Ninja Gaiden 3 hands-on impressions at E3

Previews Xbox 360 Playstation 3 Koei Tecmo E3 2011 Action

At E3 while we were taking a tour of the Tecmo KOEI booth we were given the opportunity to gain access to the title in the back room of the booth alongside Team Ninja’s director Yosuke Hayashi and Peter Garza who helped translate our questions and the answers from Mr. Hayashi.

We jumped right into the action of Ninja Gaiden 3, which began on the roof of a building above the London streets. Ryu didn’t stay on the building very long however as I jumped off from the top of the building and glided down onto the ground right behind an enemy soldier. The enemy was easily dispatched through a few quick slashes of Ryu’s sword.

Right away we could tell that Ninja Gaiden 3 has retained its visceral gameplay as enemies were killed in sprays of blood and visually impressive finishing moves. Mr. Hayashi explained that the team has been working hard at making it feel like you are actually fighting against real human soldiers, they have done this by making it so enemies can react to your actions in a more realistic way.

Enemy soldiers can be knocked down, not quite killed but bleeding out and suffering. These enemies can be either left to die, crying in a pool of their own blood or can be given mercy in the same way that a samurai who had committed seppuku would be given mercy in the form of kaishaku, which means decapitation. All of these implementations help make it feel like what Ryu is doing by killing all of these soldiers is a very negative thing to be doing.

This culminates in the fact that thin red streams appear from killed enemies and are absorbed by Ryu’s right arm. The arm appears to be infected with some curse or another, though Mr. Hayashi would not go into detail as to how Ryu came upon this curse. Once enough of these streams have been collected Ryu’s arm will begin to glow red and this means that Ryu will be able to perform his ultimate technique. He appears to split into multiple copies of himself and attacks each enemy in the vicinity in deadly fashion, though in fact it is his enhanced speed making the enemies believe he split into copies of himself, either killing them instantly or severely wounding them. After killing enemies Ryu also regains small portions of his health as he absorbs their life force into his own.

Not all enemies will be your standard grunt however, some of what we were shown included those who carried rocket launchers and riot shields to help throw a bit of spice into the standard gameplay. Ninja Gaiden 3’s combat also has the inclusion of some quick time events that will allow the player to perform brutal finishing moves to enemies at a touch of the button.

We were assured by Mr. Hayashi that these quick time events would not be a central part of the game and would only be shown during the demo, afterwords these quick time looking events would disappear and would simply be from the memory of the player.

After fighting our way through countless enemy soldiers we stuck facing down a giant metal war machine that had six different legs and plenty of weaponry on board which were all directed towards Ryu. The monstrous machine nearly managed to defeat us but through finding its weak point we found it easy to defeat and finish off the demo. We said our thanks to Mr. Hayashi and Peter and MasterAbbott got himself a picture with the two to commemorate the event.

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  • there are so many wrong details to this article:/

    we can tell you’ve obviously haven’t played NG game before.
    Ryu splitting himself into multiple copies?
    red orbs?
    wtf are you on about? O_o

    • Travis Bruno

      His special move, according to Mr. Hayashi is taken from the legend that powerful shinobi could separate themselves into multiple copies, and Ryu’s special ability is similar to that, he disappears from his current location and teleports between enemies in the area and strikes each one, either killing him or wounding them in the process. The red orbs are more like thin red streams that are absorbed into his arm, the feature is hard to see in most gameplay videos you will see of the floor, but I can assure you that they are there.

      • CheezeToastTURBO

        Thay’s just sad now that they’re doing this, pretty much copying naruto now, the only time you know it NG is when the first level is next to impossible to complete

  • Kensei

    Travis,

    Thanks for this article!

    You mention that for downed, mortally wounded enemies you can leave them to die or perform a “mercy killing”/kaishaku. Did you see this mercy killing/kaishaku performed or did Hayashi elaborate on this at all? Was it an actual decapitation in the game?

    • Travis Bruno

      Unfortunately Ryu didn’t perform an actual decapitation to enemies that are given a mercy killing. Instead as they are crawling away he will stab them and they will look like they are on their knees, finishing them off for good.

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