Made up of anime, manga, and video games, the Fate series is certainly an expansive one that offers a LOT of content to get stuck into. Fate/Samurai Remnant is the latest release, with it offering an enthralling action-RPG experience that takes players back in time to 17th century Japan. Oh, and don’t be put off if you’re unfamiliar with the series – this is very newbie-friendly, even if there are plenty of nods and themes that long-time fans will appreciate.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Taking place during the Keian era in Japan in 1651, Fate/Samurai Remnant puts players in the role of a young ronin named Miyamoto Iori who finds his life turned upside down when he ends up being one of seven combatants chosen to partake in the Waxing Moon Ritual. This event sees the warriors battle it out, all whilst the spirit of another warrior helps out those that are chosen to participate (in your case that’s the ever-so-slightly unhinged Saber). And the victor? They get any wish of their desire granted. Of course, your journey is filled with twists-and-turns and you’ll face many perilous trials along the way, but that’s the basic gist of things.
It is worth noting that you don’t need to be familiar with the Fate series to understand the story of Fate/Samurai Remnant. Whilst it shares a lot of similar themes and there are some recognisable faces to be seen, it very much feels like its own thing, so don’t be put off if this is your first experience with the series. Sure, a few nods might go over your head and you may not appreciate some of the finer details seen in the narrative, but the compelling storytelling and its characters all feel befitting of a stand-alone experience that anyone can enjoy.
The combat of the game is enthralling, with Iori able to switch between different stances that utilise varied attack methods and magical abilities that each bring their own different strengths. Whilst it’s easy enough to string together combos made up of light and heavy attacks, knowing when to use each stance can be the difference between life and death. You’ll also earn special gems by defeating enemies that can activate your magical abilities, with each stance offering something unique – whether that’s when unleashing damage upon enemies, healing, or buffing Iori’s capabilities. Players will also fill a Valor Meter in order to unleash a powerful ability known as a Valor Strike, whilst Saber will fight alongside you in battle and also link up with Iori to perform special Link Attacks to take advantage of both character’s capabilities.
“With players even getting to play as other characters throughout the story, combat undoubtedly stands out as one of the game’s greatest strengths, and whilst it doesn’t do anything TOO original, what it does offer is exciting enough to ensure each battle makes for a good time.”
There’s quite a bit going on in each showdown, which helps ensure that Fate/Samurai’s combat is always full of exciting moments that’ll put the player’s skills to the test. The core mechanics can be quite simple and there will be moments where it can feel a bit like a button-masher, but with the varying stances, emphasis on evading or interrupting enemy attacks, and focus on teamwork, battles always feel like spectacles that’ll keep you on your toes. With players even getting to play as other characters throughout the story, combat undoubtedly stands out as one of the game’s greatest strengths, and whilst it doesn’t do anything TOO original, what it does offer is exciting enough to ensure each battle makes for a good time.
Players are continually able to upgrade their capabilities, whether that’s through the use of the skill tree when levelling up or by equipping new and improved gear, so you’ll always feel like your skillset is evolving as you progress through the game. Whilst this can often just be a boost in stats, each improvement can genuinely be felt in battle – this is especially apparent with the new moves you learn, which allow players to unleash more powerful and intricate combos. Again, there’s nothing here that players wouldn’t have seen before in other action RPGs, but everything is expertly implemented to ensure upgrades feel worthwhile and that they continually complement combat.
Outside of battling, players will venture through Edo and its surrounding areas, with plenty of time spent interacting with NPCs, partaking in side quests which flesh out the narrative and help you build bonds between characters, or simply taking in the sights of the world. There’s a surprising amount of variety to be found in the areas you explore, with the colourful visuals ensuring each is a treat on the eye. I’ve also got to give a shout out to the cutscenes, which offer some epic moments that are bursting with action thanks to their over-the-top nature.
Check out some screenshots down below:
There’s also a mini-game called Spirit Fonts, where players will take turns to move between nodes (known as Spirit Fonts) on a grid-like area to claim each one. If you reach an enemy Spirit Font, you’ll compete with them in combat, with the victor then taking over said Spirit Font. You’ll also be working to a set time limit and have to deal with enemies approaching you on the grid at the same time, with it making for a surprisingly complex system that can take some real forward-thinking to find success. It’s strategic and rewarding when you succeed, whilst the learning curve ensures it’s something you have to commit yourself into if you hope to thrive. It’s a cool addition to the gameplay experience that helps give Fate/Samurai Remnant its own unique touch.
Fate/Samurai Remnant Review
Fate/Samurai Remnant is a lot of fun, with the compelling narrative and slick combat making for a very enjoyable action-RPG experience. There’s a lot to discover when exploring the world , whilst the Spirit Fonts mini-game adds an additional strategic element to what is otherwise a very action-driven experience. Sure, it could be argued that the core gameplay experience doesn’t offer too much you wouldn’t have seen before, but with Fate/Samurai Remnant offering plenty of thrills across the board, it’s hard to complain too much. It’s just a really cool game and one that’ll appeal to both long-time fans of the Fate series and complete newbies.
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC