors treatment happens to be a bit fresher for anime fans in the West as it happens to be a game for The Heroic Legend of Arslan. With Arslan: The Warriors of Legend set to be released this week in the West, we had a chance to ask a few questions about the game.
A number of different manga and anime franchises have been given Warrior style releases over the last few years, but what led to selecting The Heroic Legend of Arslan as the next Warriors game?
When we had a chance to collaborate with Kodansha, I was offered the opportunity to make an Arslan game. Because I and many members of my team have been fans of Arslan for years, ever since the novels, I decided to create this game.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is a story of a Prince gathering a band of allies to fight against overwhelming odds and numerous armies in order to reclaim his throne and free his kingdom. It is the kind of drama Warriors games tell very well and a kind of story that fits the 1vs1000 genre perfectly.
Unlike many of the series that have been worked on in the past, The Heroic Legend of Arslan has only just started to reach your average fan overseas with the recent anime adaptation and English manga releases yet Koei Tecmo was quick to announce the localization of Arslan: The Warriors of Legend. Was there any concern about bringing the series overseas compared to other Warriors titles?
It is true that The Heroic Legend of Arslan is still a new brand for the west, whereas our other Warriors titles have enjoyed recognition for many years. However, with the wonderful talent of Hiromu Arakawa behind it, the anime and manga has done a great job creating a solid fanbase and we wanted to offer this game to them at the same time as Japan (well, nearly the same time).
The Heroic Legend of Arslan has been running for quite a long time now. Will those unfamiliar with the series be able to step into the game’s story without becoming lost?
Absolutely. The game follows the first series of the anime and in that way the story starts from the beginning. It is a great way for fans of the series to relive their favourite chapters in an interactive way, and for newcomers to be introduced to this deep and immersive storyline
Should fans of the series expect the story of the game to stick close to the original storyline of the series and perhaps go beyond the recent anime adaptation?
The story of the game follows the story of the anime. However there is also a wealth of original content and additional missions, so I think that players will be quite happy with the content.
With the series running for so long, it had to be difficult to narrow down what characters from the series to include in the final roster. Were there any characters that you wish could have been added but didn’t make the cut?
So far, we added the key characters of the first season of the anime, 15 of them. They are all unique and cool. I think there is a well-rounded selection for fans to choose from.
From what we have seen of the game, Arslan: The Warriors of Legend appears incredibly similar in appearance to what we have seen in the anime adaptation. How did the team manage to match the art style of the game so well with that of the anime?
We wanted to keep the artistic style as similar as possible so the inspiration for the art-style of the game was tailored after the anime. Also, Kodansha supported us heavily on this and were pleasantly surprised when we showed them the first trailer as they thought it was very similar to the anime.
What type of combat elements are unique to this title to help set it apart from other Warriors games?
There are quite a few, but my favourite is the Mardan Rush, a move that is also executed often in the anime. It is an overpowering battlefield manoeuvre that differs slightly from character to character and event to event. In that sense you can call a band of horsemen to your side and charge through obstacles, or call a group of archers and target a specific enemy unit from afar. It gives a nice strategic edge to the player and it’s very impressive to behold!
Many seemed surprised to hear that Arslan: The Warriors of Legend would be releasing on the Xbox One overseas. What led to the decision to bring the title to that console as well as the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3?
It’s really a simple one: we wanted to open this IP up to as many players as possible and there are more Xbox One gamers in the west than in Japan, so it made sense. So we are releasing for PlayStation4, PlayStation3, Xbox One and on PC via Steam on the 12th of February.
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is set to be released on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PC in North America on February 9th and in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on February 12th.