Everyone knows I love my stealth games, mainly because I usually end up playing games where it really is life or death if you fail at being sneaky. So when I saw Aragami at EGX 2016, I was intrigued and was fortunate enough to have a go on the game. After my turn on the demo, I even got to chat with Pere Rius from Lince Works. So without further ado, let’s introduce you to Aragami.
Aragami is a third person stealth game in which you play Aragami, a vengeful spirit who has been summoned from the dead to assist Yamiko. Aragami has the power to manipulate shadows in the sense that he can teleport through gates to shadows and also create areas of shadow to move between when needed. But light and shadow must work together as Aragami’s power is drained after being used so you must ensure you guide him to the light to recharge in case a getaway is required or you could find yourself in a sticky spot. Control wise, you need to be very aware of what buttons do what. After a few minutes you get used to them and will be teleporting whilst throwing out shadows with speed and finesse in order to fight or evade your enemy depending on the tactics you decide to work with. Engaging directly tends not to end well as you may end up being impaled by a light sword which doesn’t go well for you when you are made up of shadows. So you do need to plan your approach rather than heading in all shadows blazing.
It’s plain to see the influences in this game which span from Assassins Creed to Tenchu, Dishonored to Metal Gear Solid and also Mark of the Ninja. It is a linear narrative but you can choose to play it aggressively or full blown stealth, either way the game will not punish you for doing either. I found a mix of both worked quite nicely when I was a little unsure if my planned path would work out for me in case there was a guard I couldn’t see or too many static guards who were in the way of everything. All of the levels get increasingly more challenging with more guards, more danger and more opportunities for you to slip up. But I am a fan of the teleporting behind someone and getting a stealth kill… that is pretty satisfying especially when you don’t get caught doing it by any of the other guards and can proceed to move forward. I’m not going to give much away about the story because I would really like you to pick up this game so I’m going to move on to the graphics.
I love the art in this game. It’s very striking, works well with the theme of the game and all of the areas are very aesthetically pleasing to play in. As you can see from the images, it is very reminiscent of a stylistic noir anime and focuses on the light, shadow along with striking accents of red. Aragami’s cloak changes colour when his power is drained so that you can see when you need to charge. This is a particularly nice touch as too many games focus on a HUD to let you know that your powers/health are low. It all works together really well, lending themselves to the abilities and powers Aragami has. As I mentioned before, you can choose to play as Ghost which creates a shadow decoy to distract enemies, becoming translucent for a few moments which makes you harder to detect and the ability to see enemies behind rocks/walls/other obstacles. Alternatively, you could work with the Demon powers which create a vortex to send enemies to the afterlife (which is pretty awesome), throw a shadow projectile to get damage from a distance or temporarily blind nearby enemies to give you a small head start. All of these are good fun when you get the hang of them but do drain Aragami’s powers so you will need to stay in the shadows to recharge.
Overall, Aragami is a really charming, stealth game which is brought to you by a team who really enjoyed making it. It’s fun, you can play it at your own pace although I would recommend on playing it how you want because there is no right or wrong way. The powers and abilities are really fun, especially the vortex and although at times I felt a little under-powered, there are ways and means to get around this… by being stealthy!. Aragami is available now on Steam and PS4 for £19.99 with around 8-14 hours of gameplay depending on your play style and how many times you die. You can also play this game single player or in two player online co-op which I haven’t been able to test out as of yet. Below are some more images from the game for you to enjoy. I would recommend this game for anyone who likes old-school stealth games and wants to try an offering from the indie community who are absolutely lovely and put a lot of work into bringing this game to us. Thanks again to Lince Works for kindly giving us a review code and to Pere for having a chat with me at EGX!