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Sequel hoping to transcend original AI: The Somnium Files

AI: The Somnium Files may not be quite as well known as Spike Chunsoft's other games like the Danganronpa and Zero Escape series, but perhaps that will start to change as the next title in the neo-noir detective franchise is due to arrive next spring in the form of nirvanA Initiative.

While the previous game starred Detective Kaname Date from Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department, the sequel features a pair of supporting characters from the original. Date's roommate Mizuki is now a "newly appointed Special Agent," who, along with her AI partner Aiba (who used to reside in Date's left eye), is assigned to "solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings." Six years earlier, the "right half of a corpse was discovered under mysterious circumstances," but the rest of the remains couldn't be located at the time. Now, out of the blue, the left half of the body has finally been found, and what's even stranger is that it appears to be "completely fresh with no signs of decay, as though the victim was alive until just recently."

While further details are sparse, including what its connection is (if any) with the earlier game, nirvanA Initiative promises a similar anime-style cast by series character designer Yusuke Kozaki, as teased in the initial trailer introducing the two new leads. Also returning is composer Keisuke Ito with an original soundtrack to complement the investigation. 

With a projected completion date sometime in the second quarter of 2022, the PC launch of AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative will be digital-only on Steam, while the console releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch will also have retail boxed versions in both standard and collector's editions, the latter including a 170mm PVC figure of Aiba, the game's soundtrack, and an art book with concept art and illustrations by Yusuke Kozaki.

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