MINI: Way of the Samurai 3’s opening few minutes are perfect

A majority of people don’t know a thing about Acquire and Spike’s Way of the Samurai franchise. I was one of those people, so when I picked up Way of the Samurai 3 for the Playstation 3 I had no idea what I was getting into.

When starting the game you are greeted by a very limited character creation. Most options are locked to the point of there essentially just being 3 presets you can use for your first run of the game.

Once you have created your samurai, you’re greeted by the first cutscene in the game. Your samurai wandering a battlefield of corpses, clearly wounded himself. Two peasants approach your character asking if you are okay. As they ask if you’re okay, an L1 prompt appears in the bottom left of the screen. Because it’s been drilled into every video game to hit the button as soon as it’s prompted, you’ll probably immediately press L1 out of instinct without even thinking, and your Samurai draws his sword on the peasants and they run.

Just as you the player instinctually pressed a button prompt just because you were told to, your Samurai instinctually drew his swords at the first sign of life, a beast of bloodshed already used to killing Having accidently ended the cutscene early due to attempting to kill some peasants, you are given full control for the first time. As you wander into town you will pass directly past two thugs threatening a woman. Having been indirectly taught that pressing L1 draws your sword, a nice player will kill these thugs where they stand and loot them. If you then choose to talk to the woman, she will tell them about how to save and how there are three major factions you can join in the game.

Walking along, you may be tempted to talk to the next NPC you come across, that NPC being a woman. You will get to see what dialogue options are like for the first time with there being a joke hitting on option. A player who chooses this to see what it’s like will soon realize that the woman no longer wants to talk to them because they hit on her. Teaching players that their choices, albeit miniscule, will affect how people treat them. This woman of course not mattering compared to say, making an entire faction angry

Once again you will continue down the stairs in the village and perhaps talk to the next NPC you come across. This one will offer you money if you do work, teaching players that aspect of the game.

Within a ten minute timespan the game has taught the player every important aspect of the game and almost entirely via the player themselves doing the work of figuring it out. From here on the player will likely wander out of the village, and that’s where the real game begins…..

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