It’s been a long time since Aragami was on anyone’s mind, having released way back in October 2016. Yet here we are with a brand new expansion for the game, packaged alongside an all-in-one re-release. I won’t be reviewing the base game as Kyle did that back in 2016, but I will be looking at the expansion. That being said, I have played the original release before going into Nightfall so that my experience would match most players.
Aragami: Nightfall is more of the same, and that’s not meant as a slight in any way. I really enjoyed the stealthy action in Aragami, and Nightfall delivers more in a somewhat refined fashion with a few new moves and some lore-expanding exposition.
If you’ve played the original game, you’ll know what to expect, though the game does still take you through the basics anyway. I suppose that’s fair enough given that the original game released a so long ago; a quick refresher on the game’s mechanics is probably a good idea.
Rather than expanding on the original game’s story in a forward fashion, Nightfall is a prequel set before the event’s of Aragami. For those who were left wondering at the end of Aragami, Nightfall fills in a few pieces and adds some more flavour to the overall lore of Aragami’s feudal Japanese setting.
There’s also new characters to play as, too, with Shinobu and Hyo taking up the roles of the game’s heroes. You’re free to choose who to play as, which is a nice touch, but the main reason for having two playable characters is so that you can go through the game’s four expansive levels in co-op. Is it the best way to enjoy the game? For me, no, I prefer to play by myself when it comes to story games, and even more so when tense stealth is involved. I did have a quick go with a mate and it worked fine, but it’s just not the same. You know?
Nightfall’s strength is in its gameplay. Sure it looks nice and all, but graphics only go so far. A highlight for me is that there’s not a single way to play Nightfall. Stealth is naturally encouraged and your abilities reflect this – and yes, you’ll still be warping to shadows – but if you want to go swinging your sword around, you’re free to do so. Unless you’re an accomplished player, though, you’ll find this approach to be more trouble than good. If you’re going to go nuts, at least take the time to get to grips with the relatively simple combat, but master your stealth abilities. They’re a life-saver when you’re in a tricky situation, and a fumble with the wrong buttons will send you packing.
The game’s levels are big enough to accommodate any playstyle, but they’re not so large that you’ll lose track of what you’re doing and where you’re going – a problem I often had in Aragami. And while there are only four levels, they’ll take you a fair bit of time to get through. For my first go through Nightfall I was done in around five hours. For the second and third runs, however, my play time increased. There are trophies up for grabs for doing a no-kills run and a kill-everything run, and both are challenging ways to tackle the game, though it’s not always fair.
Once problem I do have with the gameplay is the simple A.I. Sometimes they’re dumb enough to just watch you stab their mate in the neck and walk away, other times they’ll spot you before you even spot them. It’s an annoyance at times and some deaths did feel a little unfair, but getting through the game was worth it.
Another problem is how the game runs on PS4. It’s not terrible, but it’s not perfect. There are some areas that wobbles the frame rate – some areas more than others – but for the most part it’s good enough and I wouldn’t avoid the game on that alone. It should be noted that I played the game on a PS4 Slim, though I’ve heard from others it’s not much better on the PS4 Pro, so keep that in mind.
I’d say you’re looking at around 15 hours of content with the Nightfall expansion, providing you go for the challenges and trophies, but easily more if you and a mate buddy up for some co-op sneaking. And that’s only for Nightfall; if you get the Aragami: Shadow Edition, you’re getting the base game and a the expansion for a decent price. Worth a look while Sam Fisher polishes his goggles…
Aragami: Nightfall PS4 Review
Aragami: Nightfall is a solid expansion on an already brilliant game. You're getting more of the same, but second servings of good stuff isn't a bad thing in my book. Now, a proper sequel, please?
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.
Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella.