Editors Note: This review was provided to Strafer.net by Lyle Arends
If there was one thing PSVR needed, it was a cyberpunk-Matrix-ninja action game with swords, guns, bows, and bullet time – and finally, at long last, Sairento VR has come along to fill that very specific hole.
Sairento is set in a futuristic Japan, and puts you in the stealth ninja shoes of super ninja Chieko, a member of a clandestine organization, who has to uncover the reason behind a recent terrorist attack in the city, and you’ll have to hack, slash, and shoot your way to the truth.
Although an interesting premise, there are no cutscenes here, so the story is told via phone calls between you and another agent, and I’ll admit… This makes it easy for the story to kind of fade out so you can focus on the gameplay. Thankfully, the gameplay is exactly where this ninja party is at.
Most VR games want to ease you in, and are usually overcautious of motion sickness. But not Sairento. With one Move Controller, you can do the stereotypical warp to X point (the warp doubles as your jump), but with the other, you can move freely by holding a button and simply looking in the direction you want to move. This combined control scheme is actually pretty brilliant, and allows for some insane action.
You’ll have access to both guns and swords (and a whole lot more as the game progresses) as you play, with missions seeing you bouncing around, running along walls, shooting enemies in slow-mo before going in to get up close and personal with your swords. Missions are for the most part the same, go in, clear out X amount of enemies. With some interesting enemy types, and the ability to play as a true stealthy ninja, or a balls-to-the-wall mercenary, missions never really feel stale. Plus, with daily challenges, and different modes, there is plenty to keep you busy with here.
The game does has a steep learning curve, and you’ll be stumbling along at first, trying to figure out how to ninja like a pro, but once you start mastering it, you’ll feel like a total ninja badass. There’s nothing quite like ninja running along a wall, weakening enemies with your dual pistols, before jumping down, sliding between their sword swipes, spinning around and decapitating them. It is a high. Like, straight up adrenaline pumping high.
As you play, you’ll earn XP and relics to help augment your gear, and level up your skills, and this is essential, because the game can be a little challenging even on lower difficulties. So you need to go in prepared for the higher ones. You can also go back and grind for better loot, so you can truly become the ninja master your IRL grandfather wanted you to be.
The only thing I see possibly putting people off to the game are the graphics. In 2019, gamers can be graphic snobs, and Sairento VR isn’t the next Uncharted 4 or Red Dead Redemption 2. If I’d have to compare, I’d say it looks like a really polished modern day arcade shooter – e.g Time Crisis 5 – but, needless to say, the game world does look good, and its style suits the game’s aesthetic. Plus, you’ll be too busy bouncing all over the place to really notice, so personally, I had no issue with it.
Overall, Sairento is a hell of a fun game to play, and very much worth the purchase. There are VR games that help move the platform in the right direction, and Sairento is one of them. So go ahead and get your cyber Matrix ninja on.
A review code was provided to our reviewer by the publisher of the game