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Katana Zero may be Devolver’s spiritual follow up to Hotline Miami

This could be real good.

katana zero main screen in pinks and blues
Image: Devolver Digital

My first introduction into the world of Devolver Digital was through one of my favorite games of all time, Hotline Miami. I absolutely love the rhythm and anarchy the game has and both games in the series have the best soundtracks in all of video games.

At PAX East, I got to play Katana Zero, the newest game to be published under Devolver. All I can say is I got the same chills that I got the first time I got into a groove in Hotline Miami.

In Katana Zero, you play a swordsman in a cyberpunk dystopia that is hired to kill targets in thematic areas

The rules are simple, no survivors, kill the target, don’t get caught. Fortunately for our samurai assassin, he appears to be taking a drug that allows him to manipulate time and see the future. As you play through each map of the level, successfully completing it means the samurai figured out his way through the level and then you can watch him kill everyone and everything. Failing the level means the plan failed and you’re back to square one.

The approach is kind of cool. You don’t have to worry about extra lives or some sort of weird reasoning for restarting levels. Instead, you just haven’t started them yet. Something else that is different is that you have dialogue options that can allow you to seemingly change the story and impact the characters in it. You can also be a jerk and cut everyone off and be as offputting as possible. It appears that your choices also impact filling in the blanks of the samurai’s story. At least that’s how it seems.

The gameplay mechanics are super easy to get used to and the gameplay moves so incredibly smoothly that those Hotline Miami feelings came back in full force

Kicking doors onto goons’ heads, throwing bottles into unsuspecting heads and chopping bad guys to bits is super fluid and flows like poetry. I think the music may be awesome but I couldn’t hear it really well on the bustling showroom floor.

The story for Katana Zero seems pretty gripping. This is still a Tarantino-esque story that doesn’t flow in a linear fashion, instead, jumping all over the place. The samurai has his demons, but it is also very clear that he very well may be a tool in someone else’s hands. The demo ended before things got too far, but I can’t wait to see how things roll out from here.

Basically, Katana Zero has all the magic that the original Hotline Miami did. This one could be really special. Katana Zero releases on April 18th on PC and Switch. It’s gonna be a bloody good time.

What do you think? Interested in this game? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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