Review – Rise of the Ronin explained to parents

Rise of the Ronin Featured Shared Screen

What parents need to know

In Rise of the Ronin, you play as an unaffiliated samurai (a Ronin, in other words), who finds himself involved in the political upheavals that shake Japan in the mid-19th century, when American ships land on the Japanese archipelago and force it to open up to the rest of the world.

At the beginning of the game, you are an orphan who is part of the Blade Twins, a faction of warriors who fight exclusively in pairs. Except that in a fight that goes wrong, you have to leave your partner behind. Convinced that he or she has survived (depending on which character you have decided to play as for the rest of your adventure), you go in search of him/her.

To do this, you’ll need to enlist the help of actors involved in the conflict, and depending on who you decide to support, you’ll change the outcome of the conflict. Will you support the pro-shogunate forces, who want to negotiate a trade treaty with the West, or will you support the rebel faction, which wants to close Japan’s doors to foreigners? The decision is yours.

But the world of Rise of the Ronin is anything but linear. It’s actually a vast open world in which you can move around quite freely to complete several quests: you can liberate regions from the occupation of enemy clans or bandits, take flying lessons, or even try to pet all the hidden cats in the world (and just for that, Rise of the Ronin earns several points).

However, we have to be careful, because the fights in Rise of the Ronin are difficult and require us to plan our actions. The title was developed by Team Ninja, who are responsible for the most recent titles in the Ninja Gaiden franchise in addition to the Nioh franchise. If you’re familiar with Nioh’s combat system, you’ll be on familiar ground; We are offered Soulslike confrontations, that is, fights in which we have to manage a very thin stamina bar, which prevents us from attacking without restraint, while betting or avoiding enemy attacks.


The game has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of criticism, it does not influence our opinion.


Release date: 22 March 2024
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Available on: Playstation 5
Available format: Physical and digital
Version tested: Playstation 5

Game genre: Action, soulslike
Themes covered: Japan, war, samurai
Duration of a game: 1h
Duration of the main game/story: 35h
Total time to complete everything: 70h

Text languages: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese,
Voice languages: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese,

Number of local players: 1
Number of online players: 4

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+


Rise of the Ronin is extremely violent. Blood splatters generously, stains our clothes permanently, and we constantly see our enemies being dismembered by our good care.

We regularly go to pleasure districts, and it is implied that the place where we base ourselves is a brothel, but there is no nudity or sexual relations shown on screen.

It’s best to be able to read to understand the whole story, in addition to the effects of our weapons and armor. However, the dialogues are played by actors.

The end of the Edo period was a complex political moment in Japan, and the game reflects that. No matter which side we choose, innocent people will die by our hand while others will be saved. The game is in shades of grey, but our character is certainly not a blameless hero.

Rise of the Ronin offers three difficulty levels, which can help less experienced players find what they are looking for. But even in normal mode, the game is difficult and requires you to approach combat with caution. Our stamina bar (here called Ki) is limited, our health drops rapidly, we have limited resources to heal ourselves, and our enemies are constantly blocking our blows. So it takes a good dose of patience and practice.

Fortunately, the punishment for dying is quite minimal. We lose karma (the points that allow us to develop bonds with the other inhabitants of the world), but we can recover it by going back to beat the enemy who shot us down the first time.

At the moment there is no monetization worthy of the name apart from the cost of the game itself (and some optional pieces of equipment), and for the lifespan and quality of the experience offered, the cost seems reasonable to us.

However, we are watching for the potential announcement of extensions.

Local game modes

The story mode can be completed in single-player.

Online Game Modes

It is possible to team up with up to three other friends online to complete the main story missions.

Expansions/Add-ons (DLC)

At the moment, the title only offers a few additional armors and weapons in downloadable content, but no other expansions have been announced. That being said, Team Ninja’s previous titles have all had expansions, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the same goes for Rise of the Ronin.

Our opinion

Paradoxically, Rise of the Ronin stands out by not particularly trying to stand out. It’s not that the title hasn’t received care; The passion of the developers is obvious, and you can see that they put a lot of heart into it.

But Rise of the Ronin isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. During your playthrough, you will surely draw parallels with several recent productions; there, we explore the Japan of the samurai like in Ghost of Tsushima (although GoT takes place about 600 years before the events of RotR), here, we recognize Nioh’s fight, or the grappling hook from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

That being said, while Rise of the Ronin borrows from several influences, it does so with care and consistency. The result is a quality game, which manages to keep us captivated despite a level of difficulty that could put many off. It’s that even if the fights are tough, the controls are satisfactory, and rarely, if ever, will we feel like we lost because the controls didn’t respond; When we die, failure is entirely ours.

It’s also that commuting is enjoyable. Between the horse that we have access to very early in the adventure and that considerably speeds up our movements (without preventing us from collecting ingredients in the world as is often the case in other games of the genre), the grappling hook that both helps our movements and serves as a weapon, and finally the retractable wings that allow us to glide over long distances, exploring this version of Japan is enjoyable and very rarely arouses impatience.

It’s also worth pointing out that Rise of the Ronin implements several small accommodations that reduce friction. So, when you call your horse, you automatically jump on its back, without having to chase it, and, as mentioned earlier, you can still harvest ingredients on the back of a horse. In addition, when we harvest weapons that are far too weak for our level, they automatically turn into basic materials to upgrade our more powerful weapons, which prevents us from clogging up our inventory unnecessarily.

The story is a bit complex to follow, especially if you are not already familiar with the history of Japan. In fact, even though we completed a game last year that covered the same time period (Like a Dragon Ishin!), we still had a bit of a hard time keeping up. Still, the story is interesting, and the fact that our choices influence the course of events also gives the title enormous replayability.

From a more critical point of view, the limited budget that Team Ninja has enjoyed compared to mega-productions like Ghost of Tsushima seems a bit when you look at the graphics. They’re far from repulsive, but it still feels like you’re playing a game from the previous generation, which is surprising since Rise of the Ronin is a Playstation 5 exclusive title.

But it would be a shame to deny our pleasure for a simple visual question, because if it doesn’t innovate, Rise of the Ronin offers us a polished experience that demonstrates all the mastery of Team Ninja in the genre.

Our rating : 15 / 20