As big fans of quirky Japanese games, NIS America's annual press event is a thing we like to keep a close eye on, as the publisher shows off all the more unusual games we'll be playing over the course of the next year. And few games get us as excited as a new instalment in one of our favourite visual novel series, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, which will be hitting Western Playstation devices this September. We don't know about you, but our editor Ian, who is basically Danganronpa's #1 fan, is already collaring anyone who'll listen to tell them how great this is going to be.
Much like its predecessors, Danganronpa V3 will see an all new cast of teenagers find themselves mysteriously imprisoned in a dastardly new school. As before, these aren't just any teens - as each and every trapped student here is what's known as an "ultimate" - the very best at something specific.
Having been kidnapped and trapped, "some will kill, some will die, and some will be punished" during their time inside, most likely egged on by the traditional tyrannical teddy bear headmaster, Monokuma. In Monokuma's world, there aren't too many rules, and the only one he ever really seems fussed about is the one that determines who gets to escape. Faced with a choice, you can either choose to live your entire life trapped inside the school, never getting to see the outside world - or, you can murder one of your newfound classmates, if you think you'll get away with it. If you manage to successfully pull the wool over your companions' eyes in the class trial that follows, then you, and you alone, will be set free.
Before long, the students start to crack under pressure, bodies start to appear, and it falls to the remaining class members to try and figure out who killed who in a 'Class Trial', with their lives on the line - figure out the guilty party, and they'll be put to death; mess up and everyone but the murderer will die. Precise story details are a little thin on the ground at the moment, although we'd expect it'll be yet another dark and somewhat sinister murder mystery with an epic story full of twists and turns, and developers Spike Chunsoft haven't disappointed us yet!
Class Trials have always been a major part of the Danganronpa games, and for V3, they've had a bit of an overhaul. As before, you need to investigate the scene of the crime and accumulate evidence, ready to prove whodunnit in the trial that follows. By firing these 'truth bullets' of proof at your class members' testimonies, you can highlight the holes in their stories, and uncover the truth of each murder - although your classmates don't exactly make it easy for you. Finding the correct statements becomes harder when everyone talks over each other in the new Mass Panic Debates, while new mini-games add an extra layer of challenge to the trials, as you're tasked with spelling out an answer. Driven by a desire to survive the deadly situation they find themselves in, it goes without saying that not every student will be being entirely honest, with hidden secrets and motivations a plenty.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony will be hitting the Playstation 4 and PS Vita on the 29th September. We don't know about you, but we can't wait - now it's just a case of trying to avoid spoilers for the next six months!