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Chronicles of 2 Heroes edit

You don’t need to wait until November for a game that lets you play as both a samurai and a ninja

Home » Features » You don’t need to wait until November for a game that lets you play as both a samurai and a ninja

If you’re like us, you’re very much looking forward to the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed Shadows. After all, not only is it the latest entry in a series that always delivers an engaging open world, but this time it’s set in Japan, with players able to take control of both a samurai and a ninja. It’s basically the Assassin’s Creed we’ve all been waiting for.

There is, however, already a game set in Japan that allows you to play as both a samurai and a ninja, although its gameplay is a marked departure from that of Assassin’s Creed. Its name? Chronicles of 2 Heroes: Amaterasu’s Wrath.

Technically, Chronicles of 2 Heroes: Amaterasu’s Wrath is a Metroidvania, with a large interconnected world for you to explore, and skills to acquire that make backtracking a good idea from time to time. Its moment-to-moment gameplay, however, makes it feel more like an action-platformer – something like a Shinobi game with added depth.

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Image: Infinity Experience

Central to the gameplay are Kensei and Ayame, a samurai and a ninja that are also brother and sister. You can switch between them with the press of a button, which is important because they both have unique skills to offer that will enable you to overcome the challenges ahead of you. Kensei, the samurai, can’t jump, for example, but he can dash forward with his sword. Ayame, on the other hand, can jump, multiple times even, but can only attack by throwing kunai which are in limited supply.

Related: The best samurai games you can play right now

Needless to say, you’ll find yourself switching between the two pretty much constantly, using Ayami to negotiate platforms and Kensei to do the brunt of the fighting. There’s almost a puzzle aspect to some areas as well, with you needing to use the traversal skills of both characters to successfully negotiate moving platforms, and more, at speed.

Of course, as you progress through the game, Kensei and Ayame also pick up more skills to add to their repertoire. Kensei gains the ability to slash downwards, for example, which not only opens up access to new areas, but can also be used to trigger the fall of stalactites, perhaps useful for damaging enemies in a crowded area. Throw in health upgrades and other secrets to discover, and you have a game where going off the beaten path is worthwhile.

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Image: Infinity Experience

There are some elements of Chronicles of 2 Heroes: Amaterasu’s Wrath that might irritate you, though. For one, a face button has to be used to instantly switch between Kensei and Ayame, which is pretty unintuitive considering you also need to use face buttons to perform actions such as attack and jump. It would have been better assigned to a shoulder button or trigger, and there’s no way to remap it. Also, the game’s soundtrack becomes repetitive very quickly.

Still, if you’re after a game where you can play as both a samurai and a ninja, switching between the two with just the push of a button, Chronicles of 2 Heroes: Amaterasu’s Wrath is well worth checking out. Its gameplay is a far cry from that offered by the likes of Assassin’s Creed, but Metroidvania fans will lap it up, as well as those who enjoy classic action-platformers.

Chronicles of 2 Heroes: Amaterasu’s Wrath is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

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