Samurai Shodown is coming back soon, and in a pretty big way as SNK revealed some new features and a surprising incentive for those getting the game early.
Having been dormant for nearly a decade, the announcement of a new Samurai Shodown game late last year and its inclusion as a main stage game at August’s EVO tournament caught many off guard, to say the least.
SNK’s been cranking up the hype machine here lately ahead of the bloody fighter’s June 25 release date. The publisher’s been cranking out trailer after trailer, showing off characters and a deeper look at the game. Tuesday’s upload, in particular, clocks in at nearly four minutes and dishes on some details:
First and foremost, the game’s season pass will be absolutely free for early adopters. Those who purchase either physically or digitally before June 30, and redeem the offer before that date, will get the as-of-yet specified content at no additional cost. It’s an unprecedented move for a game already priced at the standard $60 USD price point, especially in the fighting game genre.
It appears that SNK knows that a fully-priced title with just 16 characters might seem a little steep to some, so a free season pass might be a good enough incentive to lure curious folks in.
The trailer also touches on actual gameplay content coming at launch. It’ll feature an adaptive AI system that, well, adapts to you. The goal is to learn players’ actions and become more of a formidable opponent or sparring partner in offline modes. AI battles are also possible, though it’s unclear if they reap any sort of reward like as seen in fighting game contemporaries like Mortal Kombat 11.
This is especially interesting in a game like Samurai Shodown, where the emphasis is placed on strategic strikes that deal tons of damage rather than flashy combos. A new gameplay element called the “Rage Gauge” is also a big factor and essentially works like any basic meter would. The more damage you take, the more it fills up. Once full, it can unleash a devastating “Lightning Blade” attack that can turn the tide.
It’ll also have a story mode and confirms its place as a prequel to the original 1993 arcade game, as opposed to a reboot.
As previously mentioned, Samurai Shodown is set for a June 25 launch date for PS4 and Xbox One. The game is slated to release for PC and Switch later this year, though it’s not confirmed if the season pass offer will carry over by then.