Aragami 2 Review – Shadow Dancer

Interpreting stealth as a power fantasy, Aragami 2 deploys the shadows as a literal weapon, not merely as somewhere to hide. One ability discharges tendrils of black mist from your fingertips to grab a nearby enemy and fling them headfirst into your fist, knocking them unconscious. Such powerful abilities emphasize a proactive approach to stealth that’s less about waiting for a window of opportunity to open and more about knocking a hole in the wall. With a lean, stylish aesthetic complementing minimalist mission design, Aragami 2 succeeds in making you feel like a daring and deadly shadow warrior, even if it eventually falls victim to repetition and a lack of variety.

Afflicted by a mysterious force that corrodes the body and devours the mind (most people would call this “getting old”), the aragami are gifted with shadow essence which grants them supernatural abilities. They call it a curse, but to be honest it’s hard to see the downside. The most basic of these abilities lets them briefly assume a shadow form and dash unseen across open ground, grapple up onto the roof of a building, or down to the cliff ledge below. Combined with a double-jump, the ability enables you to fling yourself around a level with abandon, traveling swiftly to bypass enemies, move in for the kill, or make a speedy getaway.

Movement in this mode is limited by a stamina meter, but it’s a generous one, allowing you to string together several jumps and dashes before requiring a moment’s pause to regenerate. Traversal through an area tends to be a matter of grappling to high ground, quickly surveying the surroundings, then executing clean and decisive strikes, whether you’re nimbly darting through gaps in enemy patrol routes or eliminating them one by one. There’s nothing stopping you from spending half an hour hanging off the roof of a pagoda or squatting in some waist-high reeds before making your move, if that’s what you want to do. It’s more that the tools at your disposal, and the ease and speed with which you can utilize them, better encourage the fast, fluid approach.

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