During this year’s E3, Jump Force producer Koji Nakajima sat down with EGM to discuss why the game will be set in the real-world, as well as how Death Note‘s Light Yagami and Ryuk will work in the fighter.
Bandai Namco Entertainment’s upcoming three-on-three tag team fighting game might appear to be a complicated crossover of several Shonen Jump series, including One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z, but Nakajima believes this could be a title with a wide appeal. In fact, the setting of the brawler, our own world, was chosen to make players unfamiliar with mangas feel more comfortable. “I think it’s better to have something there that you recognize, it feels more real and close to home,” Nakajima said. “And if this game became a gateway or generated interest for Shonen Jump, that would be amazing.”
Of course, with the development of the game celebrating Shonen Jump’s 50th anniversary, the developers included nods to the fans that have made the magazine thrive. “Not only is it set in a real-world stage, but the Jump world is also mixed into it,” he said. “So you might have noticed Naruto’s God Tree in New York’s Time Square, which will give Jump fans something to enjoy.”
Apart from the look of the game, the team also wanted to make the gameplay less like Tekken, Soul Calibur, or Dragon Ball FighterZ, which are reliant on player’s mastering technique, and more accessible to those unfamiliar with the genre. According to the producer, “gameplay difficulty is more comparable to something like Xenoverse 2, Ultimate Ninja Storm, or going farther back, the Budokai series.”
While the E3 reveal trailer for Jump Force confirmed a handful of the Shonen Jump fighters players will have to choose from, including Goku, Naruto, and Luffy, Death Note‘s Ryuk and Light Yagami’s brief appearance didn’t specify how the characters will fight. Unfortunately, Nakajima revealed they won’t be playable. “All he has to do is write a name in a notebook and they’ll be defeated, so that might be too overpowered for a fighting game,” he said. However, the story will center on the idea of immersion, which is where both Death Note characters will be added “to complement that experience.”
As for any other characters outside of the ones we know, Nakajima said he couldn’t reveal any more at this time, but there will be more announced. As a final tease, he said his personal favorite Shonen Jump series will be “making it into the roster and the announcement of that will be coming soon.”
Jump Force is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.