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From Software Polishing Up Ninja Blade
by Jeff Gerstmann on
From's upcoming ninja game for the Xbox 360 is playable at TGS 2008.
The game puts you in the role of a ninja in a sort-of-futuristic setting that combines attack helicopters with giant demon spiders. That doesn't sound entirely unlike the Ninja Gaiden games, but the similarities probably stop right about there. The combat, which had me slicing up crazy demon-men with three different types of swords, feels fairly simple. The game also has a ranged attack in the form of a disc that you can toss at enemies. The game also has "ninja vision," which lets you slow down time for a bit.
That bullet time bit was handy for fighting the boss at the end of the demo, which was a giant spider creature. In order to attack, first you have to get close. But the spider keeps slamming the ground with two of its legs, sending shock waves in your direction. Dodging the shock waves gets a bit tricky in spots, so slowing down time makes that much easier to manage. When I got up close, I needed to switch to the ninja's heavier sword in order to break off the shell surrounding both of its front legs, then switch back to the katana for some high-speed slicing. You can also swap over to a pair of swords with wires in the middle, which don't appear to play a huge role in combat, but one of the quicktime events has you using the wires to swing around and dodge attacks.
The demo for Ninja Blade here at TGS is packed-full of quicktime events. You're given a bit of warning when one is coming, as the game quickly focuses in on your character's eye to let you know that some interactive cutscene management is required. These moves look extremely stylish, but the lack of interactivity was a little disappointing.
Graphically, the game had the technical chops to make everything look interesting, but a lot of the surfaces looked a little plasticy, too. It'll be interesting to see how much of the game is interactive cutscene and how much is actual ninja business when Ninja Blade releases next year.