100% pure stealth
Aragami, from Lince Works, is a 3rd person stealth game set in Feudal Japan that puts the emphasis back into stealth.
You are the titular character, Aragami, a shadow spirit summoned by a mysterious girl named Yamiko. She tasks you with helping her escape from her captors, a tribe of light warriors known as the Kaiho. As you make your way through the game you’ll discover more about Yamiko, the Kaiho and even your own life before you became a shadow spirit.
Aragami is a game that can and will be likened to the Tenchu series. It almost completely removes the action from the stealth which makes the game a slower more methodical affair. Whereas other games that class themselves as stealth let you bundle your way through the enemy, like Chuck Norris making his way to the buffet, Aragami doesn’t. Lince Works have cut out all that jazz. If you get spotted, the enemies will attack with deadly ferocity. Well maybe not that violently, but it’s an instant death at least. Of course if killing is your bag you can skewer the enemy, but you’ll probably want you lure them into a darkened corner to do it so you are out of both earshot and the patrol path of other guards.
Our cel-shaded protagonist is a master of the shadows and as such can teleport to anywhere that is within his radius, as long as you have enough Essence, with a simple press of R1. Essence is basically your shadow power; it expels when you teleport or if you are near a bright light source and can be recharged by lingering in the shadows. There are a number of different ways to get through the chapters and you’ll soon become accustomed to looking out for the shadows to find ways to teleport passed the Kaiho. That’s not the only trick up this ninja’s sleeve. Throughout the chapters there are scrolls to find which can be used to unlock techniques. These techniques are split into three categories; Skills (like tagging enemies so you can keep track of them), Offensive (traps and such) and Defensive (e.g. decoy) and all add something different to the game. All of these power-ups and the essence indicator are shown on Aragami’s cape.
As I’ve just mentioned the character Aragami is cel-shaded and so is the rest of the game. This choice of art style works really well, it looks incredibly detailed. The way that the cape drains when you are in the light and the way the character phases and shifts when he’s in the shadow is a visual delight to watch.
Aragami has 40 trophies, including a platinum. These are a mixture of story-related, kill-related and medal-related trophies. The medals trophies are for never detected, no kills and kill all on each of the chapters so you won’t be able to obtain the platinum in one playthrough. My advice is to just enjoy the game then go for that plat.
If you’re a fan of stealth games, especially the Tenchu series, then Aragami is the game you’ve been yearning for. You can linger in the shadows avoiding all confrontations or you can pick the enemies off one by one. The choice is yours. One thing you can’t do though is alert the guards and expect to battle your way through by brute force because in this game stealth really means stealth.
NelMaNo Rating – 7.5/10
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