Aragami 2

It’s easy to appreciate a sequel that improves on every aspect of its predecessor. Aragami 2 is developer Lince Works’ second foray into this particular stealth-action universe, and it does an awesome job of taking what worked in the original and enhancing pretty much everything about it. This is a wonderfully realized sequel to what was a solid game to begin with. And though it doesn’t necessarily break new ground for the stealth genre, it’s still an impressive effort and a great adventure.

Before we dive into Aragami 2, I want to take some time to talk about the first game, which was a solid stealth offering clearly inspired by the Tenchu series. In fact, the first Aragami is the kind of game that could’ve entered “greatest hits” territory on PlayStation 2 (even though it was released in 2016). That’s not to say the game feels dated, but rather it’s fun and polished yet still mildly scrappy. Well, if the first Aragami plays like a pseudo old school classic, then Aragami 2 feels like a next-gen successor.

Everything is much more developed this time around, from the leveling system to the abilities to the stage designs. Having just played the original Aragami recently, I was expecting everything to carry over, so I was a bit surprised when even the controls had been slightly revamped. For the most part, this aspect of the game is pretty similar, but you now have more actions and more control over your character than you did previously.

Aragami 2 Stealth-Action Gameplay

You’ll still be sneaking around and surprise-attacking fools just like before, but in Aragami 2, you can move around the map much more freely. You’ve got double-jumps, you can climb along walls, and you can perform all manner of exciting executions on foes. If you’re hanging off a ledge and there’s an enemy right above you, for example, you can stick your blade in that jerk and pull him over the edge.

Speaking of which, you can dispose of enemies is some clever ways. You can do the traditional stealth game thing of sneaking up behind enemies and eliminating them. You can bring the pain from above by jumping down below them. You can even engage foes in combat, which isn’t as polished as it could be but still features intense, timing-based mechanics. Most of the time, you also have a choice between killing and knocking out your enemies. This is entirely up to you and doesn’t necessarily make a dramatic difference in how stages flow, though.

Aragami 2 gives you a wide range of abilities, and though the leveling system isn’t necessarily complex, it’s a lot more smartly designed in this sequel, giving you plenty of options to enhance your character how you see fit. You’ve got passive and active abilities that you can unlock with skill points that you earn as your level increases. These can be as simple as gaining a bit of health from executions or much snazzier upgrades like teleporting to enemies to deliver an instant kill.

Aragami 2 Screenshot

Though it’s still a fairly linear game, Aragami 2 features a hub world where you can choose your next mission, speak with NPCs, and buy new outfits. It’s a little thing, but it’s still a nice addition that makes the game’s world feel more authentic.

It’s important to note that Aragami 2 doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Gameplay-wise, the mechanics are pretty straightforward, so if you’re looking for a more innovative stealth experience, you won’t find that here. If, however, what you’re looking for is just a really enjoyable and well-designed stealth-action game, well, that’s exactly what Aragami 2 prides itself on being. It’s a no-bells-and-whistles type of game that’s wholly entertaining thanks entirely to its good gameplay and strong level designs. I didn’t need this game to be anything more than what it was, and I had an absolute blast.

Aragami 2 - World

Aside from the gameplay enhancements to the original formula, Aragami 2 also features updated graphics. While I liked the cel-shaded look of the original, this sequel’s enhanced visuals are more detailed and look very good overall despite a bit of low-res texture work.

Performance-wise, Aragami 2 is also decent, though you might encounter some odd bugs. Early on, for example, I picked up a dead enemy to hide the body, and when I jumped over a small fence, my character got stuck doing the jump animation over and over again… until he jumped off the edge of the stage. Oh, he didn’t plummet to his death, though. Instead, he was locked in a perpetual jumping animation all while floating over the empty space below the level. It didn’t break the game, and it was funny, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

I greatly enjoyed my time with Aragami 2 during the course of my 15-hour playthrough. It’s a fun game, and having just spent upward of 11 hours playing the original game and its DLC, this follow-up is everything I could hope for. Even after spending nearly 30 hours with this series, I wasn’t burnt out by the end of it because Aragami and Aragami 2 are distinctly different in all the best ways.

Aragami 2 - Kurai

If you want some really intense and entertaining stealth action, Aragami 2 does a nice job of giving you that. It’s not exactly earth-shattering as far as the genre is concerned, but it’s definitely an improved sequel to an already-good game that does just about everything in satisfactory fashion.

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