Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Way of the Samurai 4

Preview: Way of the Samurai 4

1:00 PM on 05.13.2012 // Alessandro Fillari
  @afillari

The Way of the Samurai series has a cult following here in the states. The open ended gameplay and emphasis on story turned many heads back with its original release in 2002. The fourth installment of the series, coming courtesy of XSEED games, seeks to return to its roots and provide a compelling experience for newcomers and fans alike.

Set during the later years of the feudal era of Japan in the port town of Amihama, players take on the role of a wandering samurai, who enters town just when tensions have reached their boiling point. Clashes between different factions -- the Japanese Shogunate, the isolationist forces of the Prajna, and foreigners from Britain -- have turned the once quiet town into a place of mayhem and chaos. After intervening in a minor conflict, the player is swept up in a quest that will decide the fate of Amihama and all those who call it home.

Way of the Samurai 4 (PlayStation Network)
Developer: Acquire
Publisher: XSEED Games
Release: Summer 2012

From the outset, the game very much emphasizes openness with its gameplay. During the first encounter, the player can make several different decisions relating to how they interact with certain characters, who you choose to backstab, and which characters should bite the dust. You can even act out your best Yojimbo fantasy and manipulate all three factions against each other to your own benefit. With 10 different endings, including one true ending, players will feel motivated to head back in for multiple replays.

In true sandbox style, you can avoid the faction quests altogether and simply explore the town, meeting citizens, pick up side quests, take up fishing, gambling, and even gardening. You're even given the option to romance particular characters, which can yield its own rewards. While WOTS4 deals with some heavy themes, the game likes to lighten the mood by introducing bizarre scenarios and garish characters into the mix. One minute you could be dueling in the town cemetery, and the next you could participating in a comical water torture sequence to gain the approval of a woman you might fancy. Not exactly sure why that would work out, but the game lets you do it. It's all quirky and bizarre, but oddly humorous. Way of the Samurai is very open in its execution, and the game will take any decision you make and keep on rolling.



One of the game's new features, however, might stir up some controversy. Known as "Night Crawling," your character can sneak into the house of a woman you're attempting to romance, and try to seduce and manhandle your way into their bed. All the while sneaking past their family members, and keeping quiet. All this is done with an on-screen prompt of a turtle head, which gets larger as you approach the person you're trying to romance. While this all sounds a bit creepy and slightly disturbing, it comes off more ridiculous, and over the top when you're actually doing the mini-game.

The smallest decisions can have the biggest consequences, and WOTS4 seems to revel in it. For instance, the British foreigners speak a language not familiar to the player character. Siding with this particular faction can have the player invest in schools to learn new languages and customs. Speaking to past characters after the language gap will yield gifts and items, provided you helped them in some way before. Even more drastic decisions will see the game adapt just fine. I was surprised to see how quickly you can turn coat on one faction, and side with the other. The consequences of this will have characters and allies you betrayed seeking vengeance against you and your new allies. I'm quite impressed with how adaptable the game is to changing play styles, and how it even rewards you for doing so at the right moments.

And what would a game with samurais be without combat? As a lone samurai in a bustling town with factions at each other's throats, you should expect to be facing the sharp end of an enemy's weapon quite often. When in combat, your character will stay locked on to single target at a time and you can utilize dodges, parrying, sweeps, kicks, and different sword stances to get the upper hand on your target. Stances work like rock-paper-scissors, in a way. Using one stances has its own strengths and weaknesses against others.



During battle you'll be able to switch weapons that have their own unique feel and weight to them, which adds variety and flavor to each battle. However, as you attack and guard with a particular weapon, the durability and effectiveness will degrade. Once the weapon breaks, it'll leave you defenseless and vulnerable to enemies. For the most part, combat worked pretty well. Fighting multiple targets can be quite cumbersome, though. Since there is no dedicated target switch button, you'll have to disengage your current target, move closer to the other, and reactivate the lock-on. And yes, it functions just as awkward as it sounds, and isn't very conducive to staying focused during battle.

While Way of The Samurai 4 is primarily a single-player title, Acquire has taken cues from other single-player action-RPGs with online features, and implemented a persistent online mode. Players can upload their created characters and send them out online to other player's games. When online, your character can encounter assassins created from other players that will confront you randomly. Defeating these characters will gain all the loot and custom weapons they carried. This offers a great risk/reward aspect to these and you'll likely encounter characters who have advanced and rare weapons, giving a very small window to make your move.

Fans of the series should be excited to see gets their hands on this new entry, and newcomers with a liking for action games in a sandbox setting should keep this on their radar.

Photo Gallery: (5 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Alessandro Fillari, Staff Writer
 Follow Blog + disclosure afillari Tips
A San Francisco native, he's an admirer of the city's diverse culture and lifestyle. Prior to joining the staff, he was a contributor and an editor for his college newspaper where he wrote articl... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Way of the Samurai 4


  Sep 08

Way of the Samurai 4 announced for PC

Ghostlight deviates from pattern with this action game port


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

The Nerds Have Won

Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

Video Gaming Bits -- Rampage: Total Destruction

Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Retrofraction avatarRetrofraction
Getting my Ninja on for a selfie in the Bathroom for the contest:
Donald J Trump avatarDonald J Trump
Found this image of myself on Ted Cruz's computer, disgraceful! Further proof he isn't natural born, no true American would have a disgusting image like this! (Censored by some idiot's ugly face)
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
That moment when your dog eats one of your figures but don't notice until it's to late. 10/10 Dog. Yah fuck.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Love, Lost, Live, Lost (2014) - Yesterday was me and my girlfriend's 16th year anniversary together, so I decided to share this song. It deals with being in love, losing that person, moving on, and learning to love again. It's 9 minutes long, too :P
gajknight avatargajknight
I have done my part. Thank you Niero. Question: Does blocking someone also remove their front-page articles too?
iam16bit avatariam16bit
I've been on this site for sometime and for some reason I've never done a quickpost until now.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Why did I have to read that Austin Grossman was going to be one of the writers on a cancelled Half-Life 2 episode?
Parismio avatarParismio
Dammit its 3 and i cant stop reading cute gay romance mangas.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Going to be honest; I love out-of-context anime screenshots. They're... kind of incredible.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Retweet of the year goes to President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Shuhei Yoshida.
Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Looks like I'm not gonna be able to 100% Tearaway Unfolded until Monday at the least. I'm definitely writing about it this weekend and am trying my hardest to get my screenshots off of my PS4 (especially hard as I don't do social media anymore)
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
I've never done a blog before, so I may as well try one with a review of Stranger of Sword City....well, when I get entered into that contest of course
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Shakedown Hawaii is giving me good GTA vibes. I missed the topdown GTA games when they were a thing. I have to decide what platform to get it for since it's coming to 3DS/Vita/PS4/PC (probably the Vita version for moi).
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
You think your art sucks? Here's the rule34 I made of Larx yesterday. Look at it and despair.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hey Dreamweaver? If you think your art sucks, you should have a look at my magnum opus. It's of Cloud from the popular game, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I never thought this would happen, but here I am. all of my 700+ pokemon gone in one day. My cart stopped working and there's nothing I can do. I quit, you can't just rebuild all that. Time to find something else.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Tom Collins is a pretty great drink, and well suited for poutine. consumption
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -