Back in 2016 when I reviewed the original release of Aragami, I thought it was an interesting game held back by an ill-conceived upgrade system and an onslaught of performance issues. The game still had a beautiful aesthetic and unique abilities based around shadow manipulation though, and it would have been great to see the game really shine with some extra polish. In the time since then, the development team has been aiming to do just that, putting out patches and content updates to improve a lot of the issues that initially plagued the game. Their biggest addition to the game comes in the form of Nightfall, a new story expansion released this week that adds a new campaign, new abilities, and a kings bounty of bug fixes to the stylish stealth game.
Aragami: Nightfall is a brand new prequel campaign, set before the events of the original story. It mainly focuses on the new adventures of Hyo and Shinobu, a pair of fashionable shadow assassins who are seeking out a mysterious Alchemist. The campaign also serves to tie up some loose ends left behind by the base game story, though.
Hyo and Shinobu alone possess a lot more personality than anyone in the original story had, your silent shadowy protagonist included. I had a lot more fun following their adventures thanks in part to the surprising depth of their characters, and the wide variety of mission objectives I had to follow throughout the campaign.
A lot of that fun also came from the new shadow abilities that Nightfall’s protagonists have at their disposal. You can throw Shadow Grenades to blind groups of enemies, or take a more offensive route with explosive kunai that drop their initial target and then detonate to take even more enemies with them. Finally, Twin Shadow is an addictive shadow power that lets you target any enemy within your sight and then call your partner in with a tap of the button, teleporting them to instantly take out your foe.
Now, while the latest patch notes for Aragami tout the fact that performance is improved across the board and framerate should stay be “averaging 40-60 fps on PS4”, I still ran into my fair share of hitches and slowdowns while I was playing the Nightfall campaign. They weren’t as bad as the issues during my initial playthrough of the base game, but there were still countless times that the action on screen would stutter and stop for seemingly no reason.
If you haven’t checked in with Aragami since launch, another cool addition that made it’s way to the game some time ago were unlockable skins for the base game. Completing challenges or milestones will let you unlock alternate colors or costumes for the protagonist to equip, and you can use them in singleplayer or in co-op multiplayer. It’s a fun addition that helps add a little replayability to the game and could go a long way for some people.
Aragami: Nightfall adds a wealth of new missions and stories to Aragami that are worth checking out if you missed the game the first time around, and doubly worth checking out if you never picked it up at all. Some performance issues and technical faux pas still affect the game, but it’s overall a much more engaging experience than it was back in 2016 and worth giving a go if you’re at all a fan of classic stealth games.