Ninja Gaiden 3 is out today for PS3 and Xbox 360. Team Ninja Leader Yosuke Hayashi answered a few of our questions about the game.
From all accounts, there has been a focus on modernizing the series with this installment. For instance, the shift in focus on difficulty. Can you talk a bit about balancing the difficulty of the past games with the expectations of modern gamers?
In NG3 we didn’t just go on and lower the difficulty level. We have implemented a system we call “Play Styles”. In this day and age the way people play games differs and we wanted to give each player an entry point into NG3 that suits the way they play games.
You’ve also put a greater focus on the consequences of the player’s actions. Was that another example of the intent to make a more modern, immersive game that goes beyond hack and slash?
We really wanted to link the gameplay and the player’s emotion. In a lot of action games you’ll see the gameplay and cutscenes broken up and used to tell the story. In NG3 we wanted to link the action and story into one seamless experience to give players a better experience.
What other new elements in the game are you most excited about?
The biggest thing has to be the concept of the Japanese dark hero and the experience of that. Aside from all the action, there will be many different things and events that await Hayabusa. In these we really wanted to have players thinking about what he thinks in these situations and what choices he makes, and really have players feel a part of Hayabusa as he executes these. In the end, as creators of the game, we are really looking forward to how everyone will feel about his choices as actions.
The new game will feature an online multiplayer mode, a first for the series. How has the Ninja Gaiden gameplay translated to multiplayer?
We have customized the NG action engine to fit the online mode. What we want to do is use Ninja Gaiden 3 to demonstrate that online multiplayer and deathmatch is not something that shooters can only do. We want to show that action games can have fun and immersive online experiences.