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Corpse Party revived again for Darkness Distortion

Corpse Party revived again for Darkness Distortion
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Newest installment in popular survival horror series coming later this year to PC, PlayStation 4 and Switch

There have been all sorts of iterations in the Corpse Party survival horror series since it launched (in Japan) way back in 1996, and an only-slightly-less-bewildering release schedule since the franchise debuted in English in 2016. But for fans of the long-running series, the most important thing to know is that a brand new intallment is due out later this year, in the form of Corpse Party II: Darkness Distortion.

The new game is not to be confused with 2019's Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient, although they do seem to share a narrative throughline that connects them – or at the very least some common trace DNA. In the earlier title, a high school student named Ayame Itou awakened from a coma to find herself with no memory and strapped to an operating table in a seemingly abandoned hospital called Amare Patriarcha Crucis – abandoned by all but the undead creatures still roaming its halls, that is. Ayame's challenge, with either help or hindrance from others she finds trapped inside with her, was to discover how she came to be in the hospital and then hopefully get out of it alive. 

The new "standalone" game tells the story of three teenagers, Haruka Nanami, Nemu Takanashi and Maria Hitsugi, who foolishly challenge the urban legend of "Ayame's Mercy" at the urging of an online streamer who simply wishes to "boost her subscriber count." The three friends dare venture into the Amare Est Vivere Hospital to see if the legend is true, and in doing so "trigger a decades-old curse that sends them into a dark realm." Once there they must "avoid the vengeful spirit of Ayame Kirishima and other horrors from the hospital’s dark past as they search for a way to dispel Ayame’s curse once and for all." (A different Ayame, though, right?)

Whatever the intentional or unintentional similarities between them, Darkness Distortion promises "new characters, a new setting, a terrifying new curse, and a brand-new look allowing for more thrills and chills." Rendered fully in 3D, the game not only offers the series' traditional third-person perspective, but also first-person viewpoints "for those brave enough to take a closer look." Of course, Corpse Party fans can rest assured that the visual novel-styled storytelling, "gruesome descriptions and spine-tingling binaural audio accompanied by the original Japanese voiceovers" that they've come to know and love will be retained here. There will be six chapters in total, with "eight additional scenarios and plenty of Wrong Ends" encouraging plenty of replay opportunities. 

While no firm target release date has yet been announced, Corpse Party II: Darkness Distortion is due out later this year on PC (Steam), PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch platforms, to be published by XSEED Games in North America and Marvelous Europe in Europe. The console versions will come with both digital and physical options, and can already be pre-ordered through the XSEED website. The boxed "Ayame's Mercy Edition" will come with "an LED blue candle modeled after in-game save points ... a 64-page softcover artbook, an ‘evidence kit’ consisting of various printed in-game assets, and a lenticular art card all packaged within a tin case resembling a medical kit."


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