Go ninja go!
If you're into your stealth action games, like Metal Gear
or Stealth Inc.
, then Mark of the Ninja will be right up your alley. It's a superbly enjoyable bit of side-scrolling fun that is both entertaining and clever in equal measure. The story finds you in control of a modern-day ninja whose clan is being attacked and once they have been dispatched, he then sets off to eliminate the private security force responsible. What follows is a side-scrolling game, which requires players to sneak their way through a variety of environments, where running, jumping and other actions all create noise which alerts the enemy to your presence. If you get close enough to an enemy without being seen, you can take them down with a one-hit ninja strike but it is actually possible to complete the entire game without killing anyone (except two bosses). Each level also has optional objectives, like distracting guards or not killing anyone and which adds greatly to the challenge. Although it's a far cry from classic ninja games like Last Ninja
, this really is a superb addition to the genre. The most notable thing about the game is its fantastic art style, which is reminiscent of the same developer's earlier Shank and which gives it a real sense of personality. Once you get into the game itself, you'll find that it really is fantastically well designed, with some truly ingenious level design that will keep you challenged and entertained in equal measure. Throw in some slick, intuitive controls and effective sound work and you have a must play title.