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Five reasons why YOU should care about PS5 exclusive Rise of the Ronin (even if you're scared of soulslikes)

Life wasn’t easy in 19th century Japan, but it wasn’t THAT bad.

Image credit: Sony, Adobe Stock

Curious about Rise of the Ronin, but not into souls-likes? Well, VG247 contributor Sherif is here to assure you that if you skipped Team Ninja's games in the past because of their reputation for uncompromising difficulty, Rise of the Ronin might just be your ticket in. Check out our video here:

Look, we only had about three minutes of footage to work with for this, so don't worry if you see the same glider shot about nine times.Watch on YouTube

It’s not a pure souls-like

Look, let’s face it, even if you’re into souls-likes you might be getting sick of them at this point. And for people like me (cowards) they've always been frankly too much bother. But, like all things with aspirations for long-term survival, the souls genre is changing. Elden Ring ushered in a new era of open-worldiness for FromSoft's signature style, and it seems that Team Ninja have taken that ball and ran with it, even cribbing elements from other, decidedly not-soulsy games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, The Witcher 3, and even Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

This naturally lends itself to being less punishing. Now that you’re no longer funnelled toward boss encounters, you can take your time. Maybe come back when you’ve got a bigger gun (there’s guns in this).

Image credit: Team Ninja, Koei Tecmo

Team Ninja for the masses

More people getting to experience Team Ninja’s mastery of the medium is a good thing. Why? Because it’s nice when people get to enjoy things. And, until now, their games have had a very intimidating reputation. We’re not saying Rise of the Ronin is going to be a cakewalk – on the contrary, it is patently going to be full of extremely challenging encounters – but we suspect its forays into the action RPG genre will convince a lot more people than usual to climb aboard. And they will get to enjoy Team Ninja’s characteristic attention to detail, superbly rich combat, and sumptuous art direction.

Rise of the Ronin's protagonist looks over the vast open world of the game.
Image credit: Sony, Team Ninja

A fresh take on the open world

This is Team Ninja’s first open world game, but they’re a competent studio with decades of experience. And they have plenty of great inspirations to draw from, many of which are already evident from the scant footage we have of the game so far.

We can trust them to know what to crib from genre standouts, but we can also trust them to bring their own ideas to the table of what an open world game should be.

Image credit: Team Ninja, Koei Tecmo

Talk to the monsters

People! There’s actual people in this! People you can talk to, and generally interact with in ways that aren’t just ramming a cold length of steel into them. Imagine!

The developers have said that this presented a new challenge to them: having entities in the world who aren’t just there for the player to slaughter. Even complex depictions of characters based on real historical figures, Assassin’s Creed style. It’s a big leap for Team Ninja, but one which potentially gives Rise of the Ronin a real emotional hook alongside its engaging gameplay loops.

Image credit: Team Ninja, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Traversal

An impressive open world calls for some impressive ways to get around it. Ronin includes the traditional horsey, as befits a 19th century swordsman, but it also includes such Batman-esque vehicles as a grappling hook and a glider. Yes, the latter might have been essentially pinched off Zelda, but so what? Good games borrow, great games steal.

Image credit: Team Ninja, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Rise of the Ronin will release on PS5 on March 22nd

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