It would seem that Sega is tiring of its favourite ninja Shinobi, with today’s announcement that Sega Europe will be publishing Tenchu: Fatal Shadows, K2 Studio’s and From Software’s next episode in the stealthy assassin series. The Tenchu brand has had its ups and downs since the release of the original on PSOne back in 1998; it started well, fell from grace in its sequel and managed to claw back some of its reputation with the more recent Return From Darkness.
The premise will remain the same for this PS2 follow-up, composed mainly of sneaky sword based creepery in an ancient Japanese setting. Enhancements to the formula promised for this outing include “significant visual upgrades” and a “slew of new move sets”: one of which is the fairly standard corpse-hiding thing and another of which is being able to breathe underwater (making Tenchu the world’s first Mer-ninja).
The series has probably had its day, certainly in terms of originality, but it will be interesting to see if Sega and co. can provide something to rival the current kings of the genre with a liberally applied sheen of Sega polish.