For years, it seemed like playing one of Omega Force’s Musou action games meant playing them all. However, recent titles like Fire Emblem: Three Hopes and Persona 5 Strikers have shown a more nuanced approach to the formula. Fate/Samurai Remnant, a new standalone entry in the expansive Fate franchise, continues this trend by offering an engaging action RPG experience that can appeal to both new and old fans.
The Fate series has become a vast and complex multimedia universe, making it difficult to follow the narrative. However, Fate/Samurai’s story is accessible to franchise fans and newcomers alike. Set in Japan during the Edo period, the game primarily follows Miyamoto Iori, a skilled swordsman who becomes involved in the supernatural conflict known as the Waxing Moon Ritual. As a “Master,” Iori must defeat the other six Masters in order to have his wishes granted. With the help of Servants, legendary warriors that support their Masters, Iori embarks on a dangerous journey to protect the world from the nefarious intentions of his competitors.
The storytelling in Fate/Samurai takes some unexpected turns over its 30-40 hour playthrough. While one playthrough won’t reveal the whole story, as there are different routes and outcomes, some players may feel exhausted by the pacing of the narrative in certain places. The game begins with extensive exposition cutscenes that dump a lot of lore on the player, and even after that, there are still dialogue sections that can feel a bit lengthy. However, players have the option to fast forward or skip cutscenes.
The gameplay in Fate/Samurai draws inspiration from Koei’s Musou framework but presents a more dynamic experience than typical hack-and-slash games. It is divided into chapters, which consist of exploration sections and arena battles against waves of enemies. This balance between combat and exploration gives the game a more expansive feel. Each chapter unlocks uniquely themed towns to explore, complete with side quests and collectibles. Players are incentivized to return to these locations regularly for additional rewards and completionist tasks.
Combat in Fate/Samurai follows the Warriors formula, utilizing light and heavy attacks to perform combos against hordes of enemies. The protagonist, Iori, can switch between different stances, each with its own advantages in combat. Additionally, players can equip offensive and defensive spells, call in their Servant for special attacks, and even briefly play as a Servant for increased damage. These mechanics, combined with the combo and stance system, create fast-paced and varied combat experiences.
The game also features larger enemies with more health and powerful attacks, adding an extra layer of challenge. These enemies require careful observation and timing to defeat effectively. In certain gameplay sections, the story transitions into turn-based strategy battles where players must vie for control of ley lines on the world map. This introduces a strategic element to the gameplay loop and provides a break from the combat and exploration.
Character progression in Fate/Samurai is handled through a skill upgrade system similar to Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid. Iori has a skill tree with stat upgrades, spells, and skills, and he can unlock additional skill trees for each elemental stance. The Servants also have their own skill trees that progress as they are used in combat.
Overall, Fate/Samurai Remnant offers a refreshing take on the Musou action genre, with a captivating story, dynamic gameplay, and expansive world to explore. Whether you’re a fan of the Fate franchise or a newcomer, this game is sure to provide an enjoyable action RPG experience.