Release Date: September 7, 2012
Platform: PC, XBLA
Price: 1200MSP ($15)
I am not a fan of the stealth genre of games. Not to say that they games are not enjoyable or without exceptions but often the mechanics are largely unwieldy and don’t lend well a playstyle that feels like I am actually sneaking around making a path or murdering people without notice. Fortunately developers whom brought you the beautifully animated action platformer Shank, Klei Entertainment have taken the task on their shoulders to change my mind with Mark of the Ninja.
Though let the comparisons to Shank stay at face value, the only things they truly share are the 2D nature and the beautifully animated art style that Klei Entertainment adorns them with. Mark of the Ninja then takes the concept of a stealth platformer and creates a unique experience with a plethora of mechanics that work together magnificently to put you in the tabi of a ninja. The base of this is a vision system that only allows you view of what your ninja’s radius of visibility would be with the surrounding area shrouded in a “fog-of-war” allowing only a limited display of the terrain. To add to this you are given small circles that radiate from the location of sounds giving you further information of movement locations of your foes. On the converse side your character is given a visual representation of being shrouded in the darkness so you are aware of what your enemies can see of you. This is all stitched together fluidly with some nice graphical flair that works in unison with the art style to always give you a visual representation of stealth at a glance without breaking you out of the immersion.
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