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Keiji Inafune (Dead Rising) Returns To The Zombie Genre With Yaiba [Video + Screens]

Keiji Inafune is a busy man as he’s not only working on three main projects right now, including the awesome PS Vita title Soul Sacrifice, but he has just announced yet another brand new endeavor. Once again going to his roots just as he did recently in J.J. Rockets did, Keiji is returning to the world of zombie action in Yaiba, a new project from his studio Comcept.

Announced in a Famitsu interview, Keiji revealed that after a brief absence he’s returning to the zombie genre since that’s what people wanted him to do.  While he may be best known for being the creator of Mega Man, we best not forget that Keiji was also the creator of Dead Rising, which has been one of the premier zombie IPs this generation.  It may seem disappointing that Keiji is creating yet another zombie game since such a thing is on the verge of being creatively bankrupt, but in typical fashion Keiji has done a few things to add some variety, namely he’s made the protagonist a sword wielding badass.

Full details on Yaiba are still sparse, but a very brief yet somewhat revealing teaser trailer has been released.  Thankfully devoid of the usual fluff we sometimes receive in teaser announcements, very small snippets of what appears to be game footage are shown in addition to some general art.  Besides the mass number of eye glowing undead, the most eye catching thing is the actual hero of Yaiba.

Appearing as a stoic warrior that has a hatred of those with rotting flesh, the hero of Yaiba seems to be one of the more fantastical creations from Keiji as he’s looks to be part cyborg via the robotic left arm.  Exactly how the cyborg nature of the hero will play into the game and accompanying mechanics is unknown, but knowing Keiji I’m sure he’ll end up having gamers do some cool stuff with it.

It may seem like Keiji has given us Metal Gear Rising: Zombie Edition in the form of Yaiba since we have the combo of cyborg hero + mass legions of the undead.  Potential genre smash-up aside, Yaiba does look interesting, not just because of its stylized almost cell-shaded visuals, which is reminiscent of a Suda 51 game, but because it’s a new Keiji Inafune action game.  We haven’t seen an action game from Keiji in quite some time and it looks like he’s not holding back as the quick gameplay snippets in the trailer are fast and outright explosive.  

Platform, release, and publisher details for Yaiba are currently unknown at this point but could be announced shortly at the Tokyo Game Show.  We may have only just heard of Yaiba and gotten an extremely small taste of what it has to offer, but it’s nice to see Keiji Inafune return to what he does best: make top-tier action games.