A day ago, I would’ve put down money on a bet that we never heard a peep about Babylon’s Fall again. At E3 2018, Square Enix released a purely cinematic trailer for a new collaboration with Platinum Games, following its success on Nier: Automata. The trailer gave away little—it was clearly a fantasy setting, there was cool armor, and it was coming to Steam and PS4 in 2019. As far as I’m aware, that was the last we saw or heard a single thing about Babylon’s Fall for 547 days. Until today.
Square surprise-dropped a new Babylon’s Fall trailer for State of Play, a Japanese PlayStation event. And this time, it’s an in-engine trailer! Not only is Babylon’s Fall still alive, but it’s clearly a real, playable game.
The trailer paints Babylon’s Fall as a cross between Devil May Cry’s character action and Dark Souls’ fantasy aesthetic (at least, Dark Souls at its less decrepit). There’s also a heavy paintbrush style at work to give Babylon’s Fall more of a storybook look. The main character attacks with floating, magical swords detached from his body, which is actually a dead ringer for one of Dante’s abilities in the recent Devil May Cry 5. A couple elements from the cinematic trailer still seem to exist in the game itself: You can use magical threads to grapple onto enemies, and there are bad guys that dwarf you in size. This game is, unsurprisingly, anime as hell.
Also unsurprisingly, it’s not coming out in 2019. This time the trailer ends with “More information next summer,” which means we’re looking at a late 2020 release at the earliest.
But hey, that’s better than no release at all. Babylon’s Fall seemed destined for a quiet cancellation—one of those projects that got announced a little too early to bulk out an E3 presentation, or ran into some unexpected issues during development. In the lead-up to E3 2019, I looked around for information on Babylon’s Fall and found absolutely nothing. It wasn’t encouraging. Platinum’s website hadn’t been updated since its reveal. There hadn’t been a single official tweet since June 2018. And it wouldn’t be the first game that Square Enix announced early and then canceled this gen.
In the time since Babylon’s Fall was announced, Platinum unveiled and released Astral Chains for the Nintendo Switch. It’s also worked on mobile games and continues to develop Bayonetta 3 for Nintendo. Apparently a team has still been working away on Babylon’s Fall this whole time, too.
Details for the game remain cryptic. There’s nothing on the official site but the two trailers and the promise of more information next summer. After seeing some gameplay footage, though, that art is a bit more interesting. The player character in the footage is clearly the tall, thin fencer-looking character here. Does that mean Babylon’s Fall will have four different playable characters, each with their own styles? That’s a bet I’d still feel safe taking.