Rise of the Ronin Review

With each sport, Workforce Ninja turns into higher at making motion RPGs. Though they had been as soon as counseled for an attention-grabbing tackle the souls-like method, their video games have advanced into one thing else. Rise of the Ronin has stunned me in the very best methods, and I can’t get sufficient of it.

The Journey of a Lone Veiled Edge

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

Rise of the Ronin begins by introducing their fictional clan, the Veiled Edge. These are not any abnormal warriors. Though usually portrayed and known as Samurai, Veiled Edges are all the time educated in pairs and are as expert in the way in which of the Samurai as they’re in the way in which of the Shinobi.

Workforce Ninja made a smart move in having you create each preliminary characters. This would possibly assist gamers really feel extra hooked up to each Veiled Edges, making them really feel the influence of future occasions and choices extra intensely.

The introductory mission does an incredible job of exhibiting what you are able to do within the sport, the numerous methods you possibly can play it, and the way it doesn’t matter what your construct seems to be like, you may need to adapt and give you totally different approaches to navigate via sure areas. That mentioned, it doesn’t take lengthy for the sport to throw its first main twist at you, altering the dynamics of your character and the way they navigate the occasions of a Japan that’s altering as a result of fixed interference of the Western world.

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

One other attention-grabbing characteristic of Rise of the Ronin is the Bond system. You possibly can create bonds with characters and areas. The stronger your bond, the extra rewards you get. These characters will affect your future as a lot as you’ll affect theirs. In truth, a few of these alliances unlock characters and you may carry as much as two allies with you on sure missions. You possibly can even change between characters to check out new playstyles and resurrect your Veiled Edge in case you’ve taken an excessive amount of injury as a substitute of beginning over instantly.

Though the story in Workforce Ninja video games is rarely stellar, Rise of the Ronin is an enchancment over Nioh and Wo Lengthy. This plot might not be essentially memorable, however it does a superb job of exhibiting the numerous sides of the battle that passed off in that period between the pro-shogunate samurai and the Japanese expulsionists. Aspect quests do an incredible job of fleshing out the Civil Battle by exhibiting each side and serving to you perceive the characters’ motivations. You even get to select a facet, which is able to have an effect on how the occasions play out in your playthrough.

The Land of the Rising Solar

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

Let’s be trustworthy, Rise of the Ronin shouldn’t be the best-looking sport on the PS5. Many different PlayStation video games are far more visually putting than this one, particularly people who happen in Japan. But, this sport doesn’t look unhealthy in any respect. It manages to ship graphics akin to the best-looking PS4 motion RPGs whereas additionally offering options which are solely attainable on the PS5.

The open areas of this sport are huge. The grass strikes with the wind, the flowers and timber present a stupendous panorama all through a lot of the environment of Yokohama, and the authenticity with which feudal Japan is represented right here is completely charming. You’ll be working, driving, and gliding over giant areas at 60 frames per second and can barely encounter loading screens.

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

The reality is, this sport wouldn’t be attainable on a PS4 with out some critical downgrades. I simply love driving throughout the sundown searching for bother on this lovely land. I additionally love being a badass samurai going through 4 warriors directly throughout the rain in a flower subject with out body drops. That’s a commendable achievement by Workforce Ninja value mentioning.

Rise of the Ronin doesn’t have a single open world so that you can discover. It really has open areas with villages to avoid wasting, criminals to hunt, loads of facet quests, and lots of hidden gadgets. Nonetheless, every space is giant sufficient to comprise a complete sport, so shifting from one to the subsequent was a nice, if not overwhelming, shock. Fortunately, you possibly can return to a earlier space and full the missions you’ve skipped if you wish to. Doing so may even alter the occasions of the sport, which is a neat contact.

The Manner of the Warrior

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

Most individuals would agree that a very powerful facet of an Motion RPG is the motion. If that’s your main concern, then you definitely’re in for a deal with as a result of that is definitely probably the greatest fight programs ever made by Workforce Ninja.

Plainly they took every part they’ve realized from Nioh and Wo Lengthy, mixed the most effective components of every, and improved all of it considerably. The Ki system is again. You spend Ki to assault, dodge, or block, however you possibly can press the R1 button to carry out a Chiburi proper after an assault. If finished appropriately, your character will shake the sword to do away with the blood on it and regain a portion of the Ki you spent.

Moreover, you possibly can hit Triangle to parry assaults. By doing so, you’ll carry out an assault that has a protracted restoration and would possibly make you susceptible. Nonetheless, urgent Triangle on the proper time will trigger you to carry out a Counterspark, the sport’s parry. It depletes the enemy’s Ki and permits you to assault proper after with a full Ki bar.

