Embracing Duality: Leverage Your Advantage in Assassin’s Creed: Shadows

Imagination is king as the video-game industry continually develops new novel applications for its products. ‘Assassin’s Creed: Shadows’ by Ubisoft, another early standout at this year’s Summer Games Fest, demonstrates an innovation with dual protagonists — Yasuke, a powerful samurai, and Naoe, a cunning shinobi — to appeal to different players’ preferences, marked by the emphasis on strategic gameplay in feudal Japan.

Yasuke vs. Naoe: A Tactical ADVANTAGE

The Art of Combat and Stealth

And this duality, that you play as – be – Yasuke and Naoe is the most advantageous part of gameplay. You can choose to do everything up front and face-to-face or be the ninja cat, sneaking around, not even leaving a shadow for your enemies to strike at.

Unleashing the Samurai’s Might

Yasuke is the brute force approach, towering over his foes and strong enough to get through any locked door. Added to his arsenal are a katana, a kanabo (a club or polearm) and a matchlock pistol, which can be used to tear through the opposition with total devastation. His gameplay is highlighted by an armour destruction system that the player can manipulate, solidifying the idea that physical power should be used to overwhelm a problem.

Mastering the Shinobi’s Subtlety

Whereas Noe’s approach is more of a blunt-force attempt to overwhelm, with a straight-on approach and a few shuriken, Naoe operates through an acute awareness of the environment: when to strike and when to take the offensive; her kusarigama, kunai, shuriken and smoke bombs all demonstrate the advantage of tactical flexibility and planning. Naoe blending seamlessly into the shadows or dodifying away from enemy attacks represents the very embodiment of the ninja.

Perspectives That Enrich Gameplay

The Cultural Tapestry of Feudal Japan

‘Assassin’s Creed: Shadows’ embodies this playability, but also the whole confusing world of Feudal Japan. Yasuke’s outsider identity and Naoe’s evident decency enable players to tap into the dilemmas of the age, to experience them through the eyes of people who see them from very different perspectives. Naoe, a native of the ninja heartland of Iga, and Yasuke, the African samurai, are trying to straddle the borderline between revenge and retributive justice. Yet, as the game’s story unfolds, it is hard not to feel sympathy for them both, to root for their cause. This is where the advantage in terms of storytelling is.

Experiencing Diversi... [+1586 characters]

Jun 11, 2024
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