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Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris Gets A May 2020 Release Date

Bandai Namco has announced the release date for Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, confirming the information leaked last week by another division of the company.

Publisher Bandai Namco and developer Aquria revealed the next installment in the Sword Art Online series at PAX East 2019. Alicization Lycoris takes place during the anime's Alicization arc. You take on the role of protagonist Kirito as he journeys across Underworld, a strange, virtual land where AIs act like humans. Eugeo, Alice, the Administrator, and many other fan-favorite characters will appear during Kirito's adventure.

The game draws its name from lycoris, a species of flower native to southern Japan. According to the official Alicization Lycoris website, "the flower symbolizes passion, sad memories, reunion, and self-reliance," all themes that will feature in the storyline. Though Bandai Namco describes the title as "faithful to the original work," it will include unique elements to keep the experience fresh. 

Medina, a new character announced earlier this year, will act as one of these elements. The ninth generation head of the Orthinanos family, it looks like Medina could play a primary role in the Alicization Lycoris story. Beyond showing her fighting alongside Kirito, Alice, and Eugeo, Bandai Namco has given little away about the new cast member. Her reveal trailer hints she will join the group in a bid to restore her family's honor. The company may share more information closer to launch.

Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris comes to PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on May 22, one day after its launch in Japan. Bandai Namco revealed the release date alongside a new trailer, showing off the game's open world, gameplay, and Kirito's ongoing battle against the Integrity Knights. It also offers another look at Medina, the Central Cathedral of Underworld, and Kirito's epic clash with the Administrator.