Rise Of The Ronin Reviews Roundup: Mixed Bag Full Of Shuriken

Rise Of The Ronin Reviews Roundup: Mixed Bag Full Of Shuriken

Rise of the Ronin reviews have dropped. So far, critics paint a picture of an enjoyable open-world game that, in some respects, feels like it’s missing something extra to really get it over the line. Some outlets have described the title as “unambitious,” while others found the combat “addictive” and the storyline to be compelling – leading to a pretty mixed bag of mostly positive, if not a touch lukewarm, reviews.

Despite a rather varied response from critics – none of whom appear to find the game bad, but some of whom didn’t seem particularly evangelised by playing it – Rise of the Ronin is currently enjoying a ‘Generally Favourable’ score of 76 on Metacritic from 104 reviews. 

In our review of Rise of the Ronin, we described it as feeling like a “first draft of an open-world action game for Team Ninja,” with reviewer James Wood saying that for the right player, they’d enjoy the “solid combat foundation” amongst quests and loot. Wood said, however, that for the other players, the game might feel like “an almost nostalgic reminder of the systems and ideas we started to leave behind a generation ago.” You can read the full Kotaku Australia review here.

Let’s take a look at what the critics thought of Rise of the Ronin, from here in Australia and around the world. 

The Aussies

Rise of the Ronin
Image: Team Ninja

Checkpoint Gaming gave it an 8/10, saying, “Rise of the Ronin is another action-heavy success story for samurai heavy-hitters, Team Ninja. The world and setting are perfectly suited to enhance the roleplaying depth of the game’s design as your unnamed hero makes important choices in a divided world. Fun is always at the forefront, even if certain open-world tropes lead to rinse-and-repeat content. This is because the moment-to-moment gameplay, including both traversal and combat, remains delightfully engaging throughout. The dialogue can be hit or miss, but Rise of the Ronin still finds a way to satisfy, in both its big action setpieces as well as those tiny little details.”

GamesHub gave it four stars, and said, “Between…combat, and the narrative team’s deft approach to unravelling real life history, Rise of the Ronin is an incredibly compelling adventure. In its writing and approach to character, it allows for a dense exploration of the Edo period in Japan, never shying away from the political complexities and loyalties of the era. While its open world is fairly standard, and there’s a lack of true innovation in its exploration, on the strength of its storytelling, Rise of the Ronin is a triumph.”

Press Start gave it a 7, saying, “While still an apt Souls-like experience, Rise of the Ronin struggles to find its identity amongst Team Ninja’s catalogue. It feels like it’s being pulled in different directions, and starts to collapse under its own ambition in the third act. In saying this, the DNA of Nioh and Wo Long is palpable here, and I have no doubt that fans of Team Ninja will enjoy this first foray into open world design despite its shortcomings.”

Well Played gave it a slightly more lukewarm 6, saying, “Rise of the Rōnin‘s open world is vast and content-rich, but it’s a case of quantity over quality that’s only partially rescued by the unambitious but technically adequate combat.”

Player2 gave it an A-, and said, “Rise of the Ronin isn’t always great, but when it’s switched on, it’s really switched on. The combat system is dense and rewarding, the missions are exciting, and minus some missteps in the open world and with NPCs, this is still a tight experience that feels very good.”

The rest of the world

rise of the ronin
Image: Rise of the Ronin, Team Ninja

Our friends at Kotaku US gave the game an unscored review, saying, “For better and worse, Rise of the Ronin is Team Ninja’s “Greatest Hits” RPG. There might be a dud or two in the tracklist, but on the whole, this record—I mean, game—bangs.”

Screen Rant gave it 9/10, and said, “Rise of the Ronin is an immersive open-world historical epic that values its players’ time, and it’s also Team Ninja’s best game in recent memory. While it doesn’t completely reinvent the wheel, it feels like a noteworthy foot forward in terms of its design, complete with a dynamite combat system that combines the best parts of its last three action game releases.”

