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Reviewed: Tenchu: Return From Darkness
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: April 21st, 2004
Page: 2
If you really want to see what the Tenchu series is all about, you can go read the original review that I did a while back.

For this part, I'm going to cover what's NEW.

To start with, the characters and basic moves - sneaking, killing - are the same, as are the basic items to use. For that part of gameplay, expect things to be the same.

Create-a-level is GONE. In its place is a wonderful replacement, cooperative or deathmatch play on single machine or on the Xbox Live network. To be honest, the split-screen setup sucks, mostly owing to Tenchu's requirement that players look around a lot, and pay attention to things above and below them as well as side to side. On Live, however, the game is wonderful - though you'll be hard pressed to find cooperative play, my personal favorite, with so many players preferring to kill each other in deathmatch.

Graphically, it's a heck of a makeover. Textures are crisper, lighting is tighter, and the player models are ever so better detailed. There's still the occasional moire effects on textured fabric, but that happens on most games, even the venerable Soul Calibur II.

For the strategic, there's now the option to drag bodies around (provided they weren't killed with a decapitation move; you drag them by the neck). This offers up new possibilities, mostly involving getting guards out of position by placing a body for them to find. Play with it. Savor it. Enjoy the screams.

In addition, there's also the new moves and levels added to the game, which is what qualifies it as a "director's cut" edition. Not too shabby. I won't spoil your fun on them, though, as die-hard Tenchu players hate to see a good surprise spoiled... say by a yowling cat.

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Added:  Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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