In my many years of gaming, I don’t believe I’ve heard heard of a brutal, gory action game described as “heartfelt.” Yet, that’s the adjective chosen for Hanako: Honor & Blade, a multiplayer samurai game that launches today for PC via Steam. The word wasn’t chosen in error, however. Its creator, Matt Canei of +Mpact Games, spent 14 years developing the game in memory of his mother, who passed due to cancer.
At first blush, Hanako: Honor & Blade has the typical multiplayer PvP setup. It’s one team versus the other in violent conflict. The factions, though, represent more than good and evil (or red vs. green, in this instance). According to the developer, the Hanako clan “represents health and goodness in the spirit of Matt’s mother,” whereas the Yamai are the “the opposition to life inherent in cancer and other diseases.” The two sides fight within the theme of feudal Japan, so expect swords, samurai, and severed limbs — but that, too, is the point.
“We created Hanako: Honor & Blade to help us cope with the loss of loved ones through cathartic samurai multiplayer combat representing life and destruction,” Canei wrote in a press release. “I know my mother would be proud, and I want to thank our community for sharing the journey with us. I wish all of you strength in your battles—in the game and in life.”
Draw your blade
Hanako: Honor & Blade launches on Steam today, bringing plenty of game modes to check out. You and up to 24 players duke it out in team deathmatch, capture the scroll, Castle Raid, Duel, or Village Siege. The game uses a third-person camera, allowing you to swing away in multiple directions. Hanako also has four classes to pick: swordsman, spearman, ninja, and archer.
You can check out more on the game’s Steam page, where it’s currently going for 40% off at $8.99 USD.