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

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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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab). Check out the video above for some insight into its development from Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky.

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter (opens in new tab) and Tested (opens in new tab) before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.


When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).