You know a game is addicting when you enjoy starting over on levels to get a perfect score. The moment I got spotted or missed a particular cue in Aragami I relished the opportunity to go back and give it another shot. Whether it was turning a corner too soon, only to see a guard ready to take me down, or maybe it was silently jumping from rooftop to rooftop trying to avoid any confrontation whatsoever. Aragami's mechanics were always rewarding enough to make me try things again in a different way. Aragami is a particular kind of stealth game that doesn't come around very often. The way it looks, the way it plays, the overall genre isn't touched on very often. A pure stealth game is hard to come by nowadays. So here are the X things that make Aragami worth your time.
1.) Pure Stealth
As I previously mentioned stealth games like these are few and far between. The last one I can remember was Mike Bithell's Volume. Certain games like Dishorned or Uncharted have stealth elements, but If you get caught in those games, it's easy to just mow everyone down within a few seconds. In Aragami if you get caught it's pretty much over. You either run or die. Fighting is a lost cause. The best way to take down enemies (if you want to take them down at all.) is to approach from above or behind. And leaving those bodies strewn across the map can come back to bite you once other guards discover them. The use of shadows and your character's powers are an excellent way to build your strength throughout the game without ever making him more "powerful" if that makes any sense. His powers grow and make things more capable but avoiding the bad guys is always your priority
2.) Skill Tree
Almost every game has skill trees now. But they can be hit and miss when it comes to what you'd like to pursue. Certain games have distinct paths, and others are all over the place regarding importance. Aragami walks that line of having a select few absorbing powers. Some of my favorites being invisibility and the ability to hide bodies once you kill someone that way if no guards can find the kill. And all of these skills are kept in check by your ability to stay hidden. As long as you're in the shadows, you can use those powers as often as you'd like. But as soon as you get caught in the moonlight or a spotlight your powers drain away fast.
3.) Set up/Setting
I didn't go into this game expecting a story. I felt it might be similar to Volume where it's a story you have to look for. But Aragami has so much style and art to its production that it's hard not to get invested. The Artstyle comes off as painterly but also clean like minimalist vector art. Set free by a captured princess you need to release her before the morning comes because once the sun comes up, you'll disappear. Thats as deep into the plot as I'll go, but it's a fascinating story about betrayal and redemption all fit inside an addictive Stealth game
4.) Lots to do
For a somewhat small game, each map is packed with objects to collect enemies to take down or secrets to find. It's fun wandering around the map and bumping into things that aren't part of the main quest. Of course, if you'd like to run through the story that's also a fine way to go about it. You might end up missing certain powers and upgrades because of it, so I'd recommend a little exploration around these beautifully stylized maps.
Aragmi feels stiff at first. Navigating quickly is tough. Especially coming off much faster games like Horizon or Not A Hero for me. But that's their for your benefit. If you try and do anything quickly without thinking it through it could very well go horribly and end up being discovered and killed within a matter of seconds. Patience and careful planning can work wonders on these maps. Guards have walk routes so taking the time to watch them and waiting for things to play out is always a more viable option, more so than going through it sword at the ready.
Aragami is what the stealth genre was built on. Skill trees, cool abilities, and multiple ways to do things are just bonus amenities to an already fun genre. If stealth is your thing or you're just looking for a change of pace compared to the AAA games all releasing at the same time Aragami is certainly worth your time.