One of the bigger announcements to come out of Anime NYC was Arc Systems Works announcing that Wold End Syndrome, an acclaimed visual novel game that has seen praise and celebration with its release in Japan. While there was no playable demo available for the game at Anime NYC, Arc Systems Works placed a trailer at their booth that was highlighted throughout the event.
World End Syndrome is a visual novel game where players will embark on a story told through animated or still cutscenes with text and dialogue. Players will experience the events of of the story and make decisions that will impact the outcome of that story. Those decisions may involve a certain dialogue option with a character or a particular action that may affect the the entire ending of the game. Some examples of visual novels include Psychopass: Mandatory Happiness and Code: Realize.
World End Syndrome takes place in an ocean-side town in Japan, where a the protagonist, a mysterious young boy, comes to live and rely on an estranged uncle. Something strange occurred where the young boy lived and he has a “darkness” within him. While living out his ordinary and otherwise boring life, he makes new friends at the Mihate High School. There he has an “unforgettable summer” depending on the decisions the player will make with the boy’s newfound friends. Depending on the choice, the “world” around the player will change. World End Syndrome is being visually designed by Yuuki Katou, one of the main designers behind BlazBlue.
While not too much is known about World End Syndrome, the game’s premise is quite interesting and different form other visual novels. Several of the visual novels I have played typically involved a sci-fi setting, but World End Syndrome seems to involve both a psychological and supernatural twist. The characters that the player will encounter seem just as mysterious as the premise. Who they are and what their goals and ambitions are remain a complete mystery. Furthermore, is this “darkness” a violent behavior or a demonic entity that threatens the world? We will have to wait and see.
World End Syndrome will launch in the United States in 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.