Monday, 29 May 2017 14:00

REVIEW: Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada (PS4)

Written by Brett Hale
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It’s no surprise when you hear Omega Force is developing a game that it’s going to be good. You’ll also likely connect them with games such a Dynasty Warriors among others. This game is a spin off of Samurai Warriors 4, which is a spin off on itself from the Dynasty Warriors series. So if you have played either, you’ll like this as well.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada takes place in the Sengoku time period, which had a lot of conflict both in a political sense and military form spanning over roughly 54 years, between 1561-1615. The story isn’t like others before it that would give different perspectives. Spirit of Sanada shows the events seen by the clan known as Sanada. What I found interesting was spanning over the timeline is that you’ll not just see characters young, but also you’ll see them as their older selves. You’ll play as just one character, and his name is Masayuki Sanada. He’s an interesting character who’ll interact with many other characters, such as Sasuke,Katsuyori. It’s power that you’re after and Masayuki will fight to the death to gain it.

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Singleplayer hack and slash, with a bit of action is the genre and it does it well. You’ll have four difficulties to choose from, ranging from easy to nightmare. What happens in Spirit of Sanada? Well that comes down to multiple things you’ll battle. Some small, while others are quite big, you’ll even explore areas for materials and fight along the way. Prior to each chapter you’ll have a story to read which is in english, but audio reading it is in Japanese, and there quite detailed. When exploring you’ll have goals you’ll need to complete, completing certain thing’s will open up an extra goal to do. I found this can be tricky to do at first and I failed many times due to taking to long and not doing what I was needing to do in the time that is given. You’ll need to attack and defend yourself when exploring, though there are non threatening NPC’s.

Before starting your exploration, you can go over what weapons you have. If you want to mount a horse to travel around on, which might I add is fun, but tricky when attacking specific enemies, and general player options. Masayuki has an attribute system for health,attacking,defenses and an overall level which increases with XP. Battles are a big part of the game and you’ll move from one to another. After each battle you’re then graded along with being shown what you achieved successfully, and what you may have failed. Now as this is in connection with Samurai Warriors 4, you’ll recognise some of the characters in Spirit of Sanada. So as mentioned weapons are apart of the game, and upgrades as well, to upgrade them you’ll need currency and a range of materials some materials include iron sand and dolomite. Upgrades can improve stronger attacks and bigger range when performing attacks that kill multiple enemies. Where do you go to do these upgrades? Well there is a local blacksmith that’ll help you with that.

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Here is a game that comes with PS4 Pro support. It’s said to be playable in 4K on the Pro using a 4KTV, I can’t confirm if it’s native or checkerboard 4K though. 1080p television owners will also benefit when using a Pro, the standard PS4 will play at 1080p and either Pro or regular is 60fps. Characters look good depending where you’re looking. Their attire on the most part looks really nice, as do their faces, but other items on their clothing can appear blown out with poor textures. The world you play in is also a hit and miss when it comes to certain things and their textures. Example being the ground, rocky textures look pretty realistic, especially wet surfaces. Water on the other hand can look quite unrealistic, and when I say water, I mean rivers and streams.

Foliage is another aspect that looks good in most places, but poor in other places. I did however love the skies. Night time skies popped with loads of stars and a beautiful looking moon that threw light onto the earth. When fighting twenty or even triple that amount of enemies onscreen at once the combat flowed great causing no choppy framerate. Combat is a highlight to the game, it’s satisfying with the range of weapons that can be used and the different attacks mix it up. Music is super duper oriental, loads of flute sounds, along with drums beating,bells ringing and cymbal sounds. It’s fitting to the time period.

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A game set in Japan, with Japanese speaking characters, where subtitles are in English. Conversation bubbles are easy to understand, and appear bottom of the screen like every other game in the genre. You can turn automatic conversations on so you’re pressing less buttons, but either way isn’t a hassle.

I’m a sucker for a good hack and slash game, and when you have Omega Force connected, I can’t say no. It’s a game that’s easy to understand and has a story not over complicated. It’s battles are a stiff challenge, and exploring at first is slightly tricky to do if you have never played the previous games. I spent loads of hours playing and it was issue free for that time, so I can’t say I found anything to complain about. And when it comes to loading times, there super fast.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Developer: Omega Force
  • Publisher: Koei Tecmo
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Action