Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet announced, coming in February

Back in August, Bandai Namco teased something called #Projekt1514, which was later revealed to be a new Sword Art Online game set to come to the PC in 2018. And that, I'm assuming, is what the publisher announced today as Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, "an original story supervised by series creator Reki Kawahara" scheduled to come to Steam on February 23, 2018. 

Players will create their own unique avatars and interact with characters from the Sword Art Online novels, anime, and games, in "a world that is vastly personalized and visually enhanced." Co-op and competitive multiplayer will also be supported, for two to eight players. 

But the big hook this time around is the addition of third-person gunplay, something that hasn't previously been seen in the series. "As an action-based RPG, gun battle plays a large role unlike previous games, with unique and realistic designs resembling something out of a sci-fi movie and numerous other weapons and fighting styles to choose from," Bandai said.   

I can't say for certain that Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is #Projekt1514, but it only seems reasonable—how many of these things can there be, right? I've reached out to Bandai Namco to confirm, just in case, and I'll update if I get word. The Fatal Bullet web page currently only has preorder links for console, but it is coming to Steam; when it does, laying down your cash up-front will get you the Silver Assault Gun and Asuna and Kirito SAO avatar costumes. 

Screens? Yes.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.