- Rise of the Ronin is a story-driven, open-world RPG with a focus on user choices.
- Team Ninja’s questionable story-telling reputation fails to inspire player confidence.
- Focusing on the Bakumatsu era allowed the devs to craft a unique, fictional story.
Team Ninja’s next project is an ambitious take on an era of Japanese history that often goes overlooked yet it fails to inspire player confidence. In an interview with Game Informer, the developers talked about how Rise of the Ronin will dive deep into elements such as character choices, deep story-telling, a rich open world, and more.
Crafting such an experience is a first for the studio so fans of Team Ninja are a bit uneasy about how Rise of the Ronin will turn out. The sentiment originates from the fact that the devs’ previous works have been phenomenal in gameplay; their storytelling skills, however, aren’t the best.
One user on r/Games wrote, “Narrative has never been their strong suit, to be charitable. To be less charitable but more honest, they’re some of the worst storytellers in the business.” Another user comments on the nature of Nioh’s story saying, “Nioh’s story is kind of avant-garde because they just assume the audience already knows the history of Japan and so they just focus on trying to put a magical spin on it.”
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During the interview, the devs spoke at length about what sets Rise of the Ronin apart from Nioh in terms of the story. The Nioh series was set during the Sengoku era when samurai mostly engaged in traditional styles of combat. Going with the Bakumatsu age, however, allows them to create a unique fictional story inspired by a certain instance in time.
Nioh was set in what’s called the Sengoku period, or which is sort of the Warring States period, where there were samurai who fought in the very traditional style. But we wanted this new Bakumatsu, which is sort of the end of the Edo era, …it’s a lot more modern, so we thought it allows for a unique setting when we were thinking about creating a fiction story inspired by a certain moment in time. It allowed for a very unique setting for us.”
While this may be a first for Team Ninja, it’s too soon to write off Rise of the Ronin as bad because you never know how things will actually turn out. Looking at past works, we can deduce that the gameplay department will deliver on every front. As far as the story-telling aspect is concerned, we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.
Rise of the Ronin launches exclusively on the PlayStation 5 on March 22, 2024.
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