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Capcom's Sengoku Basara 4 offers more samurai fighters, more flashy moves and a new time era

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Capcom revealed details on Sengoku Basara 4 in this week's issue of Famitsu magazine this week, the latest in their series of samurai-themed hack-and-slash titles and a direct sequel to the game released Stateside in 2010 under the name Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes.

The core gameplay is the same: pick a hero from the Sengoku (warring states) period of Japanese history, form an army, and use it to beat the snot out of opposing shogun and their forces. The plot aims to mix things up a bit, however. Instead of putting players right in the middle of the Sengoku period, the game goes back a couple centuries to the Muromachi era (1337-1573), depicting a fictional Japan where the nation of Japan's suddenly more-or-less up for grabs and all the great shogun of real-life history fight for it at the same time.

"It's a sort of parallel world," producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi told Famitsu, "one where the world setting is different even though it still takes advantage of the characters' personalities and relationships as before. In a way, you really are creating the Sengoku period yourself."

Player-selectable generals introduced in the Famitsu preview included series standbys Date Masamune and Ishida Mitsunari, as well as two brand-new characters: Shima Sakon, an Ishida retainer who's gifted at quick strikes and dual-sword wielding for wild combos, and Shibata Katsuie, a servant of Oda Nobunaga who's got a massive longsword that can be powered up for stronger regular and special moves.

"Compared to Masamune or Mitsunari, they're both from a younger generation," explained director Makoto Yamamoto. "They're rookie generals, if you will. In this world where the future's suddenly become very blurred, Sakon is unsure what he must do, so he decides to follow after Mitsunari. He's got a lot of acrobatic moves in the action scenes, and you can press a single button to switch between two different fighting styles, letting you fight in cooler and cooler ways as you improve. Katsuie, meanwhile, is someone who's lost all emotion and just follows his orders; it'll be interesting to see how he responds to this new era."

Basara 4 is apparently a PlayStation 3 exclusive (the previous game hit the PS3 and Wii simultaneously) and is due out sometime in early 2014 in Japan. "It's a new chapter for the series," said Yamamoto, "something that I think veteran fans will see as fresh and new. Even people who've never touched the series before can enjoy this game 100 percent, and I'm hoping that this title sets the board for a great expansion of the Basara universe."