Mark of the Ninja
Date: Tuesday, May 28 @ 18:10:20 EDT
Topic: Action Game Reviews
How can VGS even call itself a gaming site without even MENTIONING the best game of 2012 at all? When was the last time we got a good clear 10/10 in our life if there even was any. Sad news is that Mark of the Ninja won't get this result either... but it's one of the few true gems that comes damn close to be legend.
Where was this game when we needed it the most? I mean it's about ninjas alright but the game itself shouldn't be that elusive right? Anyway it is not, you just don't have the necessary wide view, or proper interest on games because then pearls like this would not slip by your interest. Been busy with Ubisoft or Activison lately? Those companies can really fill your mouth do they, no wonder you had no attention to the good games that makes your gaming time worthwile.
Now enough blabbering and onto the review.
In terms of graphics and sound, the game is good enough. There's nothing more to say about that. Looks like Samurai Jack with blood. There's cool cutscenes and tons of character animations. The sounds are nice, good voice acting and lots of enemy reactions as they face confusion, terror and death.
In terms of controls, it's smooth and responsive. You can link your movement as a chain finishing it with an execution. There are tons of ways to do dish out death, hooking up people to lampposts, grabbing them in from dumpsters or through sewers, slicing and impaling various bodyparts and so on.
You can fly through the screen running jumping, leaning and crawling without anyone noticing. The controls and the game allow this to be executed. It takes a bit to get used to it, but as it becomes natural, it will be like driving. You just develop a radar to places you can hang on, dive or climb up.
But the best thing is the gameplay. Holy shit, stealth was never this satisfying. I loved sneaking in Deus Ex HR, but this game does it a lot better and faster. There are a million ways how you can reach one place. And how you want to make your way there or how much people you drop along the way is entirely up to you. First I sliced up some but that can quickly become repetitive as you don't have too much skill in the beginning. Then I decided to just ghost through the place and boy that was fun not to mention that you get a bonus for not killing anyone. Or when you kill somebody using your surroundings. Or by other ninja equipment. Or causing distraction or panic.
As with items and skills, there are several garbs to wear as each of them enchances a certain playstyle. Without mentioning them all let me just say that I love the Path of Silence as it grants you the ability to run without making any sound. That is wonderful in this game, the freedom of movement it grants, not having to worry about anybody hearing you is like getting wings. It allows you to make your way to your goal a lot faster at least in some levels. Although you cannot carry a sword, but who needs it when your ghosting anyway? Carriing additional distraction items is another good addition making this suit one of the best.
Another garb I just love to use is the Path of Nightmares. Although it does not look that badass as the Path of Silence, the effect it grants basically DOUBLES the fun in this game. Fuck am I talking about? Well this suit adds a damn useful weapon to your already immense repertoire: FEAR. Enemies meeting with the dead cold corpses of their comrades gets terrorized and they start shooting randomly to anyone they see or hear. Yup, even their own. And since you can move and throw the bodies there are tons of fun to be had with proper crowd control. You put the Oni mask on at some of the infested levels and you can start a chain reaction of terror as you just leave a dead soldier on the way of another. They start shooting and that results in more corpses which leads to more enemy going batshit and the next day no one knows WTF happened as every guard seem to shoot up each other. Awesome. It's just wonderful as you hang one to a tree or a lamppost and if it somehow eludes their flashlights, you can just cut it off with a dart making it drop right in front or rigth at the unsuspecting enemy. Dead bodies from above. Or when you simply drop one from a higher catwalk right between two guards facing each other just to see who's gonna shoot the other first. I terrorize a few enemy and just leave them as they are just so that I can hear their screams all around the place as I lurk below. Ora's like "this place is heavily guarded, see if you can find another way" and I'm like "Hell no bitch", and I turn it into a domino of terror.
Of course there are some flaws to the game too. Like when you die and you start at some checkpoint but the game places you right next to an enemy. WTF it almost guarantees the alarm. Thankfully it's not that common, and mostly you can just jump and fly away with your grappling hook, but if not, pray to have a smoke bomb.
And the graphics are rich in detail wherever you go but somehow the generator you need to put down one time seems like utter shit. It just don't even have proper texture. No shadows, it stick out of it's enviroment. Same goes with that helicopter when you ned to kill it's pilot. Which I did with terrorizing some of the guards nearby, so it was friendly fire. Awesome.
This game deserves 10 times more than the money they charge you for it on steam as I play it still even though I finished it days ago. It's just that much fun.