Way of the Samurai 3

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The official site for 侍道3 / Way of the Samurai 3 opened recently and the game revealed is an interesting one; it is due for a Japanese release on the PS3 in the autumn, though there is no word yet on an international release, though it seems likely enough. For those unfamiliar with the series, Way of the Samurai is a non-linear free roaming action game set in Tokugawa era Japan, with a focus on story and sword action. The previous games were both rather good.

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Previous games had plenty of factional action and quite intricate stories, and this time around seems to be no exception; there are three factions and a host of characters with which to tangle. What caught my eye were the new gameplay options: most striking is the dogeza move the player can pull, where he suddenly kowtows in the hopes of influencing the outcome of an event scene at a particular point, or inthe midst of a scrap to get the enemy to stop. The more appealing alternative is to suddenly whip out a sword for some slashing, and this is possible instead of cravenly scrabbling in the dirt.

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Apparently the choice of who you kill and whether to let people off will have a greater effect on the story than in previous titles.

There also seems to be more choice in armed and unarmed combat, not that the previous titles were really lacking in this area.

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Looking at the screens on offer so far I can’t help but be less than impressed by the graphics, which don’t look fully next generation. I may just have been spoilt by the excellent tactical swordsmanship on offer in the Kengo series (PS3 sequel still not announced), but the actual swordfighting also looks a little basic, as in previous games.

Your eyes do not deceive you: he is dual wielding a sword and a leak. Pretensions of being the next Hatsune Miku perhaps?

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