MARK OF THE NINJA REVIEW
Klei have had a mixed past, with Shank looking fantastic, but not playing quite so well. Does a move from over-the-top action to stealth magically fix the studio’s past sins?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Nov 13, 2012 14:44 (Nov 13, 2012 14:44)
Mark uses Klei’s signature style, but the game is much darker, both in tone and colour palette. Sometimes the lack of visual variety compared to the Shank games can seem like a bit of a drag, but overall, Klei’s usual exceptional artwork holds up extremely well. It looks like you’re a bad-ass cartoon ninja, and the game animates just as insanely well as all the studio’s other games to boot, which is perfect when you’re a graceful assassin.
The music, whilst perhaps too stereotypically Asian still suits the game very well, and adds a strange amount of peace to an otherwise very bloody game. The voice acting is perhaps a level below most retail games still, but it’s not too bad, and shows just how much some of these indie developers are catching up with the big boys in terms of production standards.
"Mark of the Ninja" is a big step up from Klei, and at moments, is one of the best stealth games ever made. You feel so powerful and yet so fragile at the same time- a giddy high that 3D stealth games have so often failed to replicate at all. Yet the B-movie ninja vs. corporation plot and overly-long levels do bring the game down a little bit, which could have also benefitted from a little more visual variety. Either way, Mark is one of my favourite arcade games of the year, and is a significant step up over most of the year’s albeit pretty miserable Summer of Arcade titles, and is well worth your points.
+ Great visual style
+ Feel of power
+ Lots of ways of completing a level
- Seriously tough
- Story is hit-and-miss
- Levels are too long