Take out your inner pains by slicing everyone to bits.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release Date: March, 2019
Genre: Action, Platformer, Hack and Slash
Players: Single Player
Official Website: http://katanazero.com
Katana ZERO - Therapy Session Trailer
Who it Caters to
Indie titles are truly becoming a staple in the gaming industry, as they continue to evolve in various ways, opening up brand new realms of imagination for players all around the world. Devolver Digital is one of those companies that have been really taking the world by storm as of late, creating titles that are uniquely designed and provide an impactful experience from start to finish. One of their upcoming titles, Katana ZERO, is an incredibly promising action platformer, and we have the opportunity to give you all our impressions of the preview copy. Anyone who truly loves the cyberpunk visuals and futuristic gameplay will most definitely have a blast playing Katana ZERO, once it officially releases in March. Just a heads up that because this is a preview build of the game, there will most likely be changes to the final build so please take that into consideration moving forward.
What to Expect
The first and most alluring aspect about Katana ZERO lies solely in its fast-paced hack and slash gameplay, tied in with the ability to rewind your gameplay on the fly if things go awry. It reminded us of Prince of Persia meets cyberpunk, who then has a relationship with a sword-wielding warrior who decimates anything in his path. Katana ZERO is all about meticulous planning and execution, as each stage you progress through gets gradually more strenuous and the enemies more unforgiving. Learning how to master each technique will take some time as you’ll have to roll past lasers, utilize slo-mo to deal massive damage to enemies and hit bullets back at them, among many other things.
You’ll also come to learn more about the main protagonist and his past through his many meetings with his psychologist, with many answers going unsolved as the story progresses. Those questions will surely be answered as you play through, but we’ll save that for when you pick up and play this action packed sword-swinging title!
Katana ZERO looks splendid and runs smoothly without any frame rate drops, which is a huge plus. With so much happening on screen at once, you’d expect to experience some hiccups along the way, but in this version we played through we incurred none whatsoever. It’s a 2D action platformer that really makes excellent use of the cyberpunk theme, combining traditional sword fighting with futuristic visuals, abilities, and plenty more. The UI is very straightforward and doesn’t interfere with the gameplay at all, keeping much of the focus strictly on gameplay and not distracting you with too much fluff.
The major selling point that we think truly sells Katana ZERO lies primarily in its sound and music category. The best thing about indie games is that you get a taste of indie music as well, and with Katana ZERO you get to experience a lot of upbeat electro style beats that really keep the intensity high. It’s a great combination of a lot of sounds which only provide a more impactful experience, with every sword swing sounding very much like a sword, especially when it clashes with a bullet or another sword. A lot of times in these types of games, the music is usually very hit or miss, but in Katana ZERO the team at Askiisoft really made sure to aim for excellence and it clearly shows in every way.
We touched a little bit on the gameplay earlier with regards to hack-and-slash, as that’s pretty much what you’ll be doing for much of your gameplay time. In Katana ZERO, your goal is to eliminate every enemy in the room as swiftly as possible, without incurring any damage. You don’t have any sort of HP so after you receive one hit, you’ll need to start over again. Fortunately, the rewind feature within the game adds a lot more dynamic since you’re able to replay the same scene over and over again, perfecting your strategy until you can successfully take out every enemy in a skillful manner. That’s the beauty about the game too, in that you’re not restricted to one way of taking down enemies. You can use the slo-mo feature to take out a group of enemies with one strike, or use your surroundings to your advantage to slice up anyone standing in your path.
Hop off of walls and perform acrobatic strikes, or roll past the enemy and hit them by surprise for style points. There are times where you can use the enemy weapons against them, such as using lasers to eradicate enemies who don’t suspect anything or reflecting bullets from gun shots. This world is entirely within your control and so long as you use it to your advantage, Katana ZERO always feels like a rewarding experience. We’ll be honest here, you will most likely die a lot in the beginning! Getting used to all of the features can be a little bit tricky, but once you do get the hang of it all then everything feels very intuitive, and you’ll be ripping through hordes of enemies in no time.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Katana ZERO has potential to be a contender for top action platformer game, assuming that the Askiisoft team continue to add more cool features for players to enjoy. We totally loved the game and look forward to more, and we highly advise any of you who enjoy a fast-paced experience, to definitely check this one out because it’s truly a worthwhile purchase.
Fast-paced gameplay that’s also gorgeous to watch in motion.
The rewind feature allows you to really be meticulous and think through your actions.
Each assignment gets gradually harder, as enemies become increasingly more difficult, making the gameplay experience more rewarding.
Hand-crafted sequences which allow for an almost limitless amount of completion methods.
It’s only in preview state at the moment, so not much content was implemented. We’ll wait!
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found our impressions of Katana ZERO to be satisfying and provided you with enough of an incentive to get out and pick up the game. It’s truly worth the purchase and with so much to offer in terms of its rich and spectacular gameplay, Katana ZERO is one title that you shouldn’t sleep on. Speedrunners will have a field day with this one! Be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on all things gaming, and of course follow us on Twitch to catch us playing all of these awesome titles live!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!