During the Sony conference after event at E3, I got to spend some time with Ninja Gaiden 3, not Gaiden Sigma 3. This time around, both the 36o and the PS3 will have identical versions of each other, save for console exclusive content. This would be the first Ninja Gaiden game under new Team Ninja lead, Yousuke Hayashi and the first without Tomonobu Itagaki. From what I saw and played from the demo, the game aims to be much more bloodier and difficult than the last two games in the series.
The game starts off with a cutscene of a rustic village in the mountains. As it pans over, a military grade helicopter is shown, parked right outside of a house in the middle of the village. We are led inside and find a man and a woman sitting down introducing themselves as part of the JSDF (Japanese Self-Defense Force) and asking help from a familiar looking man who has his back turned to the camera. He turns and we see its Ryu Hayabusa. The two members of the JSDF are asking Ryu to investigate a terrorist attack in London.
As the gameplay begins, we see Ryu atop of Big Ben, surveying the area before jumping off the clock tower and gliding all the way down, thrusting his blade into the face of one of the terrorist and beginning his mission. For the most part, Ryu’s basic attacks haven’t changed much from the previous games: L1 is for block, triangle for strong attacks and square for heavy attacks. Chain up the attacks and the aura from Ryu’s cursed arm will start to glow, allowing players to pull off special moves such as insta-kills and multi-kills. After killing waves of enemies, they started to get smart and started throwing smoke bombs to cover their tracks and to disorient me. Luckily for me, by pressing the L3 button Ryu can instantly face to the right direction. After dispatching more enemies and pulling off a few stealth kills, which seems to be new to the series, I faced the mid-level boss, a giant mecha spider tank.
That ended the level for me as the after event was nearing a close. Team Ninja is charging on without Itagaki and seem to be doing just fine without him. Ninja Gaiden 3 promises to be much bloodier, and as said by a member of Team Ninja, much harder than the last two games and won’t have mercy on casual players. Expect to slice and dice as Ryu in Spring 2012.
- Mike V.
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