After 10-20 hours in the game - Bull and Butterfly dead - I can say the game is immensely demanding. It has little in common with Dark Souls, in fact, but comparisons are inevitable so let’s put it this way: imagine Dark Souls but twice as fast, and you HAVE TO parry every second blow… There’s no one universal defense mechanic (like dodge is in Dark Souls or Devil May Cry) - you have to master them all: dodge, dodge jump, block, parry, thrust stomp, preemptive strike, etc. Use the wrong one at the wrong time - with a fraction of a second to react - and you’re often dead. So almost every single miniboss has a very long learning curve (like the goddamn purple ninja guarding the raven feather prosthetic - he alone took me 1-2 hours…) and this is something you must get used to or leave the game alone. But, sadly, in some places it feels like RNG. It’s not a game for manually unsound, impatient or nervous players. Default difficulty is still easier than Ninja Gaiden on nightmare but not by far (!)
Another thing that’s surprising is that there’s very little RPG in it. It’s not Dark Souls. Not even Bloodborne. The level of complexity in character progression is comparable to DMC or God of War. You don’t collect and match gear or figure out what to do with the stats. The sword, a few different hands for special attacks and consumables - this is all. It’s a 100% action game. But on the other hand, compared to some of the top titles in the genre, the number of offensive combinations seems to be on the low side. If you’re looking for a Ninja Gaiden this is not it. It’s more like Dark Souls in this department but with just one weapon instead of a few dozen. However, the moves that do exist seem to be really well balanced and the game does not feel simplistic at all.
So is it worth your money? Absolutely. Best game in a while. The only thing that can compete now is the new God of War.
Besides, I’d love this game to succeed just to show the industry that the plague of banality bullshit like Assassin Creed should not be allowed to spread.