Published on August 18th, 2023 | by Abdul Saad
Fate/Samurai Remnant PC Preview @koeitecmoeurope
I’ve been pretty excited about Fate/Samurai Remnant since it was announced. However, as a fan of the franchise, I was quite skeptical about whether or not the game would live up to my expectations. But my anxiety was significantly reduced after learning that Type-Moon, the original company behind the original Fate franchise games and novels, would be supervising the production. After playing through over six hours of the game, I can now say that anxiety has been completely crushed, and my expectations have been blown away.
Fate/Samurai Remnant takes place in the Keian Era of the Edo Period in a time of peace. It follows Miyamoto Iori, an orphaned young man and warrior in solo training who lives in the outskirts of Asakusa with his younger sister. He lives a fairly regular life as a pseudo-law enforcer to earn money. However, his life changes forever when he’s thrown into the midst of the Waxing Moon Ritual, another type of the series’s flagship Holy Grail War between seven heroic spirits who serve as Servants controlled by their seven masters who wield their command seals. One thing leads to another, and Iori unexpectedly forms command seals amid all the chaos and summons Saber as his servant. The two then begin their quest to win the Waxing Moon Ritual by defeating the masters and their servants, forming alliances, and learning the true nature of the war in the process.
Fate/Samurai’s narrative is more compelling than I expected. The story wastes no time introducing its several characters and concept in a very epic and attention-grabbing way from the first hour alone. It’s worth noting both Fate fans and new players will find things to appreciate in this game as it introduces several characters and Classes seen in other Fate Media. However, several of them are of different classes, like Jeanne Arc of Fate Grand Order is now a Lancer-class, and Miyamoto Musashi, who has a new look is now a Berserker class. Additionally, without spoiling too much, the game introduces new characters, all of whom are surprisingly endearing with compelling histories and stories to tell.
As they progress the game, players will also learn all about the intricacies of the Waxing Moon Ritual through engaging visual novel conversations, making for a rich narrative with detailed lore that rewards players for progressing the game. As a result, I’m excited to see how this game’s take on the Holy Grail War unfolds.
Game-play-wise, Fate/Samurai Remnant uses a Musou real-time combat structure, which is unsurprising for a Koei Tecmo game, but is not as Musou heavy as the studio’s other titles. The game puts the players in the streets of 17th-century Edo, where they’ll take on several waves and hordes of enemies but in a more linear structure. Instead of having many open lands for players to kill hundreds of enemies, Fate Samurai limits things to moving to and from separate, open areas. I much prefer this structure as it succeeds in distinguishing the game from its other counterparts and showcases an outstanding balance of gameplay and story.
Additionally, players are given lots of tools in combat, the most effective tool being their servant Saber. After dealing enough damage, Iori can swap with Saber to perform even more devastating moves and combos. Iori also has his own skills, from magic spells to combo sword attacks. More advanced moves for Iori and Saber can also be acquired from a skill tree that is very direct and simple to understand. Mowing down enemies with a combination of all tools given to you feels incredibly fun and satisfying. Players can also upgrade Iori’s katanas, specifically each part, including the scabbard, handles, and more, similar to a game like Jedi Fallen Order. I love this system as it is not only a creative way to change your Katana’s look, but it also affects the weapon’s damage and other stats.
Visually, Fate/Samurai Remnant is impeccable. The character designs are incredibly detailed and attractive, with intricate differences between each character, the world design is incredibly faithful to 17th-century Japanese aesthetic, and the highly vibrant and dynamic cutscenes are almost on par with Ufotable’s level of animation seen in many Fate anime, with an overall flawless the art direction.. The game is by far one of the best-looking games I’ve played this year, and perhaps the best-looking Koei Tecmo game in a long time.
Performance-wise, the game runs flawlessly, especially for a preview build. Fate/Samurai Remnant allows several performance settings on PC, and it keeps a consistently high framerate with no glitches. However, I will note this is my experience playing the first 6 hours, so I can’t say for sure the quality will remain consistent throughout. Although, with what I’ve played so far, I’d be surprised if it didn’t.
Overall, Fate/Samurai Remnant is a fantastic game so far that’s blown my expectations away. The concept is interesting, the story is engaging, the characters are endearing, and the gameplay is simple but really fun. I’ve only played a few hours so far, but I can’t wait to see what the rest of the game offers.