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A Great (but not perfect) action RPG for those that like a challange.

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    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    A Great (but not perfect) action RPG for those that like a challange.

    Overall, the game is pretty good. There’s just a couple things that held it below perfection for me. Before we get into that, though, let me give you guys and girls the overall picture if you somehow haven’t heard or read it yet. This game is "difficult" by today’s standards. If you aren’t a "hardcore" gamer…which in this case is someone with the mental capacity to recognize patterns and practice patience…you may struggle heavily with this game. You may end up hating and feeling like you wasted your money. The game punishes those who like to rush into unknown situations or over estimate their main character’s ability. It’s not impossible by any means, but casual gamers will NOT thrive here.

    Graphically the game looks fine. It looks very polished and plays exceptionally smooth thanks to the 60fps option. If you care more about resolution you can choose movie mode to bump up the image to 1080p on the standard PS4 or 4k on the PS4 Pro. I played the game on the Pro and kept it in action mode which runs the game at a constant 1080p at 60 fps. Running it in 4k resolution drops frame rate down to 30 fps. It looked fine on a 4k TV and a 1080p TV in action mode and I feel that’s the best way to play the game to get the full experience. Those of you with the standard PS4 can choose between 720p 60 frames per second or 1080p at 30 fps. It’s great to have the option to choose how to run it, though, and I hope more games in the future give us this option.

    The gameplay is very fun and interesting. There are so many ways you can customize your character’s style to fit what you like. The combat is fast and technical. You are basically a samurai/ninja combination who isn’t invincible. You can be killed in 3 or 4 good hits…sometimes even less. There are role-playing elements. You earn experience and level up you character as you play. You also earn currency to buy new weapons and armor. The main meat and potatoes of the game are very solid.

    HOWEVER, there are some things outside of the combat that didn’t hit the sweet spot for me. For one, the constant loot drops became annoying. Practically everything you kill drops weapons and armor…most of it useless. This leads to constant management of you inventory space. I finally caught on to a management system that worked for me, but it was still annoying. Another thing that I don’t really care for is the mission structure. Whereas Dark Souls (the series that inspired this game for those out of the loop) plays out as a journey through one huge continuous world, this game follows a more traditional level system. You enter an area, advance to the boss, and then exit the area to a main map. The lack of continuity in the world pulled me out of the story and what I was really fighting to get to. I just seemed to bounce all over the country with no real direction. It’s not like the story is interesting, anyway, which is another missed opportunity. I didn’t really care what was going on throughout the whole game. I didn’t like any of the characters because none of them were very interesting. The main villain was weak…a typical "evil laugh" type of guy who leads you on a goose chase until a final showdown….and I didn’t like the main character either. None of them really annoyed me….they were just place holders for the great gameplay. Those flaws are why I can’t give the game a 5 star rating.

    There are plenty of distractions outside of the main story to keep you busy. They included a pretty good online mode where you can summon help or go into other players’ games and help them. There are future updates on the way (as of the time of this review) with more DLC content (paid DLC, unfortunately) and rumors that an online versus mode will be added as well. I got about 90 hours out of this title taking my time doing every main and sub mission and finding all of the hidden areas. I also spent a lot of that time helping other players in the multi-player mode.

    So….overall, the game is good….very good. It just has a few areas that I feel can be improved upon if a sequel is made. I still like Dark Souls better for it’s world and lore, but this is a nice change of pace when one needs a break from the bleakness of that world.

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