So I bought Mark of the Ninja a few months back during a flash sale and now that that I have finally poured a reasonable amount of hours into it I thought I would do a review on the game since I have already reviewed one of the developer’s previous games Don’t Starve so onto the review because I have quite a few things about this game.
Mark of the Ninja is a 2D stealth heavy platforming game developed by indie developer Klei Entertainment released on Xbox 360 on September 7th 2012 and on Steam on October 16th, 2012 and it tells us the story of a nameless ninja in the present day and features a themed conflict between ancient ninja tradition and modern technology.
Mark Of The Ninja is a stealth focused platformer, it is very good and honestly is one of the best ninja games I have ever played because in Mark of the Ninja you must be silent, agile and clever to outwit and of course overcome enemies and obstacles in your way and I will post the game play trailer down below for you good people to check out for yourselves.
So how is the game, well I will break it down starting with the actual game play and Mark of the Ninja brings a few unique things to the table in this regard because this is a game that is 100% stealth focused, you are not a cyber enhanced ninja like Raiden who slices his way through Metal Gears or another Ryu Hayabusa, you are still a badass but you can die quite quickly in this game but moving on.
Mark of the Ninja places a high emphasis on stealth which is good because ninjas were never seen and never heard so in his own way the protagonist of Mark of the Ninja is more of a ninja than Raiden and Ryu because he spends more time sneaking than stabbing and most of the mechanics help the player with this task and I will explain one key mechanic as a example.
Most stealth games don’t use sound effectively but Mark of the Ninja does something really inventive with sound, actions such as running will make alot of noise and give away the player character’s location but you can actually see the sound waves represented visually by a rapidly expanding circle around the protagonist and should an enemy be within range of said noise they may be alerted to the player character’s presence and will proceed to check out the disturbance so take your time and thread slowly.
The majority of the game is about evasion and thanks to the 2D nature of the level design there are multiple routes to take, the player can hide behind objects, pass through narrow grates and shafts inaccessible to enemies and destroy lights to stay out of sight which is great because the game has a rating system and judges you on your performance throughout the game, depending on the player’s performance on the levels, they earn “honor” and complete seals that are used to buy or upgrade things like skills and weapons and also unlock alternate costumes.
The player can earn points for using a variety of different tactics such as stealth kills, passing by enemies without being detected, hiding bodies, terrorizing enemies and achieving optional goals such as recovering artifacts and a series of haiku which explain the history of the ninja clan and the better y
The player can spend their hard earned honor in three sections: techniques which are passive upgrades and skills such as new one-hit executions, items to distract enemies such as smoke bombs and firecrackers and items to attack (such as caltrops and poison-tipped darts and we all know that a ninja always has to have poison tipped darts.
The nameless ninja is able to execute a one-hit kill by approaching enemies undetected and the take downs are pretty badass aswell but you are not invincible by any means, if detected, the player must evade enemies after being detected and remain out of sight for a set period of time so the enemies forget and return to their normal AI patterns and well if you don’t then the enemies can drop you with a bullet or two so stay in the shadows like true ninja should.
Moving on from the game play, Mark of the Ninja has a comic book like art style and it works really well because the characters are well designed (with my favorite being of course the nameless protagonist since he has mystical tattoos), the backgrounds are well done and it is just a really great looking game.
There is not really much I can say about the voice acting but it is well done, there are cutscenes that are animated and fully voiced so that’s a good thing in my book because nobody likes poor voice work and that is about it for the art and sound work so now onto replay value and this game has quite a bit of that.
Now Mark of the Ninja has 38 achievements and you can get most of those in one playthrough of the game but there is a new game plus mode that ramps up the difficulty and gives you a even greater challenge since it makes the enemies smarter and even deadlier but you get some things to even out the playing field and the game also has steam trading cards but I have no godamn idea what those are even for but maybe you guys do.
This game also has full controller support and can be played with a wired Xbox 360 controller but I should probably mention one mildly annoying problem with the controls, contextual actions are done by pressing B, pressing the B button to pick up and hide an enemy body near a place where the player can hide will cause some frustration but it is manageable.
So should you buy Mark of the Ninja, well if you are a fan of side scrollers, platformers, stealth games and so on than give this game a shot, the only problem the game has in my opinion is it’s kind of short but there is a new game plus mode and you can play it multiple ways.
I had a tonne of fun playing Mark of the Ninja and it was well worth the money I spent but here is a tip, wait for a steam sale and then you can get the base game and the Special Edition DLC for dirt cheap and we all know when the steam sales attack the more money you have the better prepared you are but moving on I think it is time I ended this review and I am sorry for it being a bit on the shorter side but no spoilers remember, if you liked this post then please like comment down below and share.