- "Katana Zero" is an indie action-platformer with pixel graphics and flashy retro-wave aesthetics launching April 18 for Nintendo Switch and PC.
- Playing as "The Dragon," a time-controlling samurai assassin, players are able to turn every stage of "Katana Zero" into a bloody highlight reel.
- "Katana Zero" is wonderfully styled, packs a suspenseful story, and is well worth the $14.99 price tag for a challenging adventure.
"Katana Zero," which launches Thursday on PC and Switch, is a stylish retro action game that tells the story of The Dragon, a time-manipulating samurai who’s forced to assassinate gang members in exchange for a mysterious drug.
"Katana Zero" embraces retro-wave style, incorporating neon visuals and synth music to invoke familiar vibes of 80s pop culture. The gameplay is fast, violent, and challenging; The Dragon can kill nearly all of his enemies with a single blow, but he dies in one hit, too.
Luckily, The Dragon can slow down time for brief periods, allowing him to dodge enemy attacks, deflect bullets, and navigate obstacles. Players make use of The Dragon’s time-control abilities to create perfectly planned runs of each stage, eliminating every opponent without getting hit.
Created by indie developer Askiisoft and published by Devolver Digital, "Katana Zero" is a part of Nintendo’s "Nindies" lineup of independent games that was teased earlier this year. While it’s become a bit cliché to compare indie titles to the 2012 smash-hit "Hotline Miami," "Katana Zero" shows clear inspiration: both games have instant-death combat, an 80s-centric style, and an unreliable narrator.
Here’s a full breakdown of what it’s like to play "Katana Zero":
The Dragon’s psychiatrist gives him a strange drug in exchange for killing gang members.
For a while, it’s not clear why The Dragon is killing his targets, but the mystery slowly starts to unravel.
One thing is certainly no mystery: The Dragon is a master assassin. His ability to control will make you want to clear each stage with style.
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