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Oh god, Nioh's weapon stances are reborn in Rise of the Ronin's combat styles

These Rise of the Ronin combat styles very much look like Nioh's stances. You're not fooling anyone, Team Ninja!

Two samurai clash blades in PS5 exclusive Rise of the Ronin.
Image credit: Team Ninja, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Anyone who played Team Ninja’s superb and exacting Nioh games knows their weapon stance system all too well. Stances covered all weapons, offering low, mid and high options for all.

Until now, we weren’t quite clear on what Rise of the Ronin’s version of that system - if any - would entail. Thanks to this latest gameplay look, however, we have a decent idea.

Sony has been ramping up the hype machine for Rise of the Ronin in recent weeks, posting new videos and revealing more information about the game as we approach its March 22 release on PS5.

This latest trailer is part of a series of videos that each focus on one aspect of the upcoming action RPG, and this one is entirely dedicated to combat. Though we’ve certainly seen combat footage in the past, this video is where things get interesting. Team Ninja previously talked about Rise of the Ronin’s combat styles, but never really shared much information about what they really are or how they work. This trailer shows that combat styles are very much analogues of Nioh’s famed weapon stance system.

The trailer shows high, mid and low stances for the melee weapons on display. It also appears that each stance has retained some - if not all - of its characteristics from the Nioh games. The low stance, for instance, looks to have the fastest attack animations, whereas the high stance is much slower and deals more devastating damage.

It is unclear, however, how players will able to switch between stances or whether or not they will need to be acquired in some way. Presumably, they’re going to work the same way they did in Nioh; basically being always available to players.

It terms of weapons, the footage shows a few standard ones like katanas and spears, but there’s also the more era-appropriate bayonet, which has a bit of a ranged component to it. Speaking of which, the time period Rise of the Ronin takes place in allows for a wide array of ranged options, such as different kinds of firearms.

Standard bows do, of course, still exist. The grappling hook is the most interesting, as it seems to function as a tool to close gaps with enemies more than a weapon in and of itself. There’s clearly a lot of Sekiro inspirations in some of those stealth and open world exploration sections, too.

The best part of the trailer comes towards the end; where we see how the two options can be used in tandem, creating some truly powerful combos, which has incredible potential for combat compared to Nioh.

Rise of the Ronin arrives March 22 on PS5.

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Sherif Saed


Sherif (he/him) is VG247’s go-to shooter and Souls-likes person. Whether it’s news, reviews, or op-eds – Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He's one of VG247's most veteran writers, with 10+ years experience on the site.