The stealth genre is not all about Metal Gear and Splinter Cell titles, or spies trying to go undercover. One of the main themes in stealth games is also one of the real-life inspirations for this whole genre: Ninjas. There are countless titles in the genre that use Ninja mechanics for the gameplay, and Aragami is one amazing example. Developed by Lince Works, a small indie developer founded by students in Spain, this title is available for the PC, PS4 and more recently on the Nintendo Switch.
About the game
The Story begins with our hero being awakened from death by a young lady named Yumiko. She needs our help after being imprisoned hidden in the deepest part of the Kyuryu city, a sacred fortress protected by dozens of guards from the Kaiho, the army of light.
We play as an Aragami, avenging spirit ready to fulfill our mission. But while doing so and rescuing Yamiko, we are going to find out more about who we were in life and why we choose us from the dead.
Hiding in the Shadows
If there's one thing we've learned from every stealth game, ninja movies and such, is that shadows are our allies. And in Aragami this is truer than ever, and being an avenging spirit has some advantages to it. Not only do we have to hide from the enemy's sight in the shadows, but we'll also use them for moving inside them. Transporting ourselves from one shadow to another and learning new abilities while hiding in them.
You can see the clear inspiration from the Tenchu game series here but with ghosts and spirits. But we are not the only ones with super abilities, as the Army of Light isn't playing around either. Once you're spotted and if they manage to attack you even once, you're back to the grave. Be careful, find the magic objects and uncover the secrets, and be careful, don't let them see you.
Life after death sure isn't easy for this Aragami, but it represents an interesting adventure. It's nice to see indie games that are so nice and polished. A very original experience in a beautiful art style makes Aragami a worthy title.
The plot develops nicely and it has an excellent narrative, there's inspiration from many big games applied to the title. Featuring an odd multiplayer mode and a reasonably long campaign, this game is a full package.
Graphics and visuals: The graphics look great, similar to Killer is Dead and No More Heroes. And the art direction is beautiful, with stunning designs and representations of the Japanese art and culture all around. It builds an impressive atmosphere.
Gameplay: The game can be kinda tough to get used to, not because of bad controllers, but because of the one-hit kills. As soon as an enemy attacks you're done for. Take your time, analyze your surroundings, use strategy, and good timing. The AI is pretty dumb though, sometimes they can't spot you even if you're standing directly in front of them.
Sound: Excellent sound design, perfect to hide in the shadows. Even if the soundtrack is not an amazing thing, it still fits the game beautifully.