by Preston Dozsa
previewed on PC
It’s been 5 years since Afro Samurai was released to less than kind fanfare. Many complained about the numerous bugs present within the game and the complex fighting system that was present. Fortunately for fans of the franchise, the original made enough money to justify a sequel, which I had the chance to look at during Gamescom.
While the original game focused on Afro as he sought revenge on the man who killed his father, more or less following the original manga and anime in plot, this sequel focuses on Afro’s former friend Kuma. Kuma blames Afro for the death of his family, and hunts down Afro in order to kill him. I was assured by the developers of Redacted Studios however that multiple characters would be playable, including Afro in certain story segments.
Another difference is that Afro Samurai was a fighting game with hack and slash elements, where Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of the Bear feels more like an action-adventure game, with most of the fighting game elements removed. There will be a greater emphasis placed on environmental puzzles and navigation, with the developers promising a wide variety of areas and environments to explore. This is in line with how the developers want the combat sequences to feel meaningful and important, instead of the previous titles’ near constant action.
New camera mode
New to Afro Samurai 2 will be the ‘Face of Death’ camera mode, a camera angle done from the perspective of the enemy that you are fighting. In essence, think of the ending to the Poseidon boss fight in God of War 3 and apply that to an entire game. This camera mode was much touted as a way to enhance and add meaning to the combat within the game, as you see Kuma kill his enemies through the perspective of those enemies. While I only saw a very limited use of the camera angle, if used properly I think it has great potential to add a lot of style to an already stylish franchise.
Of particular priority to Redacted Studios, especially due to its importance to the original source material, is the music within Afro Samurai 2. As the original manga was inspired by hip hop music and culture, the game will feature hip hop tracks and artists from around the world, including Japan, France and England. And while Redacted didn’t want to name anyone, they are currently working to get those artists inserted into cameos within the game itself.
Afro Samurai 2 is currently in development with an expected release on PC early next year. And while the game is still in its early stages, it certainly looks like it has the potential to be a fun and entertaining adventure.