Rise of Ronin takes place in a historical setting of Japan in 1863 during the Bakumatsu era, aka the final days of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. Players will experience the story unfolding from the perspective of a powerful Ronin who uses various play styles and weapons (melee, long-ranged, and firearms) that players will use as the story unfolds. The player’s character was trained as part of a pair by a group known as the Veil Edge at a young age. At the start of the game, your Ronin is separated for the first time from his blade twin, aka his surrogate sister, as you try to find yourself in the world on your own.
Rise of Ronin is described as “without a doubt, Team Ninja and Koei Temco’s biggest and most ambitious project to date.” Instead of creating another linear title, Rise of the Ronin evolved into creating an experience that could fully immerse the player into the game’s world, universe, and story, says Rise of the Ronin producer and director Fumihiko Yasuda. In the post, Team Ninja goes into detail about the game’s open world areas, including the three major cities –Yokohama, Edo (what we know today as Tokyo), and Kyoto plus other more rural areas that players will travel to, like Kannai – Yamashita, Kannai – Motomachi, Asakusa, Nihonbashi, Gosho, and Mibu.
It’s not just about where the players will explore in Rise of the Ronin but also how they’ll get there with a more detailed look at the Ronin’s grappling hook, horse traversal, gliders, and banners, which players will use to fast travel across the land of Edo, Japan. Throughout the game, the Ronin will run into locals who give you special tasks known as Somo Missions. If completed, the player will better understand their situation and relationship, which can be levelled up more if they have specific items on them. As you dive deeper into the game, more activities and encounters with enemies will open up even more.
During the State of Play from this year, Rise of the Ronin popped up on my radar thanks to the showcase I saw, and I liked what I saw. As someone who reviewed Like a Dragon: Ishin! I obviously couldn’t help but compare the game to Rise of the Ronin as they both take place in the same era, but it feels like Team Ninja’s approach is taking a step further with the conflict of this era more at the forefront that was happening at this time.
Plus, it has gameplay that looks honestly way better than what RGG Studios was offering in its remaster/remake of a 2014 game. Honestly, this is one game coming this March that I can’t wait to play it as it looks like another good take on the unofficial Assassin’s Creed Japan formula well before Ubisoft has had its turn, similar to Ghost of Tsushima.
Rise of the Ronin will launch exclusively for PS5 consoles on March 22nd.