On paper any game with the word Samurai has the potential to be something great. The genre itself has seen many great games over the past year, like Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi and the Tenchu series. So can Way of the Samurai 2 compete with these other action titles, read through our review to find out!
A popular trend in today’s gaming world is to have more open-ended games. People are drawing farther and farther away from the linear-based games, and more to the games such as Grand Theft Auto where you can choose your own path. Well there comes a problem with this, and it is that you are going to get a lot of games that are just too open ended, to the point where you don’t know what to do next. The same is true with Way of the Samurai 2, a game that strives to be open ended so you can choose your own path, but that ends up leaving you with no clue of what you need to do to advance further in it.
I must admit for the first thirty to forty five minutes of the game I had no idea what was going on. I am one who has played hundreds if not thousands of video games over the past few years, but I couldn’t figure out what the purpose of the game was. The start of the game is even more peculiar; it begins with some opening cut scenes that show your character in the small town of Amahara. This is an open ended game and has many different endings but the beginning of the game is always the same. Your samurai is sitting down starving when a young mute girl comes over to give you food. You will then encounter three goofy-looking characters who then gives you a few different choices on how to respond to them. And so this begins your journey into the game.
And so here comes to my main problem with the game, I had no idea what to do following these three men. The hints of what the developers were trying to get you to do were so vague that it was really hard to follow. It could be the translation from the game, but there was just something not clicking there. But moving past these three men it’s your job to go through the game and complete it in your own fashion. Let me tell you had the game had something to let you know at least a little bit of what you were supposed to do it would be a much, much better game.
Another thing, the fact that the game is not linear is fine, but if you’re going to do that please give us more to do. It feels like you do the same thing over, and over again in the game. There isn’t a whole lot of variety in the missions of the game. You will find the more you play through the game, the more of the same missions you will be battling through.
The best part of the game would have to be the combat, which seems to have gotten most of the developer’s attention. If you go around the town with your sword drawn, the townspeople will take it as a threat, and if they themselves are equipped with a sword you can bet you’re going to have a fight on your hands. Other times throughout the game fighting is unavoidable, and you will have to go up against some very tough opponents. This is by far the biggest positive the game has to offer. The combat doesn’t have a lot of variation but the different combos that you will learn throughout the game will keep you interested and wanting more.
This is one of those games that was created to be played through more then one time. And although I am not a huge fan of playing through games I have already beaten, in Way of the Samurai 2 you have so many different endings that you will want to see what else can happen.
Overall the gameplay is decent. The game may be a little too open ended for its own good, and the fact that you seem to be doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t help much either. The combat of the game is the only thing about the gameplay that I would say is notable, and even that we have seen done better in other games.
So, so far we have a game that struggled a bit to give you a clear idea of what to do in the game. The gameplay was created in a way that had potential but the execution was not all there. So the gameplay was disappointing, how will the graphics fair you might ask?
The graphics of Way of the Samurai 2 fair a little bit better then the gameplay. The character models are the positive side of the game with each character having plenty of detail and plenty of variation. Each character really has a nice look about them to keep each one distinct in there own way. On the negative side we have the environments which at times can be very unexciting.
Overall the graphics of the game are right around average. There is nothing about the game that will blow you away but at the same token nothing that will take away from the games experience.
If you ask me samurai/ninja games have all the potential in the world to be the most fun games out there on the market. Who doesn’t want to hack and slash through several enemies with a samurai sword? And if done correctly gamers will run out and get it. But unfortunately in Way of the Samurai 2 you are not given all that fun of an experience. Instead I spent most of my time in the game wondering what the heck I was supposed to be doing and why. The game had the potential to be a lot of fun but ended up with much more of confusion then anything.
Way of the Samurai 2 has all the potential in the world, and on paper should at least be getting a nine, but unfortunately the game did not come out as well as planned. So unless you are a die-hard fan of the series, most of us can probably stay clear of this one.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.