Rise of the Ronin Demonstrates Its Version of Bakumatsu Japan

Sony and Team Ninja released a new behind-the-scenes video and blog post for action RPG Rise of the Ronin. The video highlights the game’s implementation of Bakumatsu era Japan, the chaotic period in the late 19th-century as the country opens up to influence from foreign nations, and how the developers have taken the themes of the period on board in its presentation.

Meanwhile, the blog post introduces many of the locations that players will visit. The game’s story will take players to three main cities of the period, starting in Yokohama being moving to Edo (modern day Tokyo) and then Kyoto. Players will be able to explore historic areas in the Kannai area of Yokohama — including the U.S. Consulate, Chinatown, the Yokohama State Guest House, and the lighthouse — as well as the inn-towns on the Tokaido Road that connects it with Edo.



In Edo, players will be able to visit districts including Kojimachi, Asakusa, Nihonbashi, and Senzoku. Kojimachi is the residence of the samurai that protect Edo Castle, while Asakusa is home to its own culture with landmarks such as the Azuma Bridge and Sensoji Temple. Nihonbashi is home to the eponymous Nihonbashi Bridge, which is a popular spot due to being the starting point of five major roads, as well as numerous merchants.

Kyoto served as the political and cultural capital of Japan for 1,000 years, with districts appearing in the game including Gosho, Horikawa, Mibu, Gion, and Higashiyama. While players will be able to view many of the iconic landmarks in their historic glory, they will also witness some more run-down areas as a result of the turmoil around Bakumatsu.



Players will have numerous ways of getting around in Rise of the Ronin. Grappling rope will let players grab themselves towards ledges and ascend to higher ground quickly, as well as letting them grab and yank enemies towards them. Players will also be able to call a horse to them using a whistle, gaining access to more riding equipment and faster horses as the game goes on. Meanwhile, gliders let players leap off high places to move long distances, and potential enter enemy territory without notice. The design of the glider is based on that of late Edo period inventor Ikkansai Kunitomo’s blueprint of Abikiru, believed to be the oldest airplane blueprint in Japan. Players will also be able to use Hidden Sword Banners to fast-travel to other sword banners. They will also let players replenish supplies and act as gateways for online multiplayer.

Finally, players will meet with a variety of different encounters during their exploration. Players will encounter local Somo missions, Somo referring to those who have abandoned being samurai and become farmers, merchants, etc. These missions will see players given special tasks if they have certain items or build up relationships with them. Other events include random Preordained Fate events that vary depending on when and where they take place. Other side activities include horseback archery, artillery training, and cat collecting.

Rise of the Ronin sees players controlling a wandering Ronin. The game features open world exploration with action combat that mixes the weapons of the time, such as katanas being used alongside newly established firearms. Rise of the Ronin will release exclusively for PlayStation 5 on March 22, 2024.




Alex Fuller

Alex joined RPGamer in 2011 as a Previewer before moving onto Reviews, News Director, and Managing Editor. Became Acting Editor-in-Chief in 2018.

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