Hack and slash your way through countless enemies in Katana Zero, the latest game from Askiisoft.
Having originally been refused classification for sale in Australia, Katana Zero is a super stylish and fast paced action platformer that has you slicing through rooms of enemies in ever complex scenarios. As you play through each area you must eliminate or sneak past enemies depending on your exact mission. Enemies are easily dispatched with a swift slice of your blade but you are equally vulnerable and this is where the major gameplay mechanics come into play. Instant death is balanced with being able to slow time, deflect bullets and throw objects at enemies, meaning you are always looking for more efficient and creative ways to dispatch your foes. Feeling a lot like groundhog day, if you happen to get killed the level rewinds back to the start of the area and you must try again. At the end of an area the “tape” is played back for you to watch your Kurosawa style handy work at full speed.
Oozing with style and flair, Katana Zero never fails to impress with visual and audio design.
Each level feels diverse and lived in, giving the city of New Mecca a real gritty and neo-noir feel. Thrown in is some retro cool neon and VCR inspired overlays to really top off that dark future feel the game is going for. The soundtrack is full of a variety of electronica that really nails the vibe of each level, tracks can vary from subtle to full tempo while others really get that heavy grime bass treatment.
Katana Zero is all about brutal but stylish action, feeling at times like an action filled anime it’s hard not to love it. As the plot thickens and answers make way for more questions the action really starts to heat up, leading to some very intense and complex levels. Some real serious issues like war crimes and PTSD play an import part of the plot, meaning that the story is just as intense as the levels. The ending does leave you wanting for more but there is more than enough game already there for you to enjoy. For the player that isn’t used to this kind of precision and repetition, later levels can get increasingly frustrating but not impossible. Players that crave this kind of pixel perfect movement and timing though will find it both incredibly rewarding and satisfying.
Available on Steam and the Nintendo Switch, Katana Zero is Blade Runner with samurai blades, a game full of fantastic style and super solid gameplay that makes it a must play title.
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.
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Disclosure: Katana Zero [Steam] was kindly provided by Power Up PR for this review.