I have not played any of the previous games in the Way of the Samurai series, so Way of the Samurai 4 was my first experience with the franchise. With the hectic pace of E3, we were only able to get our hands on a few of the titles with XSEED, but I did manage to sneak in a few minutes watching the game being played by Tom of XSEED Games.
Way of the Samurai 4 is an open world “sandbox” game that allows you to shape the progression of story by choosing to engage in combat or not. I got a brief glimpse at the character customization options (although the character chosen was left to fight in her underwear).
The battles look intense, but the part that looked most interesting to me was the fact that you could just take your time and do normal, non-fighting stuff, like fishing, running a dojo, and hanging out in your panties.
In the actual game, there are three factions, and each faction has their own agenda. How you react to the different events in the game will determine events later in the story, adding an extra layer of replay value. The battle system certainly looked fun, I noticed a few different weapons on display such as a sword and a spear.
The art style is slick, the game appears to have a self-aware sense of humor, and the combat looks incredibly fun. Again, I’m not familiar enough with the franchise to compare it to previous entries in the series, but based on the small bit of action I saw at E3, my interest in the title was definitely piqued. With a scheduled release this Summer as a PS3 digital download, you’ll most likely be seeing quite a bit more from us in the near future, hopefully including some hands-on impressions and a review once the game is available.