Stealth titles aren’t exactly a dime a dozen these days but even within its genre, Lince Works’ Aragami 2 is fairly unique. As a follow-up to the stylish 2016 title, it sees players stepping into the shoes of the Aragami once again, this time in a battle against an overwhelming foe. Releasing on September 17th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC, here are 14 things you need to know before taking the plunge.
Aragami are powerful warriors who can use Shadow Essence for manipulating the shadows in various ways. However, following the Akatsuchi Empire’s conquest of the Rashomon Valley, many Aragami have been enslaved. It also doesn’t help that they suffer from a disease that slowly erodes their body and mind. As Kurai, a reborn warrior in the Kurotsuba Clan, players must venture forth to rescue their kin, discover a possible cure for their affliction and battle the Akatsuchi along the way. Despite having some references to the first game, Aragami 2 offers a new story set 100 years later in the same world and can seemingly be enjoyed on its own.
In between missions to free your kin, you’ll be exploring Kakurega Village. This acts as your home base and is full of characters to speak to, including other Aragami. You’ll take on jobs that go outside the scope of simple assassination, including surveying lands, checking supplies and even rescuing people (which require revisiting areas more than once). Completing these tasks will yield upgrades and eventually tougher missions. New vendors will also start to appear, like a dye merchant.
The main antagonist in the story is the Akatsuchi, the Empire of Fire that’s already cemented its rule. However, in its official FAQ for the game, Lince Works revealed that there were three factions, each with unique enemy units that acted differently and had their own strengths and weaknesses. Whether these are factions within the Akatsuchi or other threats entirely is unknown but players will need to adapt accordingly to defeat them.
Free Running and Movement Options
Fortunately, Aragami 2 gives you a lot more options for tackling missions. Free running is now a thing and players can double-jump, dash and even use the signature Shadow Leap in mid-air. Though an indicator will still be provided when in the shadows to indicate your cloaked state, you’re more free to venture into the light, explore levels and slay foes.
As one completes missions and earns experience, they’ll level up and gain Ability Points that can be used to unlock new Shadow Powers. A number of very interesting options become available, like creating smoke from certain lamps to blind foes or use as cover, and an execution that allows for throwing your weapon at an enemy and teleporting to their location. You can also create a decoy shade that will garner attention, and Shadow Pull to pull an unalerted enemy towards you to knock them out (and which can also be used for pulling unconscious or dead bodies as well).
If you’re spotted and can’t get away, then you can still fight your way out. Melee combat has been improved significantly and while you’re not super tanky, you can dodge and block attacks. The goal is to deplete an enemy’s stamina bar with attacks and, like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, deliver the killing blow once they’re staggered. While it’s not advised to take on all enemies in a straight-up brawl, combat is still pretty viable.
Various improvements have also been made to the enemy AI. Upon discovery, enemies will actively pursue you, coordinating with each other and traversing the environment – including climbing on top of walls and rooftops – to get you. Again, they’re also tough in direct combat so outsmarting them and employing the shadows will be the key to success.
Of course, the other major new feature in Aragami 2 is three player co-op. The first game supported up to two players and Lince Works felt that adding one more to the mix further increased the possibilities (four players was cited as being tougher to balance around). Players can designate more nuanced roles when approaching objectives – for example, one could be dedicated to melee combat and running interference while another is the more stealthy type and the third is focused on scouting and support. Since you’ll only be able to unlock roughly half of all abilities on hitting max level, these complementary roles will come in handy for tougher missions.
Customization plays a bigger role here than before, especially with co-op being more pronounced. This time, players will have 11 different armor sets to customize their character with. These are purely cosmetic in nature, don’t alter your gameplay and are divided into four categories – head, chest, pants and weapon – allowing you to mix and match parts freely. You can also dye each part separately for unique looks.
But surely armor has a function besides looking cool? Well, yes – you can slot in Runes which provide unique powers, though each armor piece can hold only one Rune. To obtain them, first you’ll need to unlock a Rune’s blueprint. Then you must speak to the blacksmith Sakura and purchase them. Not much has been revealed about what Runes can do, aside from providing “an extra edge in battle” or when being stealthy but there should be some interesting combinations to discover.
In terms of how long the game will be – since everyone will approach a stealth title in different ways – the developer intends to offer an average duration of 15 hours for general gameplay. The key words are “intend” and “general gameplay.” It’s possible that the main storyline could end up shorter than intended but that additional content outside of the “general gameplay” is greater. Adding in co-op, customization and whatnot, and the potential playtime could be even higher. We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out, especially since you’ll be revisiting areas several times to complete various jobs.
In terms of system requirements, Aragami 2 is pretty reasonable on the minimum end. An AMD FX-6100 or Intel i3-3220, 8 GB of AM and either a Radeon HD 7750 or GeForce GTX 650 are required. On the higher end, requirements become a bit heavier – it’s recommended to have a Ryzen 7 1700 or Core i7-6700K, 16 GB RAM, and a Radeon RX Vega 56 or GTX 1070 (even a GTX 1660 Ti will suffice). Only 11 GB of installation space is needed in both cases so that’s a plus.
4K Ultra HD on Xbox Series X/S and Smart Delivery
According to the game’s Microsoft Store listing, 4K Ultra HD and Smart Delivery are supported along with Xbox Series X/S optimization. However, Lince Works hasn’t outright announced the same for PS5 (or even confirmed 4K support for the PC version). Though it’s pretty much a given that the PS5 version should also have 4K support and a free upgrade option, we’ll still need more details to be sure.
Of course, another question mark arises with regards to cross-platform multiplayer. Back in September 2020, game designer and programmer David León confirmed on Reddit that Aragami 2 would support the same. However, on June 23rd this year, León said he “spoke too quickly” at the time. As it stands, cross-platform multiplayer can’t be confirmed on PlayStation platforms due to some “unique rules compared with other platforms.” And while it wasn’t outright confirmed for Xbox and PC at launch, it’s possible that both will support cross-play at the time, if not shortly after, with PlayStation consoles joining later.