PS5 Review: Rise of the Ronin

Does the latest Team Ninja game rise to the challenge?

It’s darkest before dawn. In Rise of the Ronin you will explore an evolving world as you fight to forge a new era for Japan. You are a Ronin, a warrior free from all masters and bonds and as your destiny intertwines with story characters, take part in an immersive combat focused action experience.

Rise of the Ronin feels like a blend of different games. A Souls-like Ninja Gaiden hybrid that feels similar to the Nioh games, but also slightly different at the same time. It’s a fully open world game once you get past the Prologue and this is the first time that Team Ninja have done this, so it’s a bit of a risk for them…but can they deliver a killer blow to the likes of Elden Ring?

Not quite. While the combat is fairer than a FromSoftware title, the open world does feel a little dated in comparison. I have to applaud Team Ninja for trying though and as a first step, it does deliver what you would hope it to, but it doesn’t excel expectations either. The combat is fluid and there are even difficulty levels to choose from for those who’d rather enjoy the game without the ultimate stress that comes with a Souls-like. It’s still no walk in the park on the easiest difficulty though, but you do get more health and more of a window when it comes to parrying.

The story is decent and gets you riled up against your enemy. Weapons vary from your typical Samurai weapons to rifles that can blow an enemy’s head clear off his shoulders. The level of gore can be toned down for those with a weak stomach, but on normal settings you’ll be able to decapitate enemies and hack their limbs off with relative ease. You can also stealth kill opponents if you are sneaky enough, which is always satisfying.

The open world has plenty to keep you busy with side-quests, while the main story will still take you a considerable amount of time to beat. Your character will get around with a grappling hook, on horseback and on an air glider which all handle well. Combat itself takes some getting used to as you will need to parry your enemy in quick succession to be able to strike a devastating blow. But there are other things you can do like lob explosive barrels at them or throw shurikens at them.

I found that the visuals were impressive, but sadly can’t compare with the likes of Ghost of Tsushima and we all know what the PS5 is capable of. It feels like it lands somewhere in the middle, but the good news is that the framerate was steady throughout and load times were minimal. I was also highly impressed with the soundtrack and voice-acting.

The Verdict

Rise of the Ronin may not be Team Ninja’s finest entry, but it does take risks in going open-world that I applaud them for. It’s more a case of matching what I expected that was slightly disappointing, as opposed to catching me off-guard with something groundbreaking. A small issue in the grand scheme of things, but still an overly enjoyable game…even if it doesn’t set the world on fire.

Score: 7.5

Disclaimer: Code was provided by PlayStation.