It may seem obvious, but stealth games tend to live or die from its clarity. Not only that of your protagonist when he sinks his blade into an enemy’s carotid artery, but also his systems, the rules that determine the entire experience. There’s nothing less beautiful about a sneak-’em-up than getting caught without knowing why, so we’re excited to announce that Aragami 2 is so transparent it’s almost invisible.
Any action you take is communicated through a razor-sharp art style, with the ultimate effect that failure – i.e., recognizing – is always your fault to drop the cliché. And you just have to avoid being spotted lest you get thrown into the weakest link of Aragami 2. The fight is clunky, awkward, and completely inedible. Slash, block, parry – it’s less advanced than even the earliest Prince of Persia and can never be satisfied with even unlockable upgrades.
Fortunately, the core stealth is spot on. Thanks to the sheer clarity of the surroundings, the HUD, and your own expanding movement set, planning your assassination of a target, theft of a mystical scroll, or just an outpost completely undetected is incredibly satisfying. You need to balance your skills with the persistence it will take to use them, which makes a number of different stealthy approaches equally rewarding.
You can tackle the game with up to three ninjas in multiplayer, which is fun but doesn’t have the atmosphere and challenge of solo missions. Structurally, Aragami 2 is a little repetitive in that you take on tasks from the hub before visiting the different locations, with lots of repeat visits, but we found these reps a good opportunity to practice new skills.
Ultimately, a bad fight can’t spoil the strong level and encounter design here, which combines wonderfully with well thought-out controls and lots of mechanical diversity. An impressive sequel, but perhaps it lacks the purity of its predecessor.