Shadow Tactics Aiko's Choice Coming in 2021 With 'Super Brand-New Missions'
Mimimi Games is celebrating Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun’s fifth anniversary with a brand-new standalone Shadow Tactics expansion, Aiko’s Choice. Set to release for PC later in 2021, Shadow Tactics — Aiko’s Choice combines the best parts of Shadow Tactics with some deeper looks at its characters and, of course, plenty of high-stakes challenges.
I spoke with Mimimi Games Creative Director and Co-Founder Dominik Abe about what we can expect from Aiko’s Choice and why it’s likely to be essential playing for Shadow Tactics fans.
Mimimi focuses on one project at a time, Abe said, and while they didn’t have the chance — yet — to develop a full Shadow Tactics sequel, there was a good opportunity after shipping Desperadoes 3.
“We had time between Desperadoes 3 and new projects,” Abe said, “and we loved Shadow Tactics so much, we thought ‘maybe we have the time slot now to do an expansion.’”
Despite Mimimi Games starting development after Desperados 3, Abe said Aiko’s Choice is pure Shadow Tactics, homing in on the things players loved about the original instead of borrowing from Desperadoes.
Aiko was the team’s favorite character, so focusing the expansion on her was a natural choice. Aiko’s Choice is still structured like Shadow Tactics, but it places a heavier emphasis on the narrative and characters than the original.
“Aiko’s Choice is about Aiko’s past and a new enemy from her past she has to encounter,” Abe said. “There’s also a bigger focus on team dynamics.”
The three new interlude missions are what make Aiko’s Choice unique. These are built around “storytelling and interactive elements” where you engage with Aiko’s comrades, learning more about them and their motivations in what Abe described as scenarios similar to RPGs.
“It’s not super in-depth,” Abe said, “but it’s more fitting with the general style of the game.”
In between the bigger missions, players can speak with characters and explore specific areas. The pacing is much different from the base Shadow Tactics, but Abe said these are still mission-oriented with enemies to fight and strategies to devise.
The three main missions in Aiko’s Choice aren’t for the fainthearted. Abe said that while you can play Aiko’s Choice as a standalone experience, the team built its stages assuming you’ve played the base game.
They’re big, with multiple routes to explore and potential ways to master the challenges, and they’re on par with the most difficult stages in the base game. That’s not what has Abe the most excited about the missions in Aiko’s Choice, though.
“The coolest thing is you’ll get these super brand-new missions in new locations and new environments you haven’t seen in the base game,” Abe said.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun — Aiko’s Choice will release sometime later in 2021. If you haven’t played the original game yet, check out why we called it one of the best combinations of stealth and tactics to date.