• If you are looking for a VPN this is the one we recommend MaxSecVPN.com as they have the BEST PRICE I have found and also the best quality.
  • QSG is currently looking for forum local moderators. Meaning you would pick a forum on the website and you would only be able to moderate that forum. This comes with making sure people are following the rules and being respectful. You are also responsible for promoting your forum. Please fill out an application here.

Rise of the Ronin: The Final Preview

Rise of the Ronin has been a blast so far. While not a graphical stunner like Ghost of Tsushima, I have been very impressed with the depth and sheer number of things to do. The story is compelling and gives you motivation to keep going to see what’s next. There’s plenty of gear you can acquire to make a stronger build. Characters you meet during your journey will join your crew and fight alongside you. There’s a transmogrification system that lets you customize your appearance while also having the best gear possible equipped. And you can pet cats. But more importantly than all that, the core gameplay loop felt like a mix of Assassin’s Creed 2’s exploration and storytelling with a smidgen of Ninja Gaiden’s combat, and a dash of Dark Souls’s difficulty. In other words, this recipe seems to be a perfect mix of gameplay ingredients that I’ve been loving.


The main storyline of Rise of the Ronin is all about a duo referred to as Blade Twins. In this case it’s believed that the duo are a brother and sister who nearly suffered a terrible fate at a young age as their village burned to the ground. Instead, they were saved and recruited into the Veiled Edge as Blade Twins. Highly skilled with the sword, Blade Twins train and grow together as they master their skills.


One of your first tests of skill has you infiltrating the ship of historical figure Matthew C. Perry to steal a secret message and assassinate Perry after doing so. This section does a good job of showing off a few stealth elements of Ronin, and also showcases combat with the footage PlayStation sent us to use for this preview. Combat will require precise timing for counters, and you’ll need to pay close attention to your Ki gauge, which is basically a stamina meter. Getting hit too much while blocking will deplete your Ki. But parrying your opponent or damaging them will result in loss of their Ki. Deplete all their Ki and they’ll be left open for a devastating attack.

I could have murdered him right there, but I instead chose to spare Gonzo.

This back and forth is a lot of fun in practice, but it’s not easy to hit that perfect timing. Each encounter also allows you the opportunity to use stealth to infiltrate an area and take out a few enemies without being seen. But in almost every situation there will be higher-powered foes that will require you to know the combat basics to defeat them and move on. So while I built a character with a speech trait that opened up some unique dialogue options for me, there’s no escaping those necessary combat beats that Ronin does quite well.


After this introductory section, Ronin really opens up. Our preview window promised two hours of playable content, but it turned out it was much more than that. We were given access to a large open world that included countryside towns and open fields, as well as city spaces with different types of missions located at each. In these sections you can choose to take on story quests, side quests, customize your Longhouse, or play mini-games – along with other activities I probably missed. The provided footage we’re allowed to use for the preview does a good job showcasing a smattering of options available to players, but even this feels like it’s just a glimpse into what’s available, as I haven’t even played some of what you’re seeing yet.

One notable omission in the footage was a story beat where I fought alongside the Eccentric Ronin to gain his allegiance in one of the Battles. In our preview, Battle Missions allowed us to gain ally allegiance as part of core story missions. These are fun excurious that have bonus objectives like “Defeat 3 Formidable Foes” and will have an impact on the overall story you wind up experiencing. The main objective in this case was to defeat Gonzo, and decide his fate before looting some forged documents that would complete the quest. I could have murdered him right there, but I instead chose to spare Gonzo.


Fast forward to the open world section and I met a character in the middle of nowhere asking me to deal with a person who swindled him out of some money. Who did it turn out to be? None other than Gonzo, who is getting into trouble again – even after I spared him earlier. This time, I can finish him for real or have him join my crew. Had I chosen to kill him off, I would have been rewarded with some loot, but if I didn’t, I got an extra helper to fight beside me in the open world. I’ll take that over a few trinkets any day. I discovered this because I reloaded my save just to see what would happen had I chosen the other option.

And while I had really been having fun with Rise of the Ronin up until this point, that was the moment that really solidified how much I was liking this game. Great combat. An intriguing story. Decisions that matter. Tons of stuff to do. And you can pet cats? I’m sold.


My decision to spare Gonzo would pay off too, because in the upcoming story mission fight with Mochisuke Kira I now had three allies going into battle instead of just two: Myself, that Eccentric Ronin, and Gonzo were an unstoppable trio ready to take Kira down. And that’s just in the opening missions. I am tremendously excited to see who else I can recruit into my group.

My decision to spare Gonzo would pay off too, because in the upcoming story mission fight with Mochisuke Kira I now had three allies going into battle instead of just two.

These were the core missions that we got to experience in our preview, but there’s a lot more to do. While running in the open world you might come upon towns that are overrun with troublemakers that you’ll need to dispatch to restore order. There are mini-games like the gatling gun and firearm range that was teased in the footage Sony sent over, or the glider mini-games that challenge you to break all the targets floating in the sky. And while they didn’t show much of it in the video we’re allowed to use, there’s an entire gear system at play that encourages you to learn different weapons and use tools like the sub weapon class that includes things like throwing stars, rifles, bows, and more for combat to get a leg up in battle.


Rise of the Ronin is poised to give players a lot to dive into, and while it doesn’t quite live up to PlayStation’s first-party open-world exclusives in the graphics department, the developers at Team Ninja has focused on what’s important: an engaging story that has a great hook to keep you exploring, a fun gameplay system that will keep you striving to perfect your skills, and all of that is found alongside a smattering of fun activities to challenge yourself with. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together when Ronin launches later this month.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

  • We value your privacy

    We use essential cookies to make this site work, and optional cookies to enhance your experience.

    See further information and configure your preferences

    These cookies are required to enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may not reject these.
    We deliver enhanced functionality for your browsing experience by setting these cookies. If you reject them, enhanced functionality will be unavailable.
    Cookies set by third parties may be required to power functionality in conjunction with various service providers for security, analytics, performance or advertising purposes.