Arashi: Castles of Sin exclusive to Playstation VR launched this week, bringing with it a distinctive atmosphere of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins.
Set in feudal Japan, you play as a shenobi assassin named Kenshiro, but the real star of the show is Kenshiro’s faithful dog, Haru (aka Dave). Haru accompanies you on your missions and is a useful tool when it comes to distracting enemies, but this wonderfully fluffy dog is at his best when you return to your family dojo.
In this hub between missions, you can pet and pet Haru for as long as you want, something that often triggers some super cute animations. Plus, you can even play fetch with Haru, though as you’ll see at the beginning of this week’s VR Corner, that mechanic can be more than a little buggy at times.
However, the video below isn’t just 30 minutes of me playing fetch (although I could totally live with that), as you’ll also be able to see me sneaking my way through the game’s opening tutorial area and the first level.
I’ve only played a couple hours of Arashi: Castles of Sin so far, but the first few levels, which are miniature sandboxes, point to a game that will give you a lot of freedom in how you approach your goals.
Will you use your grappling hook to reach hidden routes at the top of the building and shoot your bow or will you enter through the main doors and put your dog in one of the guards before engaging another in a head-to-head duel? ? It is completely up to you and that is what makes Arashi feel so exciting to play.
The game doesn’t give you the same sense of freedom as something like The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, but the fact that there is room for exploration and experimentation really adds to the immersion.
You also have many tools at your disposal, from a katana and a dagger, to a bow and shuriken stars, and of course, your best friend, Haru. But, not everything is cherry blossoms and matcha, because the balance of arms sometimes feels bad.
When using ranged weapons, you can instantly kill enemies from the safety of a group of reeds. The projectiles have a good dose of auto aim so they almost always hit the target and this makes stealth focus feel almost like a cheat mode at times.
Sword fighting, on the other hand, seemed pretty clunky to me and going head-to-head with enemies this way often led to me losing large chunks of health. It felt like it was due to some unresponsive stopping mechanics, but in all honesty it could be something that gets better over time as you get used to the way everything works.
Arashi isn’t the most polished of PSVR titles either. Haru has a habit of stumbling awkwardly on stage in a variety of gravity-defying ways, and the graphics, while perfectly useful, seem a bit basic and embarrassing, especially when looking at distant objects.
However, even with those reviews, I had a lot of fun with Arashi and am excited to see how much bigger and more challenging the later levels will get. It may not be as good as Hitman 3 in terms of VR stealth, but sneaking through the levels with Haru by your side is still a lot of fun!
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian’s VR Corner, you can catch up on my previous YouTube adventures at our Virtual reality playlist, where i have covered Valheim VR motion controls mod, Doom 3 VR Edition Y everything we know about PSVR 2 so far. You can also read our list of the best virtual reality games.