• Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Feb 5, 2009

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. 67
    Once you grow accustomed to the game's quirks, you soon find yourself in a rhythm where gamer instincts overcome sloppy game mechanics. Eventually, the thrill of starting a level -- unarmed -- and slowly but surely making your way over rooftops and underwater and over rafters becomes a guilty thrill.
  2. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins redefines the series in a videogame more reflexive and less action paced than its predecessors. It's difficult, it's engaging, it's exciting and it's very inmersive. If you want to act like a real ninja, this game is definitely for you.
  3. The further you delve into the game's entrancing plot and ninja sneakiness, the more you'll come to appreciate its high points. Plus, who doesn't love being a ninja assassin?
  4. Nice visuals, varied levels and a tight atmosphere - only the needlessly hard sword duels and some minor quirks prevent the Shadow Assassins from scoring higher.
  5. The simple Remote application – flicks to activate instant takedowns – is one of many wise steps taken away from the convoluted mechanics weighing down other current-gen entries. [Mar 2009, p.93]
  6. Tenchu is back in a vivid reproduction of the Ninja lifestyle, with dark and light in its path. It's a shame to be forced into awful first person sword fights, because the entire game is full of tension, quality and pathos. A good game for the Wii owners, that's for sure! Welcome back, Acquire!
  7. 40
    The series makes a blind leap into a new genre, only to fall flat on his face satisfying neither the fans of puzzle or action games.
  8. However, the clunky controls, frustrating camera, and broken combat all spoil the game's flow. [Apr 2009, p.86]
  9. Perhaps best of all, though, the developer has managed to create a graphically rich and detailed version of 13th Century Japan that’s positively dripping with atmosphere.
  10. The new and improved puzzle-styled Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a step in the right direction for the series. Nevertheless the game has little to do with the original Tenchu, making it a strange experience for the Tenchu veteran. But if you're open to it, Tenchu: Shadow Assassins will offer a very entertaining fifteen hours of ninja-power.
  11. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins isn’t a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. It gives gamers a unique experience that while not always successful, certainly gives its all.
  12. A rare slice of meaty action on the Wii. Plenty of sneaky entertainment to be had. [Mar 2009, p.68]
  13. It takes several hours of frustrating play to get to the more enjoyable sections of the game. [Mar 2009, p.116]
  14. Tenchu works best when taken as a puzzle game that requires you to master your ninja sense and proceed step-by-step, error-by-error, to every stage’s inevitable boss. As a “stealth action” game, however, it falls short of expectations.
  15. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins attempts to sneak in the footsteps of its stealthy predecessors but ends up a stumbling, bungling mess.
  16. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins gives the Wii’s family-friendly catalogue a welcome streak of red, but an ancient design and trifling motion controls make it an old dog of war. Many aspects of the game simply feel dated, but the series is definitely back to its stealthy fighting form. It’s going to take a lot more for it to achieve a successful contract kill.
  17. One of the best Tenchu sequels ever made.
  18. The graphics are average for the Wii, the sound is out of place, the sword fighting is Red Steel levels of bad and the fact that the bad guys will let their guard down when their buddies are lying dead at their feet all add up to a disappointing game. Hopefully Ubisoft goes back to the drawing board before releasing Tenchu 5.
  19. 80
    Despite some issues with regard to character control and the fact that some series staples like lots of rooftop exploration are oddly missing from the Wii sequel, the end product is still fun.
  20. Tenchu 4 aint a perfect game, but the gore makes it very interesting. Are you a fan of ninjas, stealth and diverse missions? If so, then Tenchu is your game!
  21. It could be a great stealth action game but inaccurate controls and offenses against stealth genre corrupt all the fun. [May 2009]
  22. Acquire has made its job innovating with a franchise that was almost set up to death. Our objective is to kill without being noticed, so we'll definitely use shadows to hide and to proceed with an instant murder. Quite impressive visuals lacking a better gameplay system is very much what we're going to find on the latest installment of Tenchu.
  23. The best Tenchu for years, even if it does still leave too many frustrating relics from the past.
  24. Even if it’s not nearly as bad as most of the recent Tenchu games, Stealth Assassins sadly fails in delivering a concrete upgrade to the series: developer Acquire wanted a game that both hardcore and casual gamers could get into, but the risk is that nobody will really like it.
  25. Really get into it and you'll spend weeks finding the perfect 'solutions". For everyone else, this is a rare actioner on Wii, and very competently handheld. [JPN Import; Mar 2009, p.58]
  26. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a game that will be welcomed by many: good attention to detail and largely well-implemented controls combine with a compelling story to create a terrific cinematic gaming experience.
  27. Shadow Assassins is a solid stealth title that can be both fun and frustrating, a mix of truly impressive features and clumsy missteps. [Feb 2009, p.88]
  28. The best Tenchu in ages and good fun for the most part but this is a series that badly needs a reinvention. [Mar 2009, p.76]
  29. 70
    Tough but flawed, Tenchu is still an enjoyable mature experience on the Wii.
  30. Wii debut of the Tenchu saga with Shadow Assassins is a good one, thanks to the team Acquire, creator of the original episode. Nevertheless the innovations introduced by the developer drive the game away from the typical stealth formula, limiting the possibilities given to the player. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is a more linear game then the predecessors; even if the new ideas may seem interesting, the result is not fully convincing. Recommended more to newbies than fans, who may be let down by the change of direction.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 22, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Wow just wow the best tenchu games of all time is so real everything! like a true ninjas and old Japanese world...
    pros:music,story,gameplay,voice actors,

    Rikimaru was the best and Onikage and the ending was pefect! I don't know if there will be next sequel I want to see ayame die or rikimaru with onikage... that would be a perfect closure of rikimaru tale.Or live both of them I just DONT want to see tenchu game going to dribbler and loveish,Naruto ugly things.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 19, 2011
    A solid addition to one of the best series in gaming. My only serious qualm with this game is that certain motions with the Wiimote do notA solid addition to one of the best series in gaming. My only serious qualm with this game is that certain motions with the Wiimote do not register well (thrusting specifically) during kills. Adjusting the sensitivity up and exaggerating your Wiimote motions helps, but even then a perfect kill gets ruined sometimes. Lesser qualms would be the linear level design, occasionally very long "where are you" breaks, and the bogus though completely avoidable (for the true ninja) combat system. Full Review »
  3. Curarecyd
    Feb 22, 2009
    Pros: graphics decent for the Wii for once. Stealth kills are fun. Soundtrack and storyline quite good. Ninja items useful, so are camouflage Pros: graphics decent for the Wii for once. Stealth kills are fun. Soundtrack and storyline quite good. Ninja items useful, so are camouflage and hiding places...and ability to do kills using cover. Cons: no rooftops! no maps. face to face fighting is horrible. Summary: ubisoft is uber cool. they've done something new for the series with the new console generation. not all of it works but knowing that there's going to be a trilogy it's encouraging that ubisoft is experimenting now for a better gaming experience. Full Review »