Fashion-wrestling RPG Bravery Network Online releases in Early Access this month

Bravery Network Online, a stylish RPG where you can unbutton your shirt for massive damage, is coming to Steam early access this month.

Revealed at the PC Gaming Show all the way back in 2018, Bravery Network is a nod to the competitive Pokémon scene—albeit one where instead of a lightning rat punching a dragon, you're pitting 5-man squads of impeccably dressed fighters against each other.

"We started making BNO after playing hours of competitive Pokémon and wondering why there weren't more games exploring that design space," Gloam's Min-Taylor Bai-Woo and Damian Sommer write. "We quickly found out! We are however, very stubborn."

While BNO will have online fights and ranked ladders to go to town on, there's also a series of small, single-player stories to explore. In the game's post-scarcity future, the people of Tower-6 get their kicks by "lovingly battling each other to stay plugged in" via the sport of Bravery.

As a Bravery coach, you'll be putting together a killer gang of chic combatants. Building up their confidence, teaching them new skills, and equipping them with snazzy necklaces. Each is oozing with character, too, with squad names like "Trust Punks" or "The Cold & The Beautiful", heavyweight boxers squaring off against smug playboys in leather chairs.

It looks proper stunning too, thanks to a comic style penned by French artist Guillaume Singelin. Big Scott Pilgrim vibes, sure, but shone through a more diverse, fashionable, far future lens. Bravery Network Online hits Steam Early Access on February 16th.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.