Aragami By Lince Works Game Studio
Finished on 3/17/2017
Genres: Stealth, Fantasy, Asian Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Grey and Grey Morality
Fantastic out of 5
This game features assassination gameplay using a teleportation mechanic. Unlike Dishonored you must use stealth because you have 1HP and the only ranged form of combat available to you has extremely limited charges.
The protagonist is Aragami, a spirit of vengeance created by a princess to set her free from a castle. As a creature of shadow, he is able to blend in with the shadows and teleport from shadow to shadow. His enemy is an army of light warriors, so their light swords (basically lightsabers) oneshot him. Don’t get caught!
Gameplay wise most of the game requires methodical skill and patience. To not instantly die you must observe your surroundings before each move, finding shadows and enemies and places you can hide. Even so, you will die. There is a checkpoint system in this game, so chances are you’ll be set back repeatedly on difficult areas or while you’re learning the controls. Your teleportation skill feels fantastic to use, but it won’t always be enough to complete your missions.
The game is set in Medieval Japan, or some fantasy equivalent thereof. It uses a cel-shaded style similar to Windwaker, but the character models are a little stiff. It was beautiful, stylistic, but not AAA quality by a large margin. This is an indie game so I give allowances.
There are only two enemy types, discounting the three bosses. This is bad. For me the game lasted ten hours, so only having two enemy types for ten hours was boring. The AI is fair, as in it doesn’t cheat. However once you have all the tools the NPCs become very exploitable. The one AI which isn’t fair is the final boss.
Similarly you get all the tools to solve puzzles early on, which is a good and bad thing. It’s good because you gradually become better at teleporting, luring, kunai-ing, shadow demon-ing and stealthing around. It’s bad because after a certain point the game stops getting harder as you already know how to solve all the problems.
The story was very archetypical. I won’t go into details, but I did like it. The game devs handled it well, and the gameplay/story integration was fantastic. There was a twist, and I loved it. This game made me want to read a book with a similar story to this one.