Katana ZERO: Some Eighties Style Neo-Noir Awesome

Katana Zero
It means Japanese sword.

Here’s a proper belting neo-noir, stylish little indie game number from developer Askiisoft. The action platformer is a lot of bloody good fun.

Katana ZERO

You can pick this SOB up on Steam, the Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. And you should do so! It’s great fun.

This one is a mishmash of Dead Cells and The Messenger. But it also has a blend of neo-noir fun, with an ’80s leaning that reminds us of the film Driver (2009).

With a big old dollop of Mark of the Ninja thrown in, even if Katana Zero focusses more on action over stealth.

You take control of the assassin Subject Zero in a dystopic future city called New Mecca. However, as the Cromag War erupts in the city, the protagonist’s skills are put to the test.

After Subject Zero completes assassination missions, he visits a psychiatrist who also injects him with Chronos.

That’s a drug that lets him slow time and see into the future.

Subject Zero also has a penchant for ’80s style music, which he plays on his cassette player before each mission begins.

Stylised violence and nods towards Akira? Yes, pretty much.

The controls are a little fiddly to begin with, but once you’ve got the hang of things there’s some clever level design going on.

You die with one hit. But each stage is short and typically requires you to wipe out a few enemies.

This you can do with your katana, or by grabbing various objects you find lying around in your environment.

The game feels alive as there’s a lot going on with the backgrounds. Take the Club Neon stage early on, where you have to hide behind dancing revellers. It’s epic.

It’s a fast-paced title, for sure, although the one hit death element may not appeal to everyone.

We can see that causing frustration with some players, as you have to keep repeating levels over and over.

But, on the whole, we think Katana Zero is a bloody triumph. It’s short and action-packed, boasting an excellent visual style and the gameplay to match.

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