Samurai Jack is a beloved series that came from Cartoon Network, spanning five seasons of sixty-two episodes that all kicked off in 2001. When we discuss Samurai Jack, it’s difficult to do so through a lens that doesn’t involve the lens of nostalgia and adoration for the fascinating story arc.
The upcoming title from Soliel, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time appears to attempt precisely that by a relatively underwhelming appearance on IGN’s YouTube channel that finally shows almost nineteen minutes of uncut gameplay from the title that is scheduled to release in a whopping two days, on August 21, 2020.
Before we dive too in-depth into what it reveals, it’s likely for the best that you watch the eighteen-minute gameplay trailer for yourself.
Much like what we’ve seen from Marvel’s Avengers, the gameplay is fantastic, if this were all going to be released a decade ago.
Instead, players appear to play as the titular Samurai Jack and tasked with clearing room after room in order to progress. This wouldn’t necessarily be bad if the combat was deep and riveting, but the trailer betrays that as well: combo-spamming with no punishment, enemies wait to be approached by you, and the speed at which enemies fall is soft-locked by the number of upgrades you have versus your skill inside of the title.
All well and fair if it’s your cup of tea, but an in-depth action-adventure title this isn’t: it seems more akin to a visual novel that players will grind through as enemies inevitably fall.
The apparel of Jack as he takes damage, viewable during the room where he fights the miniboss, is a nice nod towards the various showings of Jack we’ve seen across the seasons if the health bar in the bottom left isn’t enough.
The camera showing Jack’s face every time he clears a room of a seemingly inexhaustible supply of pointless bad guys seems to remind players that the entirety of the reason that they’re grinding through the title is that Samurai Jack is a beloved figure.
Graphically, even noting that they’re attempting to match the series, and it’s a bit bothersome that the polygons are so noticeable and environments so wildly barren. Add onto that the seemingly repetitive task of beating your way through room after room until the next character pops their head in with unanimated dialogue that’s dangerously close to T-posing, and it already looks like a headache without even needing to purchase.
We’ll do a more in-depth review once Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time releases as we’re massive fans of the character, but it is decidedly a poor first glimpse at unedited gameplay.