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Average User Score: 8.0Jan 7, 2013As a stealth game, Mark of the Ninja excels. It eschews the typical snail's pace of most stealth games and lets you jump and grapple your wayAs a stealth game, Mark of the Ninja excels. It eschews the typical snail's pace of most stealth games and lets you jump and grapple your way into position for quick and deadly stealth kills. There's still plenty of sneaking past guards and hiding behind pots, but there's also plenty of silent and deadly action. It does a great job of making you feel like a ninja.
Unfortunately, everything else about this game is awful. The controls are far too limited, with buttons serving far too many functions causing you to constantly do the wrong thing at a crucial moment. Puzzles are exercises in tedium, rather than creativity, as you painstakingly work your way through rooms performing tasks to complete a mechanism that you figured out within 15 seconds. Then if you mishandle the controls, you end up having to repeat the entire process. Killing guards is extremely repetitive, and for some reason forces you to perform a quick-time event (press a random button in a short time limit) to succeed. Every time. There's a variety of tools that you can use, but none of them adds much beyond a flamboyant way to achieve what you could do just as easily without the tools. The trap sections are horribly designed, and combined with the limited field of view in 2D, simply force you to use trial and error. Prepare to reload your game a lot as you work your way through trap levels, figuring out what will and won't kill you by getting killed by it (or not).
By far the worst aspect of this game, however, is its checkpoint save system. After having to restart a mission four times, from scratch, due to being auto-saved in an impossible position, I eventually gave up on even finishing the game. You have no control over when the game saves, and once it does you're unable to revert to a previous save. In my case, I'd timed things perfectly to slip past one guard, kill another, and escape. Unfortunately halfway through doing this, I hit a checkpoint save. From that point on, every time I reloaded, both guards saw me and shot me to pieces before I could so much as jump to safety. The only solution? Play through the first 40 minutes of the level again. For the fifth time. No thanks.
The parts of this game that work, work fantastically. Unfortunately it needed a far better PC port, and less gimmicks (like QTEs and repetitive puzzles). Skip it unless you love being forced to replay the same content through no fault of your own.… Expand