Starting October 27th, 2017, PC gamers that happen to also be Sword Art Online fans can rejoice as Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization will be playable on Microsoft Windows. There is one edition available, the Deluxe edition. The game is distributed via Steam. The PC release marks the game’s one year anniversary. SAO: Hollow Realization was first released on October 27th, 2016 in Japan for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. A few weeks later, it was made available worldwide.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, developed by Aquaria, is an action RPG that explores an original SAO story. Although characters like Kirito, Asuna, Lisbeth, Silica, and others are playable avatars, the story centers on Premiere, an NPC from the virtual world called Ainground. The game is set in a new VR MMO, Sword Art: Origin, that is built on the foundation of the old Sword Art Online. Unlike Aincrad that had a vertical design, the new world has just one giant floor that houses all the content, monsters, and NPCs. Kirito and his friends discover that Premiere is not an NPC like all others. They must protect her from other players and discover why she is programmed in a different manner.
Just a few days after the game was released, it garnered “Very Positive” user reviews on Steam. Players are praising the mechanics that make Hollow Realization a unique entry on the list of Sword Art Online games. The story is engaging and the gameplay is fun. The PC port runs smoothly even on budget computers. Graphics quality is more than satisfactory. However, there’s one drawback regarding multiplayer. The game supports multiplayer only on raid bosses. It doesn’t make much sense for an MMO themed game to restrict players from completing quests and discovering the world as a team. It’s not a major issue as there are plenty other multiplayer games out there but co-op questing and exploration would have made nice gameplay additions. SAO Hollow Realization can be played with a mouse and keyboard but users have reported that combat feels more natural using a gamepad which is something to be expected from a PC port.