Turn-based Kill Bill.
I actually tried out and played the first few levels of Ronin when it was in Early Access on Steam about a month ago. I enjoyed what was there, and was excited to see the final product. Now that Ronin is officially released, I can say it is a fun, flashy game that will challenge players, and every once in a while frustrate them with some choice controls.
Ronin is a 2D stealth action game where combat is all handled through a turn-based system. The game constantly shows a tool tip reminding me that “this is not Gunpoint.” Since I have never played Gunpoint before, I have no frame of reference, but let me explain the game play in the best possible way I can.
Price I’d pay: $12.99
Ronin has players taking control of an assassin looking for revenge. Players will scale buildings, jump on rooftops, crash through windows, and quickly and (hopefully stealthily) kill bodyguards that protect the target. Traversal is all done in real time, but when entering combat the game will pause and players must then choose their next move. Each move is a turn, and committing to a move will progress time slightly. Luckily, enemies armed with guns and other deadly weapons will show their aim and where their shots will land for the upcoming turn, so knowing where to be and when to strike is very important, since one bullet will kill the assassin.
Utilizing the assassin’s skills and equipment will help out immensely in combat. Swing from a rope over an enemy, land on them to knock them down, jump to the enemy on a balcony to stop his attack, then while the first enemy is getting up, pounce on him to stab him in the back. It’s combat scenes like this that make the game a joy to play. When everything worked out the way I planned it, of course. Since I’m a badass ninja, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. After consecutive kills and knockdowns, I fill up a meter that will reward me with a limit break which allows me to take an extra free turn while all the enemies get nothing. It allows for some breathing room and some free kills at times.
Depending on how well they did, after each level the player is rewarded with skill points they can put into abilities and new equipment that will allow for easier kills and helpful strategies like a holographic decoy or a silent kill from the shadows. They add even more to the already strategic combat.
I’m trying to not get you killed.
There are a few things hindering this great free-flow turn based combat – the controls. At times, it works flawlessly, while other times it’s like they have a mind of their own. For instance, the game has a jump arc that will show me exactly where the assassin will jump and land for the next turn. Pretty standard stuff so far, but then, sometimes, when I committed to that jump, the assassin would do a slight bunny hop or jump in a way that ended with a bullet in the head. Inconsistencies like this really got on my nerves after about the fifth time of them happening. Luckily, the checkpoints are pretty generous.
For $13, players will get a pretty cool turn-based ninja game. It can be a little on the short side, and there are a few inconsistencies with controls that will crop up from time to time, but in the end, I had a really fun time with Ronin. The strategy involved in each encounter really makes for a fun and satisfying game that both RPG and strategy fan can enjoy. I say give it a shot.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.