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Aragami: Shadow Edition

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 13 - 2018

Stay in the shadows.

It’s all about patience. There is a certain amount of patience required in stealth games, and I think that is where I struggle. I am not the most patient person in real life, so when it comes to sneaking around and carefully taking out adversaries without being noticed in a videogame, let’s just say that I am not so good. For many stealth games that is not a problem, due to the games’ lenient stance on stealth and the chance to go in, guns or swords blazing if the needs be. However, for a more focussed stealth game such as Lince Works’ recently released Aragami: Shadow Edition, staying in the shadows can be much more of a challenge.

aragami1 (Copy)

The stealth action game Aragami originally released a couple of years ago, but has now made another appearance in the form of a Shadow Edition, which includes the base Aragami game, along with the newly released Nightfall expansion and all of the updates and improvements to the original game. For stealth fans who have a hankering to be one with the shadows, there is no better time to play.

Aragami is a third-person stealth game that puts the player into the shadowy boots of an undead assassin that has been summoned to rescue a young lady from captivity by an invading force. So far as stories go, there is a lot to be interested in here as new details are drip fed about not only the goings on in the land, and the enemy forces, but also about the character himself.

But it is the stealth gameplay that really shines. As a creature of shadow, the player will find themselves having to stay in the shadows around the various levels in order to be successful. Sneaking is what the game is all about, and that will also include watching guards from the shadows to determine their patrol patterns and plan a route. The mechanics at their most basic are simple and obvious, stay hidden. If the player gets detected by the guards, either through not being properly concealed or by them finding the body of a previously dispatched guard, things get much more complicated with the guards actively hunting the player. However, stay out of their way long enough and they will give up.

aragami2 (Copy)

While there is an active objective to each level, a place to reach, the levels themselves are reasonably large and free to explore. This gives the player plenty of opportunity to plan their approach and routes, while also giving them the chance to find carefully hidden scrolls in each level that give the player points to unlock new abilities or upgrade existing ones.

And it is these abilities that make the game really interesting. As a spirit, the player has access to special abilities that require shadow essence to use. Shadow essence is charged while the player is in the shadows, but stepping into the light will drain the shadow essence, so if a reason to stay in the shadows was needed, there it is. These abilities include everything from Shadow Leap, an early ability that allows the player to jump between shadows in the game, through to summoning a shadow dragon of all things, so there is plenty of scope for players to mix up how they play, as long as they stay hidden. Abilities could help to hide the bodies of your victims, or attack them from a distance, making the player quite powerful, but it will still only take one single hit from an enemy to cast the player back to the last checkpoint, so they are by no means invincible.

Aragami is a game that punishes player who don’t have patience. But for fans of the true stealth type of gameplay on offer here, it works incredibly well. When originally released, the game was plagued with performance issues, but those have largely been addressed in this release. For those who do still suffer from performance issues, there are a couple of options available in the settings that can make a difference, such as turning on or off v-sync, so most players should have a fairly trouble free experience.

aragami3 (Copy)

The Nightfall expansion brings more of the same style of gameplay, but is set before the core game and involves the player choosing from two new characters, Hyo or Shinobu. The story in Nightfall does a great job of filling in some gaps and expanding on the original story, and there are even some new abilities thrown in to spice things up.

With two characters, the obvious route for this expansion to go is towards co-op play. Both the core game and the expansion can be played in co-op online. While it doesn’t make the game any easier, and could possibly make it a lot more difficult if your chosen partner is not so careful, it does make the game a lot of fun.

The Nightfall expansion is perhaps a bit more difficult than the core game, but completing the core game first will give the player the skill to approach the expansion without too much problem. It’s a nice expansion, adding another four or so hours to the game, along with more information for the story.

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Aragami: Shadow Edition is a great little stealth package. The game is not forgiving of those players who lack patience, but it does feel like a much purer stealth game, rewarding those who know how to watch and wait. The selection of abilities add some magic to the sneaking gameplay, while the reasonably open levels give the player options as to how they get to the end. It can be quite difficult, and will certainly not suit players with twitchy trigger fingers, but for those looking for a proper stealth experience, Aragami: Shadow Edition with all of its improvements and extra content is a solid and highly entertaining package.




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