Red Ninja E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

VU Games' Red Ninja: End of Honor stars a deadly female by the name of Kurenai.

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Red Ninja: End of Honor is Vivendi Universal's upcoming stealth action game that stars Kurenai. Kurenai wasn't always a ninja. As the game's story goes, she was strung up by a steel wire and left for dead when she was caught in a battle between feudal Japan's warring Oda and Takeda clans. After getting loose, she learned the ways of the ninja and now hunts her father's killers using the steel wire--known as a tetsugen--she was hung with to do most of her dirty work.

The new facet of Red Ninja's gameplay that was shown at Vivendi's preshow event is Kurenai's seductive properties. In short, you'll be able to lure some guards over by hiding around a corner, poking out, and whistling at them. Thinking they're in for some loving from our ninja protagonist, they'll stumble over, leaving themselves open to attack. We saw some of these sequences end with some very brutal-looking neck breaks.

The game will also let you leave enemies hanging. The sequence we were shown starts Kurenai up on top of a rafter. When a guard sees her and starts heading in her direction, she can wrap her weapon--the tetsugen--around the enemy's neck, feet, or torso. She can then jump off the other side of the rafter, essentially dragging the enemy up into the air. They'll still be alive, and crying for help, but a few quick maneuvers will wipe these poor fellows up quite quickly.

Graphically, the game is looking a lot sharper these days than it did when it was first announced. Though only the PlayStation 2 version was on display, the game had a cleaner look to it than it had when we've seen it in the past. Red Ninja: End of Honor is currently scheduled to be released in October. We'll have more details on the game as they become available.

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