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The latest title by Nioh developer, Team Ninja is now available to buy for PlayStation 5. The game in question we’ll be looking at today is the 19th-century action RPG Rise Of The Ronin. Just before the launch, we saw it get an extended look at a recent State Of Play and now the game is available for all to experience.

Just before launch, we saw some concerning mixed reviews, very similar to another recent release Alone in the Dark just a couple of days prior. With Team Ninja going toe to toe with Capcoms Dragon’s Dogma 2, how is it shaping up, and is it worth a first look?

Let’s look at the story and what the official description states:

Embark on an epic journey across war-torn 19th-century Japan in this combat-focused open-world action RPG from Team NINJA, the veteran studio behind Nioh and NINJA GAIDEN.

Japan, 1863. After three centuries of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s reign, the Black Ships of the West descend upon the nation’s borders and the country falls into a state of turmoil. Amidst the chaos of war, disease and political unrest, a nameless warrior forges their own path, holding the very fate of Japan in their hands.

Rise of the Ronin

As for the features advertised again from the official sources state:

Shape A Dynamic Story

As a masterless samurai – a Ronin – your destiny is your own. See the story unfold in different ways depending on the choices you make and the characters you ally with along the way. Face critical mission decisions, like whether to assassinate or protect key figures, and shape the course of history through a rich multi-choice system.

Explore An Authentic World

The “Bakumatsu” period heralds the end of the Shogunate as a new era begins and East and West collide. Experience this cultural revolution across an open world where you’ll meet the key figures who’ll shape the course of history, and the ordinary citizens seeking a guiding light in the darkness.

Engage In Deep Accessible Combat

From the veteran developers of Nioh and NINJA GAIDEN, Rise of the Ronin offers deeply engaging yet accessible combat with layers of complexity suitable for any play style. Face your foes with a selection of close-quarters weaponry or engage from afar with authentic period firearms.

Rise of the Ronin

Rise Of The Ronin – The Reality

I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what to expect in the game. So far, the prologue is the most linear section of the story and unfortunately probably the most frustrating part of the game. Though it can be challenging the game is fair and as soon as you’re past that first boss fight the game does open up which gave me hope for the adventure I was settling in for. Personally, I found as soon as this moment arrives the game really comes alive and into its own.

When we look at big open worlds we can be blessed with games that look really good. Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prime example and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Ghost of Tsushima also. Rise of the Ronin is not rivaling these titans of gaming but it holds its own with its own unique feel and vibe throughout the world. I am excited to keep exploring and seeing all the sights available to me.

How Does It Really Play?

The combat is a big part of this game and has to be done right and I found towards the end of the prologue and beyond the combat clicked. You can use your grappling hook to throw items at enemies or pull them slightly to get them off balance. You have abilities that aid your melee combat, depending on your character setup. I am sure there is more I get to discover as the game plays as well.

Stealth is a key tool both for combat via assassinations and traversal. Also, you need to think about combat and not get carried away. It’s very easy to go into fights overconfident and end up being defeated. Plan your approach and strategy and you’ll soon see your progress is much smoother. If you lose a combat encounter in the open world you lose karma then a vendetta starts where you have to earn your karma back. It is this game’s version of souls or coins; basically any currency in games like this. You don’t just have melee combat to plan and defend, we also have ranged combat with bows and rifles. There is something for everyone here.

Rise of the Ronin

Worth A First Look?

Yes. It’s early days and I only have half a dozen hours of gameplay. However, it’s a game that has grabbed my attention and is showing so much promise that I can’t help but keep playing. The world looks vast but with fast travel horse travel and the ability to glide it opens up how you can approach playing the game.

Yes visually it’s not as powerful as some other games and yes frames can drop at times but not to an unplayable or uncomfortable level. If you are really unsure I do recommend looking into a lot of gameplay and trying the game out if you can beforehand. Also, the game needs to be given the chance to shine, and for you to be prepared to fight hard at the start to unlock the rewards of a game with huge potential. As of yet, it’s too early to say if the game will be a huge success gameplay-wise and story wise but thankfully though the signs are good.

Have you played this game? Have you heard of this game before? I might just come back with my full thoughts at a later date. Let us know in the comments section below and stay tuned for more from Lv1 Gaming.

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