Aragami Preview: Shadow Stalking at its Finest
Meet Yamiko. She’s the girl who brought you back from the dead.
She contains information about your past, as well, so it goes without saying that she’s got a mysterious air about her. Aragami, Lince Works’ new third-person stealth game, tasks you with the rescue and release of Yamiko while inevitably leading you to your own self-discovery. Kaiho, the army of Light, stands between the two characters and it’s up to you to decide how to persevere. Enemies will take you down with one shot, so you must be strategic and deliberate in your actions if you wish to save the girl.
Stealth is the name of the game, and you’ve got quite an arsenal of shadow-based abilities and maneuvers to successfully avoid death (again). As an undead assassin, you have the power to control and manipulate the shadows. Teleporting from shadow to shadow can allow for some pretty remarkable takedowns from behind unsuspecting enemies, but that’s only the basics. As you hide in the shadows, your ability to control the darkness grows – spending too much time in the light will sap you of your shadow powers as depicted by the glowing markings on the back of your garments.
Special, incredibly wondrous shadow abilities have a limited amount of usage but have far, far more power behind them. Enemies can be instantly killed from a distance with a shadow kunai, but be wary of their corpse’s location as it can alert patrolling soldiers. With a strategic use of shadow traps, you can use the dead body as bait to lure these very soldiers to a striking animation of their death. You can blind people, set decoys – even turn invisible for a short period of time. As you explore the world in hopes of saving Yamiko and unearthing the secrets of your past, you’ll encounter various scrolls that will upgrade your skills. Aragami never shrouds itself in complexity as the mechanics and customization of them is presented in a simplistic manner, but becoming a master will definitely take time.
Between upgrading skills, scouting locations, and successfully performing an unwitnessed execution, Aragami teems with opportunities for inventive gameplay. My time with a hands on demo at E3 was immediately addictive and intriguingly challenging – you don’t often see a worthy stealth-based game these days. And with 2-man co-op, graded performances, and a scenario editor for the creation of your own levels (post-launch), Aragami is shaping up to be an extremely exciting and narrative-driven experience.
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