Fate/Samurai Remnant Preview PS5
Image via Koei Tecmo

Preview: Fate/Samurai Remnant Is an Incredible Blend of Musou and Servants

The standout game I played during my time at Anime Expo 2023 was none other than Koei Tecmo and Omega Force’s upcoming hack-and-slash crossover title, Fate/Samurai Remnant. I will admit that I have played and reviewed many Musou games in the past, despite not being a huge fan of the sub-genre. I feel the best Musou games are the ones that take the idea of massive battles and add a unique licensed wrinkle into the manner, such as Dragon Quest Heroes II and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. It’s safe to say that Fate/Samurai Remnant continues this welcome trend after my time playing a preview build on PS5.

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As an already existing Fate fan, this is the way to get me to jump back into a Musou game. Taking place in a historical version of Asakusa, Japan during a previous Holy Grail War, players get to take the role of Miyamoto Iori and his servant, Saber.

Fate/Samurai Remnant Preview PS5

Image via Koei Tecmo

Fate/Samurai Remnant Seamlessly Integrates Combat

These Fate/Samurai Remnant characters are a bit different than the Saber and other Servants you might know from the more chronologically recent entries in the series. Though my demo was timed, I tried to take some time to explore Asakusa, which was beautifully recreated with NPCs to talk to and little side activities.

The main goal of the preview, seemingly set early in the game, was to collect money for a debtor. I got to run around the surprisingly stunning town, getting money from cats and shut-ins, while also unlocking new abilities to use in the intriguing take on Musou combat.

Instead of the usual battlefield scenarios where you have a mission to win, the combat seems more cleanly included in the story. At one point, I encountered a debtor I had to take down and he had dozens of cronies that he brought along with him.

This short combat segment felt like a mostly typical Musou fight. I had the dozens of smaller nameless enemies I could ignore while I focus on the larger foe. There are combos you can use featuring the light and heavy attack, which generally deal massive cinematic damage to all nearby enemies.

In addition, there are four skills you can use to deal even more damage, but you can only use them occasionally. Initially, I played as Miyamoto Iori, the Master in this game. He has two special forms, one for Earth and another for Water, that changes his skills and style.

Fate/Samurai Remnant Preview PS5

Image via Koei Tecmo

It Captures the Cinematic Feel of the Anime Series

I like the variance the gameplay offers, with its fast and fun gameplay. Movement and dodging is seamless, letting me zip in and out of attacks with ease. Eventually, the tight demo included a flashy climactic moment where I got to play as this game’s Saber.

The young hero had their own set of skills that I could use. I appreciated how each of Saber’s attacks and skills are unbelievably over-the-top, giving off some of anime studio Ufotable’s style in a way. There was also a fantastic team attack I could use that saw Master and Servant join together.

The finale of the demo concluded with meeting the first of six other Servants in the game. This massive hulking foe was my singular enemy in the drawn out fight. Interestingly enough, the mysterious Servant had a break bar unlike previous foes. This break bar decreased the more hits I used on the enemy. My attacks were pretty underwhelming until I broke the Servant, leading to me decimating the foe nearly instantly with how much more powerful attacks became.

Fate/Samurai Remnant Preview PS5

Image via Koei Tecmo

The demo only lasted about 10 minutes for me, but I appreciated that Fate/Samurai Remnant doesn’t seem to have the typical mission-based structure of Musou games. It appears to have a more natural and bombastic structure similar to the anime itself. With the bits of story content it teased regarding this particular Holy Grail War, this game just shot up to be one of my most anticipated titles this year.

Fate/Samurai Remnant will release on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, and PC on September 29, 2023.

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Cody Perez
Cody is a writer who has been sharing his love for video games and anime since his high school days in 2012. When he isn’t writing about the latest JRPGs and anime series, he can be found in Final Fantasy XIV, occasionally playing some Call of Duty, or lurking on Twitter @SoulcapCody.