Rise Of The Ronin: The Combat Developer Diary [VIDEO]

This time Team Ninja has gone into more detail about the combat, not only in a video, but also on the PlayStation Blog.


Since the mid-90s, the developers at Team Ninja have been consistently praised for their precise, satisfying combat. Look no further than the dynamic combat system of the Dead or Alive franchise or the lightning-fast combat of Ninja Gaiden for prime examples. The developer aims to continue and expand on this legacy of satisfying melee mechanics in Rise of the Ronin. Rise of the Ronin allows players to fight their way through a storyline set in the final days of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan, known as Bakumatsu, where they can enjoy an accessible yet deep combat system using different play styles that combine melee weapons and firearms. This includes draining enemies’ Ki, mastering martial arts skills, and mastering multiple fighting styles. Mix and match to find your approach.

In Rise of the Ronin, Team Ninja combines its signature fighting action with katanas, spears, other melee weapons, and ranged weapons such as foreign firearms. As a Ronin, you will battle enemies using these two types of weapons. The basic combat strategy is to use Square to perform melee attacks, L1 to defend against enemy attacks, and Circle to dodge. When your opponent’s Ki is completely depleted, they become vulnerable and incapacitated, making it easier to deal massive damage with critical hits. Similarly, when your Ki is depleted, you’ll temporarily be unable to attack or run, so keep an eye on your Ki as you fight.

When facing formidable enemies, effectively parrying with the Counterspark move and using martial arts skills can lower their maximum Ki, making them easier to defeat. Counterspark is a move that parries enemy attacks. To use Counterspark, press Triangle to rotate your melee weapon in a large arc to counter the enemy’s attack. When you use Counterspark to avoid damage from attacks that you cannot parry, your opponent’s Ki is reduced and they are momentarily stunned. This can create a window to deal even more damage to reduce their maximum Ki. Combat skills (holding R1 while pressing Square/Triangle) deal more significant damage. They are also very effective against strong enemies.

Each Japanese and Western weapon – katana, spears, double blades, bayonets, and sabers – has its own unique abilities and attacks. As you develop relationships with the characters you meet, you will learn new fighting styles and evolve their abilities to enhance your combat experience. As you fight your enemies, knowing which of the three fighting styles – Ten (Sky), Chi (Earth), and Jin (Human) – will be advantageous against their weapons can help you gain the upper hand in a fight – and parrying them with the right fighting style will set them back significantly.

There are three styles of fighting. The Mumyo style originated in the Kurosu clan from an unknown master. It is a versatile martial arts style that is performed in pairs. Those who mastered this style were called Veiled Edge. The Hokushin Itto style of swordsmanship, founded by Shusaku Chiba in the early 19th century, is used to overwhelm opponents with a series of attacks. Its teaching is rational, emphasizing the mastery of techniques through training performed by an attacker and a defender. Their dojo, founded in 1822 in Edo (today’s Tokyo), is still in operation today. The Yagyu Shinkage style was founded by the renowned military instructor of the Tokugawa clan. Starting with Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun, generations of shoguns and the Tokugawa clan are known to have studied this swordsmanship. Nine weapons are available for use against enemies, including double blades, oxtail swords, large swords, and odachi.

Bows and firearms require careful aiming to attack from a distance. Silent weapons such as bows can be used to stealthily take down unsuspecting enemies. While firearms are powerful, the sound of gunfire reveals your attack to your enemies. The timed firing of a handgun will stun enemies for an extended period of time. It can be used as an attack opportunity to lower an enemy’s Ki cap limit. Fire Pipes blow powerful flames. You can use this long-range weapon to set a group of enemies on fire or ignite a barrel of gunpowder to explode.

The Grappling Rope can be thrown at a latching point for instant leverage. You can also use it to pull distant enemies into battle. Keep the grappling line in mind to take control of the battlefield from a distance. While holding down R2, you can use the grappling line to grab a nearby gunpowder barrel and throw it at enemies. The barrel will explode, igniting enemies and inflicting epic damage.

Rise of the Ronin will be available on March 22nd for PlayStation 5.

Source: Gematsu, PlayStation Blog

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