After 5 years, Aragami is back and this time, it's more action-packed than ever so sharpen your blade and let's get sneaking around.
Before starting Aragami 2, I prepared myself for an intense strategic stealth adventure but after playing it for an hour or 2, I realised that it didn't really line up to my expectations. With that in mind, I'm happy to say that it completely exceeded what I thought it would be by offering a much faster-paced and action-packed formula. You basically complete a variety of missions that take place within large intricate environments and involve tasks such as scoping out areas, killing certain targets, rescuing people, stealing supplies, gathering information, and snagging key items. Once you complete all of a mission's objectives, it's time to escape back to the hub area.
This stage-based campaign implements each mission in a way that feels as if you're playing an arcade game. In fact, they could easily slap a timer at the top of the screen and an "insert quarter" prompt in the corner and you'd be convinced that it belongs in an arcade. What makes it have this feeling for me is its quick, simple, and intuitive action that consistently keeps you on the edge of your seat. So, if you're looking for a methodical stealth game where you're strategically planning your next move, this probably isn't for you. However, if you just want to sneak around while watching enemies fall to your blade one after the other then you'll have a ton of fun.
Aragami 2's core gameplay is incredibly intuitive as you sneak around while tapping a button to take down unsuspecting enemies. You can also double-jump, dash, and warp to ledges so you're an extremely nimble ninja. If you ever face an enemy in combat, you can parry their attacks and slash at them but why bother when you can run away and leave them confused as to where you went? Doing that is much more exhilarating, especially because they'll chase then search for you relentlessly in an unpredictable pattern. That being said, enemies are rather dumb when they're patrolling and don't seem to have good peripheral vision so just don't get noticed and you'll be fine.
That leads me to my biggest issue with Aragami 2 which is that it's not very challenging. You can easily sneak around environments and take out most enemies with just a little bit of cautiousness. On top of that, you'll level up and earn skill points that you can spend in order to unlock passive and active abilities that make the gameplay even easier. For example, you can use your ninja vision to see enemy patterns, turn invisible when you hug a wall, and whisper to make a nearby foe walk towards you so you can dispatch them. I mean; these abilities are awesome and make the gameplay even more fun but they still take away from the challenge nonetheless.
Another cool aspect is how intricate Aragami 2's environments are. Some areas are so jam-packed with multi-floored structures and enemy lookouts that it makes slaying guards an exciting endeavour. Meanwhile, other areas are expansive and rewarding to explore as you discover coin stashes and secret collectibles such as blueprints for accessories that change your base stats. Anyway, there's also an online co-op mode and running around these huge stages with another player while taking different paths is an absolute blast. On the downside, there are some clunky moments such as awkward animations and once, I failed a mission by dropping the person I was supposed to rescue who then unexpectedly fell down a hole. That was frustrating so it helps to have patience for such moments.
Is Aragami 2 rough around the edges? You bet. Does it lack challenge? Unfortunately. But, that doesn't mean that it isn't a heck of a lot of fun. In fact, its arcade-style approach to stealth gameplay had me hooked and I'm looking forward to more sneaky action.
- + Fast-paced stealth action that feels like it belongs in an arcade
- + Intricate environments are fun to traverse
- + Awesome upgrades / fun online co-op
- - Enemies are dumb despite being relentless
- - Could use more sense of challenge
- - Plenty of clunky moments