Stealth games are very much a dying genre, especially a game that is SOLEY stealth, sure we get games with elements, so when we get a proper stealth game, I get very VERY excited, now to be fair this isn’t exactly a new game, but I missed it the first time around, and on one hand I’m glad I did because now I get a lot more content to play with.
So, I went into this game being a massive fan of the Tenchu games on the PlayStation 1, because to me when you see a ninja, in small compounds that is the game I hope it is going to be.
So the game is pretty simple, you are a ninja, you need to get from point A to point B, along the way you need to not die, and if needed kill enemies who might see you along the way. You have shadow abilities that let you dash toward enemies or create clones to distract and you need to use this arsenal to sneak your way through the levels. All of the game is set over the course of one night, so you get a pretty atmospheric game when you see the braziers lit up that cast shadows across the ground. But also that it just adds to the feeling that you really ARE a ninja, in a dangerous mission trying to sneak your way to the objective.
One of the problems I have is sometimes the game feels TOO easy, you can teleport to shadows, meaning it’s a bit of a get out of jail free card, if your sneaking on someone, and accidentally alert them, you can easily teleport TO them and kill them. This makes a lot of the interactions feel a little too easy, though it is not something you can get away within a large group, it is easily abusable and can make some of the maps pretty simple to get through.
Graphically the game looks lovely, it is not hyper-realistic that many stealth games go for, but instead goes for a more colourful palette and cartoony style that definitely works well for the game. Now I might just be thinking this because I’ve just come off a MASSIVE Breath of the wild hype, but I love this art style, mostly because there is something that always makes cell shaded games look good after a long period of time. Look at wind waker, it still holds up well today from the game cube.
This version of the game also comes with the DLC expansion, adding Co-op play and new areas to explore, the DLC is a lovely addition and playing Co-op made the whole game a lot more fun, I wish I could have coordinated attacks with a friend more often and it was a shame the entire game wasn’t coop. Though I do love the snowy levels in the DLC and overall the game seems better looking, or at least more polished in the DLC, which is to be expected when it came out later.
However, the bonus here to other games is that there is a lot of little detail to be found in the backgrounds and in the levels that just add life to what you’re looking at. Not to mention more skills to play within each level, and to get around the traps laid out for you. Between the two I think the DLC is more difficult of the two, but not overly so. It is more of a challenge for those who want to get undetected, if you don’t care much about that, then you will be able to still get through the levels pretty quickly using your abilities, in a more action style gameplay.
This is overall a pretty nice little stealth game, and when you factor in both the price AND the content being given here, it’s a pretty hard deal to ignore. The game is easy enough to be picked up and played by pretty much anyone, even if they don’t want to be too stealthy, or care about being undetected throughout the entire level. Though enough there for fans of the stealth genre to really think how they are going to be completing each level around all of the traps and enemies. It’s a good little game, and whilst it doesn’t hold up against the big stealth games that people remember, when you think that they don’t really make those games like they used to anymore, this game is a bit of a nostalgia rush for me, and I think will be for a lot of others also.