RONIN Is Real-Time On The Streets, Turn-Based In The Sheets

RONIN Is Real-Time On The Streets, Turn-Based In The Sheets

We’ll get this out of the way now: yes, RONIN owes a lot to Gunpoint, from its core design to its presentation. Now that we’re done with that, let’s move on and just talk about RONIN itself.

Evan got the chance to check it out at PAX, but we couldn’t actually play it ourselves; now we can, so I thought I’d write something up and show you how it plays.

It’s an upcoming stealth game with a key central feature: it’s real-time while you’re moving around, but any time you jump or enter combat, the action switches seamlessly to a turn-based system.

It’s a bit weird getting your head around at first, mostly because of the way jumping is controlled (you use the right thumbstick to line it up instead of just pressing a button), but once you’re on top of it, it doesn’t take long before you’re pulling off sweet action movie moves like smashing through glass windows, dancing through a hail of bullets and cutting a bunch of bad guys up with your sword.

To get an idea of how this all works, you can see me play the game’s first two levels (pretty terribly) below.

Despite my insistence on forgetting that you can’t jump again while already in mid-air, you can see the moves you’ve got available to keep combat fresh: aside from stabbing guards you can choke them with wire, use a decoy to lure them and in some cases throw your sword across the room as well (though you’ll manually have to go and get it).

What’s awesome about the way the combat is handled is that it’s not a test of dexterity or timing, but of puzzle-solving. Taking down one enemy is easy; taking down three at a time requires some careful planning and execution.

RONIN’s not out yet (this is a demo of the game), but you can try it out in spirit by playing the game jam original that the bigger Steam title is based on. Actually, you really should; it’s a little rougher, but I actually prefer its art style more than the one in the retail release.

Oh, and fingers crossed you can get the soundtrack, because as you can hear in the quieter moments in the above video, it’s great.