Excerpt: In 1998, Activision released Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, a title which helped usher in the current covert action gaming craze and revolutionized the video game ninja in a number of ways. It introduced two heroes, the reserved Rikimaru and the effusive Ayame.
Excerpt: Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven is the third incarnation of the stealth series and features the return of Lord Gohda’s assassins Rikimaru and Ayame. There is also the appearance of the thinly veiled third character (I mean, you can see him in the background of the character select screen as soon as you fire...
Excerpt: The Tenchu series may not contain the best stealth ever devised, but it's certainly near the top. When the first game debuted in 1998, I was blown away by its sneaky gameplay, the freedom to roam rooftops, and bloody assassinations.
Excerpt: Back in '98 there was what could only be described as a "stealth boom." Three games came out that year that, apparently by coincidence, all featured sneaking as their main gameplay and subsequently ushered in the age of stealth gaming.
Excerpt: The game tells the story of two ninjas of the Azuma clan: Rikimaru and Ayame. The Azuma are a mystical sect devoted to the virtuous Lord Gohda and visiting heavenly retribution on his enemies.
Conclusion: The thrill of the hunt in Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven can be quite thrilling indeed. The characters have different stealth kill moves depending on whether they catch the opponent from behind, from the side, from the front, from above, and more, and all these motion-captured animations look really good.
Conclusion: Plus it's got ninjas and a really, really funny card game gag. While it is not the next resurrection of Jubei Kepagami and Co, it is a solidly enjoyable 3rd person slasher with much going for it and just a couple of little faults that keep it from rising to the heights of perfection.
Conclusion: Tenchu 3 is most certainly not for kids. The sound effect enhance the gruesome, neck-snapping action, while a dark feel infuses the whole game. And while veteran players will have some advantages when playing, newcomers to the series shouldn't be put off.