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EA to distribute Koei's Samurai Warriors

Omega Force's 'game that isn't Dynasty Warriors' goes to battle in Europe under the EA standard.

Electronic Arts' increasingly active EA Partners division has secured the signature of another unlikely title this week in the shape of Koei's Samurai Warriors. Known as Sengoku Musou in Japan - where it did rather well - Samurai Warriors is another feudal Japan-themed tactical action game from Koei's internal Dynasty Warriors development team, Omega Force, and differs from its sibling series mainly in terms of historical theme.

EA UK aims to publish Samurai Warriors on the PS2 this June, and Koei no doubt hopes it'll do better business under the guidance of the uber-publisher than it would otherwise. After all, EA generally elevates even the most mediocre title in its catalogue to the status of blockbuster without a great deal of effort. (However else did FIFA secure 878,000 lots of 40 quid during 2003?)

Not that we're saying Samurai Warriors is bad, of course. Omega Force knows how to handle this period of Japanese history with the utmost violence, and fans of Dynasty Warriors ought to take to it like ducks to water. Ducks with swords. Set in 1467 as the islands of feudal Japan are plunged into civil war, it gives the player control of Yukimura Sanada, who leads bands of samurai and ninja across the battlefields of Okehazama and Kawanakajima, and inside the walls of the embattled Osaka Castle.

Key additions to Samurai Warriors include a 'Musou' gauge, which builds up and allows Sanada to unleash stupendous attacks - even more potent when he's close to death, apparently - as he sweeps through various historical and fictional conflicts and randomly generated castles, triggering sub-quests within larger battles thanks to the game's Active Mission System. It sounds eminently replayable, and a multiplayer mode ought to help ensure that.

It also sounds a lot better than Seven Samurai 20XX, a similarly slashy but distinctly less tactical Japanese title that Sega signed up just recently, also destined for a mid-2004 release in Europe. Time may prove us wrong, but, judging by the rumble of Akira Kurosawa's spinning corpse, we doubt it.

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About the Author
Tom Bramwell avatar

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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