As a die-hard fan of the Soulslike genre and an ardent admirer of Team Ninja, I was eagerly anticipating “Rise of the Ronin.” With their remarkable track record in games like “Nioh” and “Wo Long,” I had high expectations for their latest release. Despite not receiving widespread acclaim, “Rise of the Ronin” delivers an engaging and immersive experience that fans of the genre will truly appreciate. Here’s why this game deserves more recognition on the PS5.

The Pros of “Rise of the Ronin”

1. Immersive Historical Setting

“Rise of the Ronin” transports players to a vividly recreated Japan during the Bakumatsu period, a time of significant change and conflict. The game’s historical detail is impressive, offering a rich and immersive backdrop that draws players into its world. From bustling cities to serene countryside, the environments are beautifully crafted, making exploration a joy. The attention to detail in architecture, clothing, and social dynamics of the era enhances the authenticity and immersion.

2. Deep and Satisfying Combat System

As a Team Ninja enthusiast, the combat system in “Rise of the Ronin” did not disappoint. The game features a multi-layered combat system that balances speed and power, reminiscent of their previous titles “Nioh” and “Wo Long.” The Ki system, which rewards precise timing and strategic play, makes a return. Successfully pulling off counters and critical strikes feels incredibly satisfying. Additionally, the ability to switch between different fighting styles mid-battle adds a strategic layer, allowing players to adapt to various enemies and situations.

3. Rich RPG Elements

“Rise of the Ronin” offers extensive RPG elements that allow players to customize their characters in depth. You can allocate Skill Points across various skill trees, enhancing attributes and combat abilities to fit your playstyle. The loot system is robust, providing a steady stream of rewards that keep the gameplay loop engaging. Whether you prefer stealth, ranged attacks, or brutal melee combat, the game offers plenty of options to tailor your experience.

4. Varied and Engaging Side Activities

Beyond the main storyline, “Rise of the Ronin” offers a wealth of side activities that contribute to character progression and world-building. These range from eliminating bandits to participating in various challenges and finding hidden cats. These activities provide valuable rewards like Skill Points and Silver Coins, encouraging exploration and interaction with the game world. They add depth to the game, making it more than just a series of battles.

The Cons of “Rise of the Ronin”

1. Technical Challenges

Despite its many strengths, “Rise of the Ronin” faces technical issues that can detract from the experience. Performance can be inconsistent, with frame rate drops occurring in more populated areas or during graphically intense moments. The game offers multiple graphical modes, but each has its trade-offs, making it difficult to find a perfect balance between performance and visual quality. These technical hiccups can be particularly distracting during critical moments in combat, where smooth performance is essential.

2. Repetitive Side Quests

While the side activities add value, they can become repetitive over time. Many quests follow a similar pattern of fetch tasks and combat encounters, which might feel monotonous for players familiar with other expansive open-world games like “Assassin’s Creed” or “The Witcher 3.” This repetitiveness can detract from the overall experience, especially for those looking for more variety and depth in side missions.

3. AI and Stealth Mechanics

The game’s AI can be hit or miss, sometimes failing to react appropriately to player actions. Enemies might overlook loud noises or not react to nearby disturbances, breaking immersion. While stealth is a viable option, it feels underdeveloped compared to other mechanics, occasionally leading to frustrating moments when the AI’s unpredictability undermines carefully planned strategies. Enhancing the AI’s responsiveness could significantly improve the stealth gameplay experience.


“Rise of the Ronin” is a complex and richly detailed action RPG that deserves more recognition. Its immersive setting, deep combat system, and robust RPG elements make it a standout title on the PS5. However, technical issues and some repetitive gameplay elements have likely contributed to its underrated status. For fans of historical settings and intricate combat mechanics, “Rise of the Ronin” offers a rewarding experience that is well worth exploring.

With future updates or a sequel, addressing the game’s technical shortcomings and adding more variety to its side quests could elevate “Rise of the Ronin” to the acclaim it truly deserves. For now, this underrated gem remains a testament to Team Ninja’s ambition and skill in creating captivating action RPGs.