Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven - PS2

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Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven (PS2)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Strategy: Stealth
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: K2 Soft. Co.: Activision
Publishers: Activision (GB)
Released: 7 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only
Accessories: Memory Card


Covert sneaking around and performing silent-but-deadly assassinations are all the rage in games these days - thanks, in part, to a number of PSX games in the 1990's that introduced the much-vaunted 'stealth' element. One such title was Tenchu - a ninja-based adventure that cast players into the dark side of feudal Japan. Now in its third instalment, the series finally reaches the PlayStation 2, in the form of Wrath of Heaven, and brings with it a host of new stealth attacks, weapons and an enhanced fighting engine. Thanks to these new additions, players can now master a range of new combo attacks, including new stealth moves and mid-air attacks, all played out with an incredible level of detail.

Set one year after the events of the original Tenchu game, Wrath of Heaven allows players to reprise their role as Rikimaru or as two other characters. As in the first two games, players deploy a combination of cunning and strategy to prowl rooftops and overcome daunting odds with deadly stealth attacks. As a Ninja, players engage in espionage, theft and assassination, whilst exploring specially designed environments that allow multiple solutions to a given obstacle.

Throughout the game, players encounter a range of uniquely crafted levels, which allow them to determine the most efficient way to achieve mission goals. Improved enemy AI adds to the challenge, forcing players to think on their feet. In addition, each level features three unique enemy placements to keep players guessing, as well as multiple conclusions, based on decisions made earlier in the game.

A nice feature in the game is its multiplayer option. Players can play with a friend on five unique multiplayer levels in both co-operative, team-orientated missions and 'Hunter-Hunted' death match modes. The abilities earned in single-player action can be transferred to the multiplayer games in order to strengthen attacks.

It's nice to see one of the original stealth-em-ups making a return to the gaming scene, complete with visual makeover and well thought-out multiplayer features. Ever wanted to be a ninja? Try this out for a bit of a training exercise.