Reborn: A Samurai Awakens
Reborn: A Samurai Awakens was perhaps one of the most anticipated PSVR titles when it was announced two years ago. Who doesn’t want to be a robot samurai with lightsabers? Unfortunately, it looks like this game could have used another year or two of polish.
Reborn is basically an on-rails action game that leads the player from location to location where they face waves of enemies. Players can dual-wield lightsabers, guns, or hold one in each hand using the Playstation Move Controllers. They also have the ability to use The Force (Yes it’s actually called The Force in this game) to pull enemies closer to them and throw them away like ragdolls.
Despite being on-rails, the game manages to still deal with issues when it comes to movement and controls. Players can walk from place to place until their movement is locked in place. The movement is half-baked, with no ability to turn with buttons. Instead, players press one button to move forward and can slightly turn the character by turning their head. The frame rate while walking is some of the worst I’ve ever seen in a VR game, and the game would have been better just not giving the players the option to walk at all.
The battles are boring, with uninteresting duels and even more uninteresting enemies. The shooting is decent, with nothing too offensive coming out of the game’s aiming mechanic. Players can deflect bullets with their lightsaber, offering them a chance to defend themselves as they stand still with enemies firing at them.
It’s the lightsabers that ruin the experience. There is no finesse required in Reborn, and the best way to succeed in this game is to throw your arm around like a noodle until the opposing Samurai is defeated. Every enemy samurai has the same, predictable attack pattern, and there is just no point in taking the time to block and the counter. The enemy won’t be able to swing at the player because they will constantly be staggered by attacks. Even if the enemy manages to land a hit, it won’t mean a thing. Either the health bar is too big or the hits do too little damage. Either way, the player likely won’t ever die in Reborn. Sometimes a boss battle will get a lucky hit and kill the player and one hit, but even that rarely happens. Those boss battles are also just quick-time events by the way, where players will simply position their lightsabers in a certain way while they wait for the enemy to complete their attack.
The presentation is shoddy, to say the least. The graphics are a mix of blurry and muddy. The game is full of glitches and bugs that prevent enemies from even attacking the player sometimes. I even encountered a boss battle midway through the game that was so bugged I couldn’t proceed. I had to restart the entire level, which wouldn’t be a problem if this game was actually fun. The music starts off exciting enough, but the same track plays over and over again with little variation, making the game even more of a chore to work through. The animations and enemy designs are stiff and uninspired. Most every enemy looks the same, with little variation in even color.
The game is brief, which is likely its saving grace. The levels are incredibly short and are only stretched out into 20-minute segments by tiring waves of enemies that take too long to kill. This is the first VR game that I was actually relieved to have finished.
All of this hurts me to say because I genuinely want a fun sword title on PSVR. Unfortunately, this game is a trainwreck. It isn’t fun, it doesn’t run well, and its gameplay is riddled with questionable decisions.
Reborn: A Samurai Awakens
This game is a trainwreck. It's hard to do worse than Reborn: A Samurai Awakens. If you need an action game for PSVR almost everything is a better choice.