Aragami is a stealth ninja game with a whole lotta style. For those of you familiar with the indie scene, Aragami is the spiritual successor to Path of Shadows. It should be available on Steam within moments of this posting.
When I first saw the news that Lince Works was working on Aragami, I was beside myself with excitement. I LOVED the concept of Path of Shadows, and always thought it could be great with a little more TLC and polish. And then I got the email – Aragami was in the works.
In Aragami, the player controls a vengeful spirit known as an “Aragami”. Your goal is to help a young girl uncover the truth about her parents’ demise, and (optionally) visit death and destruction upon those responsible.
The game overall looks fantastic. The cel-shaded art style and color scheme is beautifully executed, and the animations are silky smooth, albeit a little limiting, but more on that later.
What sets the game apart from others in the stealth genre, and what makes the game so darn fun, is the fact that as an Aragami you literally control the shadows. You hide in them, teleport between them, use them as bait, and even as weapons. One thing Lince Works really got right is how absolutely overpowered you feel without making the game too easy. When playing Aragami, you feel like a vengeful shadow spirit. There are moments when you pull off tricky double shadow assassinations – and it feels good.
Your proficiency with all things shadow introduces a weakness to light. While other stealth games only make you avoid light to avoid detection, Aragami’s power is drained by it. If you touch light for too long, you’re stuck with no way out until you find another shadow to recharge in. I think this mechanic is genius. It gives you access to a ridiculous skillset, with inherent limitations that keep you moving from shadow to shadow and avoiding light like the plague.
One of my favorite things about Aragami thus far is the pacing, and I’m not just talking about how combat and stealth works. It introduces new mechanics and enemies at a very comfortable pace, slowly enough to learn the new mechanics as you go, and quickly enough to keep things fresh.
The only minor inconvenience I have run across thus far is that all of the kill sequences lock you into animations, and you cant escape them until they end. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for such a restriction. It forces you to think through your moves before you make them instead of just hack-n-slashing your way through levels. I think a slight improvement could be made by making all of the actual kills take place in the last frames of the animation, so that you can cancel an animation and escape if need be, leaving the would-be corpse still standing, and alerted to your presence. This slight change would allow for more fluid gameplay and split second assassin-y decision making.
Inconvenience aside, I am really enjoying Aragami. It might even be my favorite stealth title to date. If you have even a passing interest in stealth games, I wouldn’t hesitate to check it out.
Review code provided by publisher.
Gameplay - 8.5
Visuals - 8.5
Replay Value - 8
Aragami might be my favorite stealth title to date.
Ben is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PCGR. He writes much of the content, manages the site, and does other editorial things that would bore you to tears.