Trails of Cold Steel IV international release announced for 2020

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Nihon Falcom’s epic JRPG saga The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel comes to a close later this year, with an international release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV announced for the latter part of the year.

Trails of Cold Steel IV is a direct sequel to last year’s Trails of Cold Steel III, and sees heroes from a number of past games uniting to protect the world from the Erebonian Empire. Characters from the previous games in the Trails of Cold Steel sub-series return, as you would expect, but they’re joined by fan favourites from other Legend of Heroes games like the Trails in the Sky trilogy (Estelle!) and the currently Japan-only Crossbell arc games, Ao no Kiseki and Zero no Kiseki.

Across the three games released to date, Trails of Cold Steel has made a name for itself with its rich storytelling, which manages to combine grand political intrigue and detailed lore with intimate character drama. That will no doubt continue in Trails of Cold Steel IV—and bring the story to a conclusion after the previous game’s cliffhanger ending. Players can also look forward to tweaks to the battle system, and new mini-games like poker, blackjack, and a “horror coaster”.

Trails of Cold Steel IV is planned for release on PlayStation 4 in northern fall / southern spring this year, and on PC and Nintendo Switch sometime in 2021. The localisation is once again being handled by NIS America, who did Trails of Cold Steel III (and did a very good job, thanks in no small part to contracting many of the same staff who worked on the first two games under XSEED).

Being direct sequels to one another, it’s well worth starting from the first Trails of Cold Steel if you’re new to the series and working through them sequentially. The first three games are all available on both PlayStation 4 and PC, and if you start now, you might have just enough time to finish them before the fourth part comes out (they’re long, but deservedly so).

NIS America also unveiled a couple of different physical editions, which are up for preorder now. The Frontline Edition includes the game, an artbook, a soundtrack, and a reversible cover, while the Limited Edition includes those as well as a SteelBox case, cloth poster, seven art cards, and a collector’s box to keep them all in. There are a couple of pieces of merch up for pre-order, too, including a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.