Arashi: Castles of Sin-Final Cut Preview
Sometimes, a game gets released before it’s ready and is forever judged a failure. Now and then — as is the case with Cyberpunk 2077 — developers and their games find eventual redemption. Arashi: Castles of Sin was not at all a poorly received game. It was, however, released for an older generation of VR headsets. Developer Skydance has given Arashi a spit shine and made some needed tweaks to gameplay and mechanics. It brings a standout ninja stealth game to PC, PSVR2, and the upcoming Meta Quest 3.
As the developers noted in a hands-off preview, they are applying “lessons learned” to the updated release, dubbed the “Final Cut.” They were a bit cagey about what, exactly, those lessons were. They did say that the game’s graphics have been upgraded and there have been improvements to movement and combat. However, they were also honest about the fact that Arashi is still not a “cutting-edge” game. It doesn’t make use of all the bells and whistles that are available in the new headsets, for example, foveated rendering.
Arashi: Castles of Sin is a first-person action game. It puts the player in the role of Kenshiro, an assassin samurai. Kenshiro is tasked with infiltrating six imposing castles overtaken by bandits, and defeating the end boss Oni at each location. The game emphasizes hand-to-hand swordplay as well as the use of special abilities and gear. For example, Kenshiro can teleport from place to place. But he can also use a grappling hook and throwable weapons to distract and dispatch enemies from the shadows. Other tools include arrows, bombs, smoke grenades, blowguns, and pistols. It sounds a bit like Call of Duty set in Medieval feudal Japan.
Who’s a Good Boy?
Who doesn’t love a game with a canine companion? In Arashi: Castles of Sin, the pup is Haru. Haru is both a pet and a partner. When Kenshiro is done playing fetch with Haru, he can send the dog into the den of thieves as a distraction.
While the original release of Arashi: Castles of Sin was praised for its atmosphere, natural movement in VR, and an array of tools, there were some minor issues, too. These included un-lifelike hands hanging from the character when not in combat and the tendency of swords to clip through each other. Although the team and Skydance didn’t mention these specific items, there’s a pretty good chance the Final Cut will address them.
There aren’t a huge number of samurai games in VR, so Arashi: Castles of Sin-Final Cut definitely helps fill a genre niche. The game releases in November for Meta Quest 2 and 3, PlayStation VR2 and PC.
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