Today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, Team Ninja and Comcept showed off Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. Heading the discussion about the the cyborg ninja vs. zombie game were Mega Man/Onimusha/Dead Rising creator and Comcept boss Keiji Inafune and Team Ninja Lead Yasuke Hayashi. Spark Unlimited (Legendary, Lost Planet 3) is also working on the project. Inafune and Hayashida highlighted the game’s graphic novel story sequences, explained the character of Yaiba, and gave us an early look at a stylish trailer showing off gameplay.

“A lot of people know me for my zombies game Dead Rising,” says Inafune. “I believe Dead Rising has a comical element in it. It’s not just about killing zombies but it can make you laugh and smile. I think zombie games need that atmosphere, and you’ll see moments where you think it’s a little bit funny.”

To illustrate this point, Inafune and Hayashi showed off a comic book-style sequence from the game. Certain story segments are shown off via panels inspired by American graphic novels. Yaiba is a smart-mouthed zombie-slayer that rips off zombies’ arms and uses them as nunchucks. Inafune went into greater detail regarding Yaiba’s character.

Yaiba lost on of his eyes and an arm in an “epic battle”, which have since been replaced with cybernetic prosthetics. Yaiba appears to have a chip on his shoulder, and is hungry for a battle with Ninja Gaiden series protagonist Ryu Hayabusa. Could Ryu be responsible for Yaiba’s wounds? Inafune revealed that the relationship between Dragon Ball Z characters Goku and Vegeta inspired him for Yaiba and Ryu’s dynamic. “Goku is an ultimate fighter, and Vegeta thinks he can always beat him,” says Inafune. “But Vegeta always loses.” He wouldn’t say who Yaiba was in this example.

Finally, Team Ninja and Comcept showed off a trailer for the game. The art style of the in-game footage reminds me of Marvel vs. Capcom’s heavily inked style, and gels with the comic book story aesthetic. The action shows Yaiba leaping across rooftops, squeezing monster organs to cover enemies with noxious goo, and taking down huge swaths of zombies with his sword. The teaser was brief, but shows promise of a solid, stylish action game in the making.

Speaking of teases, Inafune ended the meeting by saying Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z will be playable at E3 2013. Along with the hands-on time, Team Ninja and Comcept will also be revealing more about the relationship between Yaiba and Ryu. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is currently set to arrive on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with no confirmed release date.