The live-action adaptation of the manga One Piece sparks mixed emotions on the Internet. However, that's not all that fans of this highly popular saga can look forward to for its 25th anniversary. Bandai Namco has announced One Piece Odyssey, a single-player jRPG coming to PC (Steam), Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The announcement was accompanied by a trailer, available below.
A pirate adventure the world has never seen
This is not the first game with the Straw Hat crew, but One Piece Odyssey differs from the previous virtual adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and company. It is not an adaptation of the manga by Eiichiro Oda or its anime adaptation, but a completely new adventure of the pirate crew from East Blue.
- The game will be set after the time skip known from the manga and anime, which is long after the beginning of Luffy's quest for the legendary treasure One Piece. The Straw Hats' ship, the Thousand Sunny, gets caught in a massive storm and the crew wakes up on a mysterious island.
- The separated heroes must reassemble, repair the ship and face new beasts and enemies, as well as make contact with the natives. The designs of the new monsters and characters were developed by none other than Eiichiro Oda himself.
- This does not mean that there will be no old friends (except, of course, the Straw Hat crew). In the trailer we can see Smoker and Gorosei (the Elders of the Five Stars), among others, although it is not clear how important their role in the story will be.
- Also confirmed are the presence of original Japanese voice actors and the involvement of Motoi Sakuraba. Yes, the composer known for the Dark Souls and Tales series will be responsible for the music.
One Piece like Dragon Quest?
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Odyssey also differs from previous adaptations in terms of gameplay. It is not an action adventure game like the 2019's One Piece: World Seeker, nor is it a clone of Dynasty Warriors in the vein of Pirate Warriors. This is a jRPG created over many years in the style of Dragon Quest, from the team which worked on such titles as the NieR series, remasters of the fourth-gen Pokemon and Dragon Quest XI. At least that's what you can guess from the gameplay footage visible on the trailer.
- Here we have both exploration of locations as any crew member and party-based combat. At no point was anything mentioned about turn-based battles, but the trailer clearly hints at them.
- There was also a mention of a certain novelty in combat, meant to reflect the "twists and turns" known from One Piece. The trailer also hints at combination attacks involving several characters.
- The video also includes a scene with the crew carelessly feasting in a camp. It may be a cutscenes, but it is possible that the creators will include mechanics reflecting Luffy's crew's love of parties.
Unfortunately, for now, there's not enough solid information to say anything more. Even the footage with producer Katsuaki Tsuzuki doesn't reveal much, though it's worth checking out the video if only for Oda's concept artwork.
However, even these meager details show that the developers have much bigger ambitions than just making another game riding on the tailcoats of characters from the most popular manga in history. Like the fact that the work on the game was supposed to take many years (which, to avoid spoilers, is somewhat evident from Luffy's crew).
One Piece Odyssey will be released this year. When exactly, we will find out - hopefully - soon.
One Piece began life in 1997, when the first chapter of the manga by Eiichiro Oda was published. The story of a pirate who is unable to swim but sets out to find the pirate king's eponymous treasure has reached over 1,000 chapters, 101 volumes, an anime series and a handful of movies, as well as a mention in Guinness World Records.
One Piece is also the best selling manga in history and one of the most profitable brands in the world. It owes its success to a neat combination of typical shonen humor and action with interesting characters and a constantly expanding world full of mysteries.
It's worth mentioning that we also found out who will play the role of Red-Haired Shanks in the Netflix series. He will be played by Peter Gadiot, an actor known among others from Yellowjackets.