There are plenty of games coming out this Fall that are undoubtedly already installed into your theoretical year end gaming budget. Scribblenauts, Brutal Legend, Mass Effect 2 and Night Goggles + Modern Warfare will probably be enough to fill most of your game cards through to November alone. However, I must advise you to clear an extra $50 for the most low-key blockbuster set to hit at the tail end of this year.
Way of the Samurai 3 is coming to North America on Xbox360 (trom UFO Interactive
) and Playstation3 (via Agetec
), and you need to get in on this.
I've no access to provide a genuine hands on preview. However, I've gone ahead and hobbled together some details about this game that you should consider before writing off this niche import.
Stick to the Code
Aside from a heaping handful of changes and improvements, this looks to be the same Way of Samurai that players experienced in 2 prior iterations, and that's phenominal. You're still a ronin Samurai without any especially magical powers. You still find your way to a regional conflict between two warring samurai factions. And there's still a group of villagers caught in the middle.
Further, you're still following a "morality" scoring system that rewards you for following the virtues of Bushido
as you cut whatever path you see fit through the game's branching story system. WOTS3 is built around the idea that you will play through multiple times, and will have around 20 different endings depending both on the path you've chosen, as well as how respected or honorable your ronin has been. If you've ever had any interest in the code of Bushido, Way of the Samurai puts your adherence to the code to task in a Japan beginning to touch with feudal and isolationist values.
What, Then, is Time?
Unlike previous entries to the series, WOTS3 moves to a continuous time clock. Where before, events and actions were set into distinct Morning/Noon/Afternoon/Nighttime epochs, the storyline runs at 1 in game minute per real life second. This promises to provide a more steady access to the story, and hopefully, adds to the immersive nature of playing through the world. Further, the events of this game are not limited to a set number of days. A play through could take days or weeks of in game time. Its up to you now.
OK, so open world games have been doing this for a while. But in the context of Way of the Samurai, this opens up the flow of things. Instead of waiting for that ultimate evening event that always happens on the third day, you are able to access "quest givers" and key events at your own pace, over any number of days in a single playthrough. While the game will lose some of its "Groundhog Day" quality, this could potentially streamline the play experience. Since every subsequent play through of Way of the Samurai allows you to retain the weapons and skills from previous runs, you're now open to farm weapons and weapon parts.
This is My Katana. There are Many Like it, but This One is Mine.
Yep, weapon parts. In an exciting new feature, players can now collect blades, handles, handguards, caps and other parts to create your very own custom blade. You can then assign moves and give your sword a name. There will be around 200 unique parts and more than 750 moves to assign.
Yes. This is really happening.
While the battle system generally relies on unlocking moves from swords that you collect from defeated opponents. you will now be allowed to set your own moves and design a personalized blade. I had to re-write this fact because, as a Star Wars and Samurai fan, I can't let you read through this article and not understand that you can assemble your own blade, from cap to blade.
Can. Not. Wait.
Also, to make your way a little less lonely, you can now hire a partner to fight by your side. Most are women, and one of them happens to be a ghostly widow. But that doesn't matter really. You get to have this guy as your companion.
Yes. Dona Dona. The gaijin samurai from Way of the Samurai 1.
I needn't say anymore. You're sold. I know.
The Original Publisher says so. Look here
. This is the greatest samurai game every made.
Its on the internet. Believe it.
Trailers, it has them.
Revel in the epic mediocrity! Its not the prettiest game. They never have been. But if you can shush your inner graphics whore, you will be rewarded with gaming bliss.
Where do I sign up?
Way of the Samurai 3 is set to drop sometime in October for 360 and PS3. What's still unclear to me is how the localization process is going to work out. While Agetec and UFO Interactive are subs of the same distribution company, its unclear whether or not there's collaboration on the re-dub, or if the two console versions will have different localization teams. The release is split between the two companies as neither studio has both a PS3 and 360 license.
Also, the 360 version in Japan contained DLC, including new, wacky costumes, like cardboard box armor. There have been no details on if this DLC will make it to the ports, or if it will remain specific to the Xbox release.
You've got your guns. You've got your axes. You'll have spaceships and scribbles in infinite supply. Isn't it time you took up the sword and walked the path of the samurai?
Wikipedia played a large role in informing this article.