Skip to main content

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time looks like a PS2 game, in a good way

Samurai Jack is a time traveler with a sword, which is basically the perfect setup for a videogame. The time travel promises tons of variety in settings and enemies, and the sword promises you can cut things. It's kind of wild, then, that the last time someone made a Samurai Jack game was in 2004, on the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. This new game, Battle Through Time, really evokes that PS2 era feeling in a way I dig.

I've written before about games on Steam that evoke the PlayStation 2, which is a style that's a little hard to nail down. It's not necessarily a knock on their graphics—Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is clearly much more detailed than a PlayStation 2 game could be. It's some combination of simplicity in design, austere environments, a 3D camera that operates a certain way. Just watch that cutscene early on where a wall explodes and more enemies come march into the combat arena. Classic early 3D, right there.

I associate this sort of straightforward brawler with the PS2, but it being a little old fashioned isn't a bad thing. And it's not wholly dated—the minimal UI feels quite modern, and the backgrounds have a lot more detail than they could have a decade ago.

Battle Through Time is supposedly out on Steam this summer. Check out the video above for some insight into its development from Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky.

When he's not 50 hours into a JRPG or an opaque ASCII roguelike, Wes is probably playing the hottest games of three years ago. He oversees features, seeking out personal stories from PC gaming's niche communities. 50% pizza by volume.