|Release Date||October 4, 2016|
I think I’m going to have to retract my stance on being no good at stealth games, because year-on-year I seem to be forever giving them end of year nods. Or maybe I’m just getting really good at finding the great ones. Heck, maybe the genre as a whole is improving. Whatever the case may be, Aragami is one hell of a stealth game that seems to be criminally flying under a lot of people’s radar.
Modelling itself on classic stealth games like Tenchu, Aragami is a more pure stealth experience than most modern stealth games. Open combat is not an option here – as soon as you’re spotted, guards will obliterate your character with a beam of light. Your only option is to stick to the shadows and, whether you decide to be a ghost or a predator, make sure you don’t get caught.
Lince Works have crafted a fantastic game around this one simple rule. It’s not an easy game, but you’re given all the tools you need to survive. There’s no UI cluttering your screen, with all the pertinent information you’ll need access to displayed on your character’s back. Among other things, this lack of UI really makes you appreciate the fantastic cel-shaded art style of the game.
Excellently designed levels are combined with a suite of really cool unlockable abilities, both of which make the game incredibly rewarding and exhilarating to get through successfully. Aragami is all about learning guard routes and timing your moves to break through gaps. While the AI isn’t the smartest, Aragami’s standout feature sees patrol routes changed and tightened up should you get spotted and escape death.
Boss fights are the only real letdown of the game. Bosses always have a telepathic link to your character, knowing where you are at all times and negating a lot of the stealth aspects of the game. They’re infuriating in single-player, instead feeling like they were designed for co-operative play. Which Aragami has. Because it’s one of the best games of the year.
Check out Gary’s review of Aragami here (Words About games was provided the game for review purposes).
The List So Far:
11) Quantum Break
12) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
13) Watch Dogs 2
14) The Flame in the Flood
15) Forza Horizon 3
16) The Banner Saga 2
17) Planet Coaster
18) Gears of War 4
19) Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
20) Batman: The Telltale Series