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Impressions: Afro Samurai, and a slew of dead bodies

Andrew Yoon, @scxzor
July 17, 2008
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Most likely, my reaction to Afro Samurai is all wrong. The upcoming PS3/360 game from Namco Bandai translates Spike TV's anime series into a video game. After an eyes-on demo of the game, I walked away ... hungry.

Why's that? Afro Samurai's gruesome rendering of the frightening power of a sword has me craving for some fresh meat. When Afro swings his sword, he will be able to cut right through anyone. No matter where he hits them, the sword will cut cleanly. Hit an enemy's foot, and it will fall off. Cut an enemy's arm off with ease. You'll be able to cut off interesting pieces off your enemies' bodies and see the flesh and bone inside, slowly leaking blood. It's a fascinating sight, especially as you kill dozens and dozens of mindless opponents.

Ultra-violence isn't uncommon in this industry. But, although Ninja Gaiden II had no problem cutting off the limbs of everything that moves, it's strangely unsettling in this cel-shaded adventure. Is it the fact that Afro Samurai absolutely revels in its gore? Providing slow-mo zoom-ins to see the stylized cuts of muscle meat go flying off certainly whets the appetite.

It's hard to judge the quality of the game from such a short demonstration, but at least the development team's goal is clear. Hopefully, they take the violence one step further by ensuring the body parts that you shed off hapless victims stays active in the game environment. The ESRB-approved "tame" version of the trailer, after the cut.









In this article: afro-samurai, E3, e308, namco-bandai, PS3, Xbox-360
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