Aragami 2 Review: Not Quite the Master Assassin

Aragami 2 has lots of potential but falls into repetition, some odd story choices, and frustrating online play.

I came away from my preview of Aragami 2 feeling quite excited about it. The core idea is that you play as a shadowy ninja tasked with saving their village from evil. You're not just shadowy in name either; you're a supernatural assassin with the ability to teleport around, blend into shadows, and eventually do things like make enemies explode into mist. Or literally, just turn invisible. 

The ability to fight your way through enemies if you failed to be sneaky enough makes for more exciting gameplay than just outright failing, and Aragami 2 starts to almost feel like an immersive sim in all of the ways you can do "things." That's not to mention the abilities you can unlock the further you get.

Basically, I felt as though there was a lot of potential in Aragami 2, and that was all before I even had the chance to try out co-op, which is often where games like this shine. After playing through the final build for this review, though, I'm not quite as excited, and I find myself mostly conflicted about the game. 

Aragami 2 Review: Not Quite the Master Assassin

The story of Aragami 2 goes beyond simply saving your village; as you'll have to uncover the plots of the evildoers who are targeting you are brewing. But the elder talks your ears off in-between each mission, providing exposition and context about the next mission while (maybe) revealing other bits and bobs about the world.

I don't loathe this as a story-telling device, but you'll occasionally have to chat to multiple people, or even the same person multiple times, in these sections. Yet that same person will teleport away to a different part of the village after the first conversation, leading to a lot of time spent not stabbing people in a game where stabbing people is the fun bit. 

The missions themselves aren't all that varied either. Realistically, you either end up with missions that have you going somewhere and interacting with something, missions where you have to kill someone (or someones) somewhere, and missions where you have to rescue someone ... somewhere.

There's not a huge amount of variety in Aragami 2's quest structure, and if I wasn't playing through so much of the game with a friend during review, I'd likely have become very bored with it all. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream ... ERROR

Thankfully, I managed to find someone else who was playing Aragami 2 ahead of its release, and we made a point of trying the co-op as much as possible. This is the kind of game that screams co-op, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that assessment.

But while co-op is certainly fun, it doesn't always work. Hosts are unlikely to be afflicted by anything more irksome than the odd floating body. However, for those joining someone else's game, there are plenty of issues to contend with.

Combat is basically impossible because animations don't work as intended. While you're meant to attack and parry your opponent until their health or stamina is depleted, the latter making them vulnerable to an instakill or knockout attack, the online peculiarities mess with that.

For example, you may have to parry attacks facing away from you or resign yourself to getting hit by enemies who don't even seem to be attacking. It means stealth is the only option, and while that can still be fun, it kind of defeats the point of learning to fight in the first place. 

Aragami 2 Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Fun gameplay and abilities
  • Co-op is fun despite being a bit broken

Cons

  • Very buggy when playing online
  • Repetitive story missions
  • Frustrating moments in the downtime 

Despite those issues, Aragami 2 is still a fun game, but only when you view it as a playground, rather than taking it all that seriously. Speedrunning is good fun, and trying to kill every single enemy without failing just before the end can be a blast.

I want to recommend Aragami 2 to anybody looking for a new co-op game, but the caveat is that they don't mind putting up with jank (at least right out of the gate). As a single-player experience, or just to those who get annoyed by goofy glitches, this probably isn't worth the stress. 

[Note: Lince Works provided the copy of Aragami 2 used for this review.] 

Our Rating
6
Aragami 2 has lots of potential but falls into repetition, some odd story choices, and frustrating online play.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Jason likes the gym, roguelikes, and FromSoftware. There is a pattern there for sure, but try not to read too much into it. He's also a freelance games journalist who is slowly trying to take over the world. Not in a menacing way though, he'd probably just make everyone get pets or something.

Games aragami 2 Genres ActionAdventure Platforms Tags actionstealth games 
Published Sep. 15th 2021

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