The planned PlayStation 3 sequel, known as Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4: Summer Memories, was initially due to hit store shelves one day before the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, devastating eastern regions and claiming thousands of lives. The timing of the event, combined with reported development setbacks, resulted in the game’s cancellation.
Series creator Kazuma Kujo subsequently left publisher Irem. After starting his own studio, Granzella, Kujo acquired the rights to the Disaster Report franchise, and resumed development of the stalled title.
Originally released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan in 2002, the first entry in the Zettai Zetsumei Toshi series later premiered in North America under the localized title Disaster Report and in Europe as SOS: The Final Escape. Combining elements from traditional adventure games with then-unique survival mechanics, Disaster Report challenged players to keep themselves and their friends alive as they escaped an earthquake-stricken island.
The game’s sequel, localized in western territories under the title Raw Danger, featured similar survival-oriented gameplay within a flooded city. Contrasting its predecessor, Raw Danger required its players to seek warmth and higher ground, in addition to basic sustenance.
The PSP-exclusive Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 3 was never released outside of Japan, and no localization plans for Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4: Summer Memories were announced prior to its cancellation. Both games focused on the rescue of survivors in the aftermath of earthquakes and structural collapse, introducing new life-threatening gameplay elements like fire and gas leaks.
Few details regarding the resurrected Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 are known, though the new screenshots released this week indicate that it will retain the original project’s summertime setting and survival-focused gameplay. Target platforms for Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 will be revealed later this year.