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Platform: Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Activision
Developer: K2
ETA: March 2004


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Review: Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (Playstation 2)

Review: Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PC)





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Tenchu: Return From Darkness


March is going to be a busy month for Ninjas on the Xbox.  With two high-profile titles featuring the high-flying, shuriken hucking, silk-sporting death mechanics of ancient Japan gamers will have some very full plates.  One of these two ninja games would be Tenchu: Return From Darkness, from Activision, bringing with it the stealth-based ninja prowling that is the benchmark of the Tenchu series.


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This will be the first installment in the series to make it to the Xbox.  Based on Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven on the PS2, this game tweaks the features from that title including improved AI and two-player coop play over Xbox Live.




- New Stealth Attacks and Improved Fighting Engine – Master combo attacks, including stealth moves and jumping attacks, played out in realistic detail via a robust fighting engine.  Gamers take on the role of three characters, Rikimaru, Ayame and Tesshu, an unlockable assassin, utilizing over 20 authentic ninja weapons and tools and earning new abilities and combos by racking up stealth kills.  


- Exclusive Xbox Content and Enhancements - Tenchu: Return from Darkness features 11 single-player maps including two new levels that take players on a journey to a samurai mansion and deserted pagoda temple.  Improved gameplay balance with re-tuned enemy intelligence and item placement force gamers to think on their feet.


- Xbox Live and Multiplayer Action – The Xbox Live mode allows for two-player co-op missions through six levels, as well as online voice chat functionality.  The multiplayer action offers six levels and two 



modes of play – co-operative team oriented missions and Hunter-Hunted death matches.



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- New Restart and Continue Functions - Tenchu: Return from Darkness features two exclusive new functions for both hardcore and novice players.  The restart function allows them to restart a mission with all of the items previously collected.  The continue function, designed for novice players, alleviates the frustration of dying early in pitfalls and having to start at the beginning of a mission.


- Multiple Mission Paths – Fans can complete unique mission objectives including espionage, theft and assassination.  Crafted levels allow players to determine the most efficient way to achieve mission goals.  Multiple game endings based on earlier decisions in the game and enemy placements, keep players coming back for more.


- Realistic Graphics and Special Effects – Taking full advantage of the Xbox’s graphical capabilities, Tenchu: Return from Darkness features 11 detailed levels with realistic lighting and weather effects, breakable items and authentic character animations.


Tenchu: Return from Darkness will not so stealthily make its way to store shelves in early March.


- Mr. Nash

(February 28, 2004)




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