Aragami 2 Review –IGN

Ninjas and the stealth genre are like PB&J sandwiches – even with stale bread, it’s generally a powerful enough mix to overwhelm any unpleasant tastes, though Aragami 2 is the exception that proves that rule. This intrepid third-person adventure is a real treat as you explore its brilliant twisting levels or get rid of evildoers using some creative supernatural powers, which are even more fun as you fight your way through the campaign in cooperating with a friend. Still, a lackluster story, painfully repetitive missions, and too many bugs keep Aragami 2 from being a tale worthy of legend.

Set in a fascinating war-torn feudal fantasy land known as Rashomon, Aragami 2 puts you in the graceful tabi boots of a stoic hero as he attempts to save the Kurotsuba clan from a miasma of death and disease. It seems that a rival clan known as the Akatsuchi wants to wipe out any competition from existence, no matter how war crimes things get. Despite the fact that Aragami 2 sews compelling seeds involving themes of spiritualism, the story never blossoms into anything meaningful in the 15-hour-long campaign. It’s just a cursory locker room to justify why you’re punching armed guys on the field. At least, on the bright side, you don’t need to know what happened in the first game to enjoy this one.

That doesn’t really slow down Aragami 2 though, as prowling enemy camps is a lot of fun right from the start. I usually find the best way to get closer to the levels is to get a good lay of the ground through high ground, then proceed with whatever plan of attack that allows for maximum cunning. If an assassination target is on the second floor of a building, climbing its siding to dive through a window for a silent takedown will minimize unnecessary encounters. Or, if a situation calls for knocking out multiple guards, sneaking up behind them one at a time down back alleys is an excellent means of making sure you don’t get overwhelmed. The labyrinthine quality of the Aragami 2 levels encourages deft and meticulous strategies that are a marvel to plan and execute.

That fabulous self-expression is only amplified once shadow abilities come into play and vastly expand the way you can approach levels. My favorite is Dark Flame, a skill that, on command, will turn light poles into explosive clouds of sleep-inducing gas. It’s useful when there’s a gang of baddies hovering around a choke point, where eliminating them individually is almost out of the question. However, if you are lucky, there will be a lamppost nearby that will be eager to send you off by counting sheep. What is there often! Few moments in Aragami 2 are as satisfying as witnessing your wild plans come to fruition in the blink of an eye.

Of course, there are times when a plan goes awry and things turn into duels that are as enjoyable as pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks in mud up to your knees. The combat in Aragami 2 is weirdly boggy and awkward for a game about ninjas, where the timing of hits and misses feels bad, as if the animations aren’t keeping up with the fights themselves. I am relatively certain that the parry maneuver is partially to blame, as it often does not prevent incoming sword strikes. Frustration quickly sets in when the parry fails, and then enemies wail over your helpless corpse. Just two or three hits will send you face down, so it’s best to run, hide, and wait for the guards to return to patrol, especially if two or more are chasing you. Considering that the sword type is the only enemy type you will come across for the vast and overwhelming majority of game time, you are likely to tire of fights regardless of the outcome. I came to avoid combat at all costs for these reasons alone, even forgoing lethal takedowns when possible for fear that they might somehow trigger more fights later on.

Sadly, there were more blots in my future, especially as I lost patience with the excruciatingly slow pace of Aragami 2. Missions have a bad habit of reverting to previous levels until exhaustion, more than five times in the most egregious cases. Sure, you may now be gathering information instead of rescuing prisoners like last time, but visiting a stone quarry for the umpteenth time is aggravating beyond belief. Worse still, virtually every objective is just a boring quest to catch random items or unsubstantiated assassination contracts. There is a staggering lack of variety across the board. It seems that developer Lince Works wanted to extend the campaign to reach an arbitrary hour count, but Aragami 2 could have almost half of its missions cut off and would be better for that. If that were the case, he probably wouldn’t have resorted to running crazily towards the finish line of a mission near the final hours of the campaign, often seeking quieter sequences and resulting in more tedious fights.

As with almost all games that support it, having friends by your side goes a long way to alleviate the more tedious sections of Aragami 2. Aside from a handful of short tutorials, the entire campaign is available in online cooperative mode for up to three players, and it’s a blast. At first, my friend and I used to congregate slightly beyond the line of sight of a group of enemies, carefully scanning in front of us as we devised the best means of eliminating multiple targets at once. If two guards separated from each other, I would strangle the one who swerved to the left, while the fool who went to the right was attacked by my friend. The timing was so natural that it wasn’t long before all it took was a quick countdown before an attack because we knew what the other was thinking. Even the combat isn’t that bad when someone else is there to take the aggro off you and share the load.

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However, not even the cooperative can save Aragami 2 from its disastrous failures. These range from harmless, laugh-worthy things like guards running laps like they’re in an intense ring-around-the-rosey match to inexcusable game-ending things where you exit a level and have to reset everything. mission to progress. Errors are rare as I only encountered a few during my time with Aragami 2, but the effects are quite severe when they arise. For example, during a co-op session, my friend and I were unable to complete a mission because the resources we had to gather were missing the “collect” button, forcing us to restart. When a game is already testing your patience, that kind of thing can push it to the limit.