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

As soon as the Ki is lowered to zero, you possibly can carry out a crucial strike. Crucial strikes are sometimes lethal and have superior, brutal animations that make the concept of residing and dying by the sword something however glamorous. Since hitting assaults additionally reduces the enemy’s Ki, a talented participant will likely be shortly performing one crucial strike after one other. When you get to that time, I promise this sport could have you hooked. It feels wonderful to defeat 4 samurais by parrying three out of 4 assaults in a row and performing one crucial strike after one other.

Your character can carry two melee weapons directly, and every has a number of totally different types you could unlock by finishing quests and facet goals. You possibly can equip as much as three types per weapon, and a few types have benefits towards others. So, you’ll end up consistently altering the way in which you struggle with out essentially switching weapons to realize a bonus towards sure enemies.

I’m nonetheless impressed by how Workforce Ninja managed to make fight attention-grabbing and maintain the enemies all the time feeling recent regardless that you’ll principally be going through different people. There are such a lot of fight types that you’ll by no means really feel completely snug predicting the timing of an enemy’s assault. In the event you get too snug, the enemies will make you pay by instantly altering their assault patterns.

On high of that, there are a lot of methods you possibly can construct your Veiled Edge. You would possibly need to focus on a weapon that calls for power, corresponding to a Katana or an Odachi, or you possibly can select a Dexterity primarily based construct and sneak behind the enemies as a substitute of going through them head on. You may also concentrate on lengthy ranged weapons, or give you a hybrid construct. All these choices paired with the numerous weapons and preventing types the sport gives end in almost limitless methods to expertise this sport.

An Imperfect Gem

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

If I’m being fully trustworthy, there’s not a lot to complain about with Rise of the Ronin. The story shouldn’t be excellent, however it will get the job finished. The sport isn’t the best-looking PS5 sport on the market, however it has lovely and immersive landscapes you could probe for miles with out encountering any loading screens. So, though it’s not groundbreaking, I really feel like Workforce Ninja will get the job finished the place it issues.

As for the facet content material, it could possibly turn out to be repetitive sooner or later. In any case, you’ll be principally preventing enemies, accumulating gadgets, after which reporting them to an NPC. Nonetheless, the most effective a part of this sport is its fight system. I admire that the numerous quests out there permit me to regularly put my expertise to the take a look at and take a look at new methods to face enemies. I all the time needed to struggle after I had the possibility as a result of the fight is that good.

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

The worst a part of Rise of the Ronin is its loot system. For causes I’ll by no means perceive, Workforce Ninja determined to stay with essentially the most criticized design alternative of their previous video games. The loot system is identical as in Nioh and Wo Lengthy. You’ll usually discover new hidden gadgets which are marginally higher than yours, making you not even really feel the distinction. Generally, the weapons you discover have far worse stats and are solely good for promoting.

Picture: Assault of the Fanboy

The one thrilling factor about discovering gadgets in Rise of the Ronin is the truth that you possibly can then change a brand new merchandise’s look to make your gear look any method you need. That mentioned, I’d want to not have so many junk gadgets in my stock. If that they had only one weapon for every pores and skin they’ve made, they’d nonetheless have method too many weapons. It’s fairly irritating to loot the enemies solely to seek out three Greatswords that look the very same method and are worse than my present Katana.

The Verdict

If it looks like the sport has rather a lot happening, it’s as a result of it actually does. There are totally different builds, playstyles, long-ranged weapons, mini-games, and a lot extra. In the event you roam across the map, you’ll quickly end up saving villagers, petting canine, parkouring over rooftops, delivering presents to your favourite geisha, and forgetting about the primary quest very often. Even after almost 100 hours of preventing thugs, I’m nonetheless desirous to attempt new fight types. Parrying a sequence of assaults and ending off a tricky enemy with a crucial strike by no means will get outdated.

It’s simple to dismiss Rise of the Ronin as a sport that doesn’t carry something new to the desk. In the event you’ve performed Nioh, Elden Ring, Wo Lengthy, and Murderer’s Creed, you’ll really feel such as you’ve seen this sport earlier than at one level or one other. Whereas it’s true that this sport might not be groundbreaking and its mechanics would possibly really feel acquainted, it doesn’t make Rise of the Ronin a foul sport. Workforce Ninja managed to implement components seen in numerous video games and mix them masterfully with out straying away from the sport’s theme and tone.

The extra I performed Rise of the Ronin, the extra I appreciated all of the work and energy that the builders put into making this sport a actuality. Every time I felt the sport was changing into stale, the introduction of one thing new revitalized it, enhancing my appreciation for my journey as a Veiled Edge in Nineteenth-century Japan.


With a transparent id, a captivating setting, and probably the greatest fight programs on the market, Rise of Ronin is certainly Workforce Ninja’s finest Motion RPG to this point.

Reviewed on PlayStation 5

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