In some more news of Japanese titles that weren't likely to come to the US, but did anyway, Way of the Samurai 4 is making the trip to the PlayStation Store later this year, with yet again another publisher.
Historically, the series has been published by everyone from the now-defunct BAM! Entertainment to Agetec to even Capcom. The latest publisher to take on the mantle is XSEED. Don't rush out to your local video game retail chain just yet, though! Way of the Samurai 4 will be a digital-only release on the PlayStation Network. Sorry, Xbox 360 fans who fell in love with the third one, no XBLA release is planned (yet).
Way of the Samurai 4 should have a fairly familiar story for the returning fan; Japan has just ended its isolationism, and foreigners are just beginning to come in. Shenanigans ensue, and one masterless samurai must choose from three factions: The shogunate, the isolationists, or the foreigners.
Character creation seems to offer a bit more character creation than has been offered in the past, allowing characters to be built probably in a similar, albeit more in-depth, fashion as before. A new addition of age -- youth, young, and middle-aged -- is available.
Director of Publishing at XSEED Ken Berry is quoted as saying, "In this new game, much more will be told of the epic battles fought in Japan in a way that further evolves the series, including branching storylines, multiple endings, a unique online element, as well as some random silliness and craziness that players have come to expect of the brand."
Also unique to the current title, Way of the Samurai 4 will have some online capabilities to upload your own character and download other characters as NPCs that will wander around villages, or act as assassins trying to kill the player's character, which can be defeated to earn their equipment. Not only will bladed weapons be in the game, but also gunpowder-based ones. The wording implies more than just guns, though no confirmation on that just yet.
For anyone who has played the second game, you may be pleased to learn that there are no dubs in the upcoming title, as all Japanese voice-acting will be intact, with English subtitles.
While Way of the Samurai has never been a huge title, it has offered some interesting concepts, and this one seems to bring more to the table, so it's good to see that it is still making a US appearance, which is estimated to be sometime this summer.