Top Critic Average
If all these caveats sound fine, I think you'll like Chambara. Like many focused dueling games before it, it does one thing, and it does it pretty well.
This USC Advanced Games Project release has some great – if underdeveloped – ideas around local competitive play
The element of disguise makes Chambara surprisingly deep, though its shallow content leaves nothing for gamers uninterested in local multiplayer.
Chambara is a smart, stylish, and truly entertaining game to play locally with friends and family. There's a timeless class to games of this ilk which offer experiences that you simply cannot get elsewhere. As long as you can provide a steady stream of willing players to engage with, Chambara returns the favour with a limited but excellent selection of arenas to engage with them in.
These juxtapositions are what makes this game so great; it is a constantly shifting experience which is easy to pick up, but difficult to master.
Chambara represents a compelling idea in the multiplayer duel arena genre thanks to visuals that are not only unique but play an integral role in the gameplay. The lack of modes and online hamper the longevity of its gameplay. Overall, though, it’s definitely a more than “OK” start for Team OK.
Chambara lacks solo play, but its fast-paced kinetic action makes for a thrilling co-op experience.
Chambara is a very strong local multiplayer title that catches some of the appeal of the late 90's deathmatch experiences, added with some stealthy hide-and-seek elements. While it's fun while it lasts, the fact that at least two players are required to play, mixed with the feeling of being one of those "in between" games that are played for like 10 minutes, makes it difficult for it to last as well as some of the older classics, and makes it hard to build up a great gaming night on its own, but the time it gets in the spotlight will be remembered fondly by those present, and will be revisited again and again.
Even prior to launching a match, the visual presentation of Chambara commands your attention
The first game published by USC features a fantastic concept that is executed well, but one that really feels like it could've used some more time to be fleshed out. 'Chambara' is a fun local multiplayer diversion, but the lack of online play and variety really stifles the overall experience. Hopefully a sequel will be able to take the game to the next level, but as of now I'm left with a rad proof of concept that is best played in short bursts.