GamingTrend gave it a 90, saying, “Rise of the Ronin is nothing if not ambitious, and though that ambition leads to the game not being as polished as you may expect from a PS5 release, it still manages to tell an enthralling story in which your actions truly matter, while also utilizing a unique bond mechanic, an in-depth -albeit slightly repetitive – combat system, and so much to do you’ll find yourself losing sleep in an effort to complete just one more task. Those approaching Rise of the Ronin like the next Nioh will likely leave disappointed, but those who approach Team Ninja’s latest effort with an open mind and patience will find a gem that just happens to have a few rough edges.”

COGconnected scored it an 83, saying, “Rise of the Rōnin takes Team Ninja’s formidable combat system and lets it revel in a large open world. Swinging your blade has never felt better due to the number of options available to annihilate your opponent. Even though it follows the expectations of the genre and the visuals are mixed, each step in feudal Japan is exhilarating and pulsates with the spirit of the samurai.”

Eurogamer gave it four stars, saying, “Team Ninja borrows the open-world familiarity and historical tourism of Assassin’s Creed while adapting its own breed of hardcore action for the mainstream.”

Dexerto scored the game 4/5, and said, “Rise of the Ronin doesn’t offer the photo-realistic visuals of those seen in Ghost of Tsushima, nor does it provide the nail-biting difficulty of Sekiro. Instead, Team Ninja’s samurai epic successfully forges a new path – blending adrenaline-fueled combat, fun traversal mechanics, and a loveable cast of characters, wrapping them all together in a world ripe for exploration. Just like the ronin themselves, Team Ninja’s open-world game is not bound by the old masters of the past – instead, it rises to the challenge set by Sucker Punch and FromSoftware, forging its own path to stand firmly amongst them.”

NME also awarded it 4/5, saying, “Rise Of The Ronin has a slow start, but pays off immeasurably for those who stick with it. Few titles can match the frantic thrill of its sword fights, while Bakumatsu proves to be the perfect setting for a choice-driven narrative.”

Siliconera gave it an 8 and said, “Rise of the Ronin is a fusion of many influences aimed at creating something more than the sum of its parts. A game that stands tall, echoing the spirit of its predecessors while carving its own path.”

Dotesports scored it 7.5, saying, “While I don’t think Ronin reinvents the wheel, it has enough style and substance to make me feel like a slick samurai, and if that sounds fun to you, then it’s worth a go.”

Digital Trends gave it 3.5 stars out of 5, saying, “Rise of the Ronin has an excellent parrying system that makes its Soulslike gameplay feel challenging, yet fair compared to its contemporaries.”

IGN awarded the game a 7, saying, “Rise of the Ronin marries a cool setting, Team Ninja’s mastery of tough-but-fair combat, and smart RPG design, even when map clutter and junk loot can get in its way.”

GameSpot also gave it a 7, and said, “It’s not without some flaws, but I finished Rise of the Ronin with much more left to do, and even after 50 hours, I want to head back in to see what I’d missed and attempt to change history. The parts of the game that work more than balance out its weaker elements. And while it took a while to find the rhythm of Rise of the Ronin’s combat, its speed, complexity, and intensity make for some phenomenal fights that always feel great to win. Rise of the Ronin is a game that might take a bit to get good, but the commitment is worth it.”

But Why Tho? gave it 7/10, saying, “Ultimately, Rise of the Ronin will be a mixed bag for people. The combat will carry it for many, but the lack of variety in the open world, messy story, and performance issues will take away from others.”

PCMag gave it 3.5 stars, saying, “Rise of the Ronin offers an enticing, streamlined take on complex Team Ninja action, but it will prove somewhat disappointing if you’re a fan of mechanically rich combat.”

So there you have it, folks. Rise of the Ronin isn’t maybe the resounding success Team Ninja might have hoped for, but it’s certainly an enjoyable title even if it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, according to critics around the globe.

Are you planning to jump into the game? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Team Ninja

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