Katana ZERO is an extraordinary game by Askiisoft. Super fast action and one-hit kills. However, less than half an hour into the game you’ll notice that there is much more behind this sidescrolling action platformer. Katana ZERO covers topics such as time travel, drug use and horror, interspersed with extremely satisfying gameplay.
The story of Katana ZERO
You play a samurai who carries out murders on behalf of a mysterious therapist. Why? Even the main character himself doesn’t completely know, due to memory loss he suffered during a war several years ago. The therapist helps him process his bad experiences and gives him a drug that stops hallucinations. The same drug also provides him with superhuman speed. Because of this, you are one of the deadliest people in the city with nothing more than a katana.
You make your way through various enemies, such as gangsters with ducktails and heavily armored cops. Each of them can kill you with only one hit. You can avoid their attack or strike back their bullets. The latter is made a little easier by the ability to delay time, the side effect of the drug. It is essential. Everything happens in a split second, so you won’t get far without good reflexes.
The levels of Katana ZERO are divided into small areas that you play through one after another. Each area increases the difficulty, which forces you to better time your attacks and to use the scene environment to eliminate enemies. Dying is not a disaster, however. Within a second you are back at the beginning of the area to try again, visualized by a videotape that rewinds the situation for you. Katana ZERO is hardly frustrating: every situation is like a super fast puzzle that you have to solve.
The conversations in Katana ZERO are made through a quite unique dialogue tree. You can regularly interrupt characters, which sometimes results in different outcomes of a situation. That choice makes you feel like you have more control over the character. The story is long and the game wants to tell a lot. Although that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the three hours period in which you play the game is too short to set that up properly. The same applies to the gameplay. The gameplay is so good, it’s too bad you are not even fighting half of the three hours. By the way, you can unlock a final level that hides some secrets, but I haven’t been able to discover what they are.
If you are into lightning fast, bloody action and a freaky, psychological story, then I highly recommend to check out Katana ZERO on Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle or Switch Game Store.