It’s no big secret that hardcore fans of the Ninja Gaiden franchise often get through a dozen hours of non-stop maiming and decapitating only to feel emotionally unfulfilled by the lack of mental trauma and social isolation that should accompany that much murder-y mayhem. Actually, it’s probably only the small, but vocal, “complete sociopath” demographic that enjoys the katana-swinging adventures of Ryu Hayabusa that feels that way.

Regardless, in an interview with PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Ninja Gaiden 3 project lead Yosuke Hayashi dropped some details on the more psychologically focused direction his game will take, as well as some hints at multiplayer and Move compatibility.

Here’s what he had to say about Ninja Gaiden 3:

“We are focusing Ryu as a dark Japanese hero. There won’t be new playable characters, but we’ll focus more deeply on Ryu Hyabusa’s life and lifestyle and feelings and thoughts. We are trying to take the violent concepts even deeper and make people realize how it feels to actually kill someone and what it is to actually gut someone.”

“It’s very important to us that people realize that violence is not only about blood and gore.”

Not just about the blood and gore? Has he seen the Ninja Gaiden 3 trailer? Hayashi does know what game he’s working on, right? All kidding aside, this is often very sticky territory for developers to start treading through. Many games have tried the “we’re going to make players really understand the violence on an emotional level” approach before, and very few of them have found much success. That’s not to say it’s a completely impossibility for Hayashi and his team, but Ninja Gaiden already has a very established feel to it and probably isn’t the first game that comes to mind when gamers think of psychologically realistic portrayals of violence.

This change in tone seems to also be coming with a change in the developer’s approach to the series. However, this shouldn’t frighten away fans of the franchise’s legendary difficulty curve. Hayashi says that that aspect of the game won’t be watered down, but that the game will be something that more than just the core fan base can enjoy:

“We know that many fans feel good about the difficulty level, but we are taking a slightly different approach. It’s not that the game’s going to be easier — nothing like that. It’s just that we are trying to make a whole game, a more exciting game that can be enjoyed by anyone.”

Finally, in proper teasing fashion, Hayashi gave some hints regarding Ninja Gaiden 3’s multiplayer and Move support, stating that the former would be “complex” and that the latter was a secret. It seems hard to believe that the secret would be that there wasn’t Move support integrated into the title. So it seems fairly reasonable to expect a game that is primarily about waving around sharp objects would get motion integration. With Metal Gear Solid: Rising following the usual Kojima release schedule of “whenever it’s finished,” Ryu’s adventure could be the first must-own Move title if it hits shelves first.

How does everyone feel about a moodier Ninja Gaiden game? What complexities do you think are contained in the multiplayer? And is there really going to be a secret use for Move other than using it as a sword?

Ninja Gaiden 3 fans will have to wait and find out the answers to those questions when the game is released simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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Source: PlayStation: The Official Magazine

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