Destiny, the pre-designated path we all venture forth, but through greatness, we can live up, or exceed these limitations. In 1997 a prolific video game designer, who lived extravagantly to the excess had unlimited control and time to turn his vision to a reality, and to live up to that promised destiny. That task took three years and produced a time-travelling adventure to right universal wrongs that game was Daikatana.
In the dystopian 2400s, a young swordsman, Hiro Miyamoto, is requested by Toshiro Ebihara to steal an ancient powerful sword, The Daikatana, from the Mishima clan, who have used the sword’s power to build a brutal dictatorship. He meets up with Mikiko Ebihara, & Superfly Johnson, the Mishima head of security, to retrieve the eponymous Daikatana, however, it sends our heroes on a crazy time-travailing journey of righting wrongs and restoring order to a world gone corrupt.
Daikatana is a tech showcase, built from idtech 2 to create a quick-paced and action focused FPS that provides worthy completion to its contemporaries, it prides its difficulty, with a limited save system that would feel in place in a horror game is used effectively here, making every fight all the more dramatic this can certainly be felt in the fighting, with enemies swarming at you and little recourse other than defending yourself. Not every N.P.C. is out to get you though, Your partners are vital for progression, and are handy in a fight, they crack wise, and obey your command, you can see the genesis of the current A.I. companions today, but in the cases when your alone, or fighting alongside, you can rest assured that there’s variety in the ways to dispatch your fellow man. You’re also given an embarrassment of weapons, my favourite is the serrated Frisbee, but the Daikatana itself is also interesting. There are also guns galore, with creative names like the Ripgun and the Novabeam, but caution is advised as these can just easily turn on you.
It’s a game seeping with attitude from inside and outside, the gratuitous weapons, previously mentioned such as the Nharre’s Nightmare, that reduces your enemies to daemon chow, and the choices of locals that you spend the game in to are emblematic of the era of attitude and the personal tastes of John Romero. Medieval towns, ancient Greek islands, near future San Francisco and futuristic Japan. Each one having a vivid and well-imagined look and feel. The enemies are unique for each period, you have altercations with Spearman, knights, dwarfs, to griffons, and hybrid tank/dog monstrosities.
Daikatana is a love letter to auteurship. To taking a no-compromise look, much like The Room and Tommy Wiseau (only with more experience in the industry), It contains the same disregard for convention that made Doom such a success., but with a strong difficulty spike making it feels like a mighty challenge and combined with an intriguing quest that makes for a compelling adventure. Daikatana is a bold experience, but what else would you expect from a master craftsman?
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