Rise of the Ronin is Team Ninja's second action game currently in development—Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (opens in new tab) is coming soon, too—and takes place in 19th century Japan near the end of the Tokugawa period.
In the "combat focused open-world action RPG," you play as a samurai in the late 19th century during a "time of mayhem" for Japan, according to a blog post (opens in new tab) that went up after today's trailer reveal during Sony's State of Play stream.
"Japan is facing the darkest of times as it struggles with its oppressive rulers and deadly diseases while western influence permeates as civil war continues to rage between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Anti-Shogunate factions," reads the post from Team Ninja director and president Fumihiko Yasuda.
The trailer follows a hawk flying through populated streets and as it soars up to reveal the ronin protagonist standing atop a cliff. It cuts between characters in snowy, bright, and cavernous locations and then we see the ronin riding a horse up a hill with a stunning view of trees and a bridge. And then the ronin pulls out a wingsuit to glide over the water and to the city streets below, evoking the sort of open-world exploration that Ubisoft is likely going for in its recently announced Assassin's Creed game set in Japan, codename Red (opens in new tab).
This is a game from Team Ninja, creator of the Souls-inspired Nioh games, so eventually the trailer brings us to combat. Rise of the Ronin's one-on-one duels resemble Sekiro more than Dark Souls, but the zoomed-in camera frames it almost like a fighting game. An apparent parry mechanic interrupts an enemy's swing and opens them up for a finishing blow. Another scene sees the ronin whip out a grappling hook to pull himself toward an opponent and slice him with fiery blades. The trailer ends with the ronin shooting a solider with a musket and drawing a revolver to finish someone off—this guy clearly isn't afraid to use the best hardware on offer.
Yasuda says that Team Ninja wants to portray the "darkest and ugliest chapters" of the Bakumatsu period of Japanese history, chapters he thinks "many will shy away from."
"The characters that you will meet all have their own brand of justice and motivations," he wrote, "and whether you decided to side with or against them… each decision you make will matter."
Rise of the Ronin is a "PlayStation 5 console exclusive," which means it'll probably come to PC too. It's due out in 2024, the same year that Ubisoft is planning to release codename Red.