Aragami released back in October 2016 and was an interesting and (mostly) serviceable stealth game which saw you, as an undead assassin, using your shadow powers to sneak or stab your way through guarded areas in a quest to save the imprisoned girl who summoned you. It’s been a while, but along with the release of a complete edition, which comes with the previously released DLC, Aragami has a new expansion.

Nightfall doesn’t follow the story of Aragami himself (and takes place before the original game), but instead that of two shadow assassins who are out to find a mysterious alchemist and “bring back a long lost companion”. You can choose either of the characters to play as – Hyo or Shinobu – though neither have any unique abilities, so it’s really just a decision based on who you think is cooler.

Your companion does stay with you, invisible until you open a door or utilise one of the special abilities, however in single player your gameplay is unhindered (and, conversely, unaided) by the other character. This is different if you make use of the co-op, however, as you can work together to deal with the levels’ challenges.

If you have played Aragami before, then you know what to expect with this expansion – it is essentially more of the same. You stealth your way through levels patrolled by guards, using your shadow powers to hide and kill at your discretion. The most vital of your powers is the shadow leap. With this you can teleport yourself to different points on the ground, on top of buildings, through gates, etc, as long as the target you are aiming at is in darkness (it won’t work if you try to teleport yourself next to a light source). If you can’t find a dark patch to leap to, you can create a temporary one with Shadow Creation, allowing you to bypass tricky situations, providing you have the quick thinking and skill.

These two abilities aren’t just used for getting you to new ground or speeding through the map, but are essential for travelling unseen and are very useful for taking out guards. If a guard is moving towards you, for example, you can always leap behind him and take him out, or quickly move into cover if killing isn’t a viable option. As with Aragami, the dynamic that’s created by this is one of “fear the light, stick to the shadows” – perhaps not a unique concept as far as stealth games go, but Aragami inspires this in a literal sense as well, with light actually draining your power and some contraptions being deadly.

There are a few new abilities within Nightfall, with the returning and essential Kage, which turns you invisible for a brief duration, but aside from this the list of powers is limited in comparison to the original game. Your abilities have limited uses until replenished at shrines or by using your special consume power, but all are fairly essential depending on the situation. A cooperative power, used automatically in solo play, is Twin Shadow. You can mark foes for your co-op buddy to leap to and take out, but in solo your AI partner will automatically appear behind a tagged enemy and kill them instantly. A very useful power for taking out annoying patrolling guards (archers specifically), however difficult to pull off without being seen in built up areas.

Secondly there is the Explosive Kunai, which you can throw on the ground near enemies, or even at enemies, to then explode and take out all nearby. This is the easiest way of dealing with groups of guards, but obviously it isn’t very stealthy. The other way, which is a tad more subtle, is to use a smoke bomb and either run in and kill them all up close or just run past and leave them to confusedly search as you escape. You also have a new shadow power animation, so instead of the dragon leaping out of the ground, you have a tiger – using this requires you to be behind enemies and takes longer to pull off than a normal stealth kill, however it will refill your powers if you’ve used some.

As I said, the gameplay is nothing new and this expansion simply serves as a new story for those who want to hop back in. And while the story is compelling to an extent, it is also very short and ultimately unimpressive. The full game lasts only 4 chapters, and for those that were good at the original game, this isn’t going to last you long. Of course, as with Aragami, you can play each level to get awards such as no kill runs, total kill runs, getting all the collectables, etc, but if replaying levels isn’t your thing, then there’s not much content here. The game does offer something of a challenge, though, so it’s not a walk in the park, however at some points it felt as though most of this challenge was due to overcrowded levels. There being far too many guards is less of a fun, creative challenge in my opinion, and it’s clear that these situations are better dealt with in co-op (perhaps the levels were designed more so for this?).

Having said all that, it isn’t an expensive expansion, and if you enjoyed Aragami then you are sure to enjoy this as well. More content for the game isn’t a bad thing, and the core gameplay of Aragami is good enough that I feel it deserves it. For those who haven’t played the original this marks a good time to give it a shot (you can read our original review here), as along with the expansion comes the Shadow Edition which is a bundle of all the released DLC and original game.



Author

John Little
John Little

I started gaming with the release of the PS1 - Crash Bandicoot and Ridge Racer Revolution being the first 'real' games I ever set eyes on - and have been enthralled with the medium ever since. I particularly love strategy and horror games, the sort offered by titles such as Total War and Silent Hill, though I also have a soft spot for a good RPG. I studied Journalism at university in the hopes of progressing into writing about games, but my 'real job' is as a postman. You'll most likely find me covering indie games as I'm always on the look out for interesting little titles, and generally I stick to the PC and PS4 platforms. I'm not interested in MMOs or really any kind of online game, and I have an unusual and frankly worryingly expensive obsession with collecting gaming guide books, but aside from that I like to think I'm a well rounded average gamer. Find me on twitter @JohnLittle29