April 2nd, 2024 Video Games

A game I have been playing.

Rise of the Rōnin on the PlayStation 5, developed by Team Ninja.

If there's something about this game that fascinates me, it is its setting in history. Rise of the Rōnin takes place in Edo during the mid-19th century, a period known as Bakumatsu, the final years of the Edo era. I guess I won't be running into Himura Kenshin here just yet. The game portrays what is known as the Boshin War, a conflict between the Shogunate and various anti-shogunate factions dissatisfied with the Western influence.

The game centers on the Blade Twins, whose genders are determined by the player, and their affiliation with the Veiled Edge resistance group after the murder of their family by ninjas in service to the Shogunate.

The game is an open-world action RPG with lots of things to do, places to explore and per its premise, a lot of rich history. That said, I feel like this game is trying to do and be too many things at once. It is trying to be Ghost of Tsushima, things from random encounters and aiding random people, random fights between bandits and wildlife, fighting stances, and even the grappling hook. It also tries to be Assassin's Creed in many ways, and of course, Ninja Gaiden. The one thing that separates this game from the ones mentioned, is the glider, which oftentimes, I even forget is a thing I can use to traverse the land, I usually just rely on my horse. One random thing I appreciate here is the "stamina" system, it only applies during fights and when gliding, however, it does not apply when running or riding your horse.

The level of customization and the amount of equipment can be sometimes a little overwhelming. The combat has a wide array of weapons like katanas, various war firearms, and other kinds of blades, it is fast-paced, and there is obviously a counter system for more damage and some great gory finishers. Like many of these open-word games, missions are triggered by going to the appropriate icon on the map, then you are presented with a menu where you can change your equipment and select your allies. You do create alliances during the game and these people can help out during your mission. If you die, you take control of one of your allies and you can choose to finish the mission as one of your allies or heal the main character. I believe even only players can serve as allies and help carry the mission or you can choose to help someone else in online coop

The difficulty level is fine, there are 3 difficulty levels if I remember correctly. I have died quite a lot in this game but only because I wasn't paying attention to my health bar when going toe-to-toe with an overpowered foe. There is a lot of decision-making in this game that may affect your relationship with your allies or event outcomes, and you can pet cats and dogs!

I am currently about 16 hours into this game and it is definitely a grower, or at least it took me a few hours for it to grow on me. Although there might be a few things that sort of bother me about it, I can't stop playing, I am having a blast with this game. Perhaps is a little unfair to try to compare it to the beautiful MASTERPIECE that Ghost of Tsushima is. Rise of the Rōnin might not be as pretty and breathtaking as GoT but it is a lot of fun, and somewhat addictive. And again, there's so much to do, so much!