I’ve never really found myself gravitating to stealth-based video games per se, but when the opportunity came up to try the latest release from development team Lince Works, Aragami, I was rather delighted by the experience. As always these are simply my initial impressions of the video game and some insight on what experiences I had with the video game while going through it for the PC platform.
Aragami is a stealth action-adventure video game where players take on the role of, well, an Aragami. These Aragami individuals are the undead assassin spirits which are summoned back to life and in this case you are called upon the request of a young female by the name of Yamiko.
I won’t ruin the story for you and to be honest, I didn’t feel like there was much narrative to really sink my teeth into, but Yamiko has become imprisoned and her village has been taken over. Your goal is straightforward, free Yamiko and extract her revenge.
Visually Aragami is delightful. The colors and settings may be a bit mute but I found that it went well with the tone and story. You’re an assassin that dwells into the shadows and as such, you would expect to see darker environments.
One of the aspects that I enjoyed most has been the clear screen, free from the clutter of any meters or notifications. Instead, much like the popular Dead Space series, Aragami uses the character itself to indicate your necessary gauges and meters.
As players seclude themselves within the shadows, you’ll find that the Aragami will light up with symbols down their cape. It’s with these symbols that we are able to clearly see how low a player is when using abilities. Too low and some of your abilities are locked away until you’re able to charge up by staying in the dark. Health doesn’t showcase a dedicated meter simply for the mere fact a single blow from an enemy usually means an instant death.
Moving on to the audio aspect of the video game, Aragami is really just okay. I absolutely love voice acting and being able to hear the different tones and portrayals to give life for individual characters while also helping emerge players into the story. Unfortunately, Lince Works uses an unknown language to loop over while players read through the text during the story progression. Environments sounded decent and the soundtrack was set with the video game’s time-period.
When it came to the gameplay itself, players will find that the shadows are their best friend. Sticking to them will recharge your abilities which range from a series of shadow-based attacks and teleporting to shaded areas within the map.
While players do get these special abilities to take out the string of enemies in maze-like maps, you’ll be forced to unlock them as the game progresses making the start of Aragami a bit more of a challenge. Now I quite liked the ability to teleport from area to area within the shadows, but there were some issues I found annoying to deal with.
Enemies are pretty clueless at times as long as you stick to the shadows and for the most part away from their eyesight. Though once they get a sight of you then they’ll alert the whole cavalry making the progression of the particular level immensely more difficult. Since they are normally one hit kills, players shouldn’t expect the ability to hack-and-slash their way through a sticky situation. In fact, that’s really the opposite of what gamers can expect as the Aragami are slow when it comes to their melee attacks.
Gamers can go through levels at times without taking any lives, but for the most part, you can’t expect to take out a single enemy and progress with no witnesses. When the enemy goes through their rounds of clearing an area, most deceased guards will be spotted which ultimately means the entire level is alerted of your presence.
For a title that is really available for about around the $20.00 price range on both PlayStation 4 and PC, this is well worth the investment. While some gamers may be experiencing issues when it comes to the game optimization, and for the most part the blame has to do with the game engine Unity, patches and updates have been consistent likely fixing some of the optimization problems present from the title’s launch. Likewise, the variety of shadow attacks and challenges available, in my opinion, outweighs the particular issues I had with the game.
Disclosure: A review copy of the game was supplied by the publishers.