There have been many games revolving around Ninjas over the years but only a few have been able to leave their stamp on time. Most of these games are your basic hack and slash games that involve the player going through several levels leaving behind a trail of decapitated bodies while altogether deleting the essence of stealth. A ninja is best known for his quiet assassinations and throat slitting expertise but no game has tread upon this path up until now.
Mark of the Ninja is a side scrolling action game developed by Klei entertainment that revolves around the core element of stealth and surprise. The game is based on a Ninja whose name is unknown to the player and the premise is set in the present day. The Ninja finds himself struggling in between ancient ninja tradition and modern technology that threatens to abolish their very existence. The player is thrown into the action face first and left to fend for himself with minimal help from a friend. The story takes off from here and the player is given full control over this master of shadows to overcome an onslaught of tasks and missions.
The presentation on a whole is a delight to look at as it possesses a perfect amalgamation of light and dark that spans throughout the game. The art style is fascinating as each and every corner and crevice is crafted with precision highlighting the depth of characters and their emotions. The colours bring out the theme of stealth and immerse the player into the world of ancient ninja lore. The sound and music is aptly applied to the games many levels and actions that the player performs. From the piercing sound of a sharp blade cutting through soft flesh to the firing of a high powered muzzle, each and every sound is sharp and pristine to invoke the deepest of emotions from within the player.
The gameplay has a balance between two elements which are action and stealth. The player starts off with the basic skills and tools at his disposal but as he progresses through the levels he can gain new abilities to thwart his enemies in their tracks. The levels are well drawn out with elaborate traps and ferocious enemies lurking around at every corner. The player can overcome these obstacles and obstructions by utilizing the many tools at his disposal. The Ninja has a barrage of weapons like his trademark samurai sword, smoke bombs, fire crackers and many other tools to make use of. The shadows play an important part throughout the whole game as it allows the player to deceive his enemies and proves as great cover to hide in plain sight.
The player can dodge his enemy’s movements while setting up traps to turn the tables on them. He can use floor grates, pots and chandeliers to become a phantom to strike from the darkness. Once the player gets through the game there is an added NewGame+ option that he can utilize. This option lets the user become a true assassin with every tool open in the arsenal to unleash and wreak havoc over his enemies. Mark of the Ninja is truly the ultimate game in its genre which utilizes every element of stealth available out there and deserves a place in your digital download collection.