Ninja Gaiden 3 – Review
The voice actor is almost certainly not English, his cockney twang too off-kilter and overstated. Regardless, he takes to the role with enthusiasm, backing away from ninja Ryu Hayabusa, gun dropped, mouth wagging with laboured pleas for mercy. The last man standing from a platoon of soldiers now twitching on a London pavement wet with rain and blood, he hopes to appeal to Hayabusa’s humanity with talk of a daughter back home and the fact he only took the job for the money.
His back thuds against a truck. There’s nowhere left to retreat and nothing left to say. A giant button icon flashes up on screen, indicating that control has switched from the cut-scene director back to your hands. The game side-glances at you as if to say: ‘What you gonna do?’
It’s an illusion of choice, of course. There is no decision to be made, no capacity for mercy. You must press X to eviscerate. There is no other way. Place your controller on the floor just to see how long these two men will stand in quivering silence while the rain pitter-patters around their puppet bodies, and you’ll be waiting forever. All that happens is that the button pulses ever more feverishly on screen, as if to say: ‘Finish it, coward!’
All that is left to be done is finish it then, not through choice but through a lack of choice, despite the pretence that there’s another outcome. It’s irritating not because the soldier gurgles his way through the death scene like Dick Van Dyke spearing himself on a Chim Chim Cher-ee broom handle, but because if a game is going to force you to play like an a**hole, it should have a stronger reason for doing so than ‘You’re a ninja, duh.’ Ninja Gaiden 3 has none.
Read the rest of the review over at Eurogamer here.