Published on October 17th, 2023 | by Adrian Gunning
Fate/Samurai Remnant Review (PS5)
Summary: Fate/Samurai Remnant is a fun game set in a familiar yet different universe
The latest game from publisher Koei Tecmo and developer Omega Force has arrived with Fate/Samurai Remnant (based in the popular “Fate” universe) that is set in 17th century Japan during the Keian Uprising. At its basics, Fate/Samurai Remnant is an open-world action adventure game with Musou inspired combat with solid gaming mechanics.
In the game, you play as ronin Miyamoto Iori, an apprentice swordsman who is unwittingly drawn into the Waxing Moon Ritual and soon realises that he is more than just a pawn in the upcoming battle. As a fun fact, Miyamoto Iori is actually a real historical person from the Edo period of Japan and was the adopted son of the legendary ronin Miyamoto Musashi.
While Fate/Samurai Remnant is steeped in history and references some of the other Fate titles, the developers ensure that newcomers will have more than enough information to sink their teeth into this universe without being too disadvantaged. It also helps that the story is from the point of view of the very likable Miyamoto Iori whose perspective is shared with the gamer as the story unfolds. As a result, it makes it more immersive.
If you are not familiar with the Fate franchise, it is hugely popular in Asia that spans a variety of different mediums from books to Manga, which makes this game quite a big deal. Supporting the story are the excellent anime cutscenes that really enhance the overall gaming experience by building upon the epic quest of Miyamoto Iori.
Additionally the story and world building has been carefully intertwined and unlike something like Final Fantasy, Fate/Samurai Remnant is more of a slow burn without overburdening the player with too much. Initially anyway. Apart from the main story missions, the player will interact with other characters that will offer additional side quests to help you explore 17th century Japan, including meeting way too many adorable dogs and cats along the way. Well, it is anime inspired! Also just be warned that this game uses a visual novel dialogue system that can get wordy at times.
So with sword in hand, Iori goes on a quest for the fabled Waxing Moon Vessel that is reminiscent of the Holy Grail. We also discover that our hero is also one of 7 masters who are seeking the same relic, however each of these masters have access to their powerful spirit servants and for Iori, his spirit is called Saber. Saber is a fantastic addition to the gameplay who also serves a quest guide and is needed to help with various puzzles in the game plus with combat. Exploration is encouraged and while you can just stop and smell the roses so to speak, there is plenty of interaction and surprises to be found along the way if you do, including further story building when you speak to villagers or strangers.
The combat in the game is quite solid and requires players to switch between the five different stances such as the water stance which makes you more fluid in nature when you take on multiple enemies. Needless to say, you need to master the various stances to maximise your combat prowess. While your sword is the primary weapon, Iori also has access to magic that makes some of the larger battles quite epic, including combos and chains. If combat is proving to be too challenging, you can reduce the difficulty level (Sword Novice, Sword Fighter and Sword Expert) that is particularly useful for some of the boss battles.
However the game does preempt the player on their enemies potential next move which requires you to strategize. Lastly you have Saber who can be called to your side to help with your battles which adds another element of strategy to your combat, including her devastating attacks that look spectacular. Also by defeating enemies, you are awarded “xp” that can be used to upgrade both your character and your servants which adds a component of RPG into the mix as you “level” up your characters. So all in all, the gameplay exploration, puzzles and combat works very well.
Graphics & Audio
Graphically, developers Omega Force have done an impressive job at recreating 17th Japan and the unique anime art style really enhances the overall atmosphere of Fate/Samurai Remnant from its characters, environments and special effects that go hand in hand with the gameplay. It’s also a super smooth game on the PS5 with no tearing or stuttering whatsoever and I love how interactive this world is. Further, the sound effects complement the gameplay well as does the soundtrack which changes during key moments in the story.
In conclusion, Fate/Samurai Remnant adds another engaging title to this vibrant universe that is a very well crafted game from start to finish with strong gaming mechanics and a very engaging combat system. Further it is a living breathing world with quite a bit of attention to detail that makes exploration a treat. The game is also brought together by a very well written story with interesting characters, including real-world twists. The only downside is that it can be a little wordy at times with its visual novel implementation and at times, combat can be become a grind but fortunately the gameplay and universe more than makes up for this.