Near the end of the 2019 Tokyo Game Show, Spike Chunsoft announced Katanakami, a new spinoff game in the Way of the Samurai series. This would be the first Way of the Samurai game since 2011’s Way of the Samurai 4 for the PS3. According to Siliconera, compared to the third-person perspective that its predecessors use, early footage of Katanakami shows it will be an isometric game. Additionally, there’s a much greater emphasis on combat, instead of offering a “samurai simulator experience.” There’s currently no word yet on an English translation. Katanakami is set to launch for the PS4, Switch, and PC sometime in early 2020.
From footage seen in a longer video, Katanakami hopes to provide a wholly different experience from the Way of the Samurai games. Where the latter is a wholesale samurai simulator set during the end of the legendary Japanese swordsmen’s reign, Katanakami looks like a difficult hack-and-slash game based around exploring and fighting monsters. There’s been no word on setting or characters, other than a few stills released so far.
Spike Chunsoft choosing to continue a series that has seen mixed reception at best is an interesting choice, to be sure. While the last game, Way of the Samurai 4, was praised for the simulation aspects and storytelling, the technical problems held it back considerably. Rereleasing Way of the Samurai 4 on PC seems to have smoothed out some of the performance issues, though some bugs still lingered in the release. Additionally, many of the fans of the WotS series enjoy the games for the campy humor and goofy characters they bring; a C-movie adaptation of an Akira Kurosawa work, if you will. Then again, Spike Chunsoft is known for taking risks on established properties. Danganronpa, Zanki Zero, Fire Pro Wrestling World and more all come from the boutique publisher and developer. Hopefully, we get to see more of Katanakami soon.