A Rise of the Ronin Roguelike Game Already Has the Perfect Setup


  • Rise of the Ronin lays the groundwork for a potential roguelike mode in its immersive and engaging samurai adventure setting.
  • Rise of the Ronin’s narrative structure allows players to make choices that could shape the outcome of the conflict between factions.
  • The game’s companion system and varied quests could seamlessly transition into a roguelike game set during the height of the conflict.

Rise of the Ronin, developer Team Ninja’s latest outing, sends players to the twilight of the Edo era in Japan, when the dawning Industrial Age of the mid-1800s brought radical changes and both opportunities and potential risks to the country that had previously been firmly isolationist, making for a compelling setup. Coming off the previous successes of well-regarded Soulslikes like Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, Rise of the Ronin‘s samurai adventure sees the studio expanding from its prior works, as Ronin is a fully open-world experience, and more of a Soulslite compared to Wo Long and its Nioh franchise.

Rise of the Ronin also launched as part of Sony’s suite of PlayStation exclusive AAA single-player games, often of the third-person action adventure/RPG hybrid breed. Ronin finds itself in the company of notable games like The Last of Us, God of War, and the Horizon series in this regard. And a trend that has recently been on the rise too has been some of these high-profile titles introducing a roguelike mode/spin on their core experiences. If Team Ninja wished to follow suit and create a Rise of the Ronin roguelike in this vein, there are a number of established details and design elements in the base game that would translate rather smoothly into one.

Team Ninja has not officially announced or commented on any plans for a
Rise of the Ronin
roguelike, or other future possibilities, at this time.


Rise of the Ronin’s Blade Twins Mechanic is One of its Secret Weapons

Rise of the Ronin’s blade twins feature makes it stand out in the third-person action-adventure genre due to its excellent integration and feel.

All the Pieces Are In Place for a Possible Rise of the Ronin Roguelike

Team Ninja Has Already Laid the Groundwork for a Potential Rise of the Ronin Roguelike

Rise of the Ronin‘s setting and framework, along with its robust combat and organic world design, includes a number of aspects that, with only some minor tweaking, could form the genesis of a great roguelike. With the turbulent times creating an unstable situation that galvanized much of Japan’s populace during the period, Ronin‘s tale incorporates various pro and anti-Shogunate institutions, with their inner circles all attempting to sway the protagonist to their cause. Players can decide to work with, or against, these organizations, even having the opportunity to switch sides at various points in the main plot. Given the existing mechanics and narrative in place, a roguelike mode could easily emerge from them.

How a Rise of the Ronin Roguelike Could Work

Rise of the Ronin‘s roguelike could be framed around each faction leveraging their resources to gain the upper hand against the other, and this tug-of-war between them would form the basis of the experience. Rise of the Ronin includes historical figures like Matthew Perry and the Shogunate’s Chief Minister, Naosuke Ii. Opposing them are the anti-Shogunate “explusionist” forces, as each grapples for control and the power to shape Japan’s future for their own visions. The respective leaders are actively recruiting and dispatching agents on missions to undermine enemies and influence the outcome of the situation. Fans could find themselves as one of these figures.

A roguelike could have players take on quests of increasing complexity and length, with more elaborate scenarios based on ones from Rise of the Ronin’s main story. These might be larger enemy camps to infiltrate, more unique duels with high-level bosses, and additional fugitive hunts, all of which could offer greater challenges and matching loot rewards. Most of these elements already work well together, and thus could fairly seamlessly be inserted into a roguelike structure. Although Ronin’s tale definitively concludes, a roguelike addition would likely be set in the heart of the conflict around the midway point of the plot, when the various factions are most intensely competing and plotting subtle (or not-so-subtle) moves to outmaneuver each other.

One of its other highlighted features, Rise of the Ronin‘s companion system, would also organically lend itself to roguelike design. Team Ninja could create further encounters and sections built around having them accompany the player, perhaps even introducing new ones in the process. This would give some companions more of a spotlight while continuing to make good use of the satisfying swapping mechanic. In any case, there’s a lot to draw from for a potential Rise of the Ronin roguelike, should Team Ninja desire to design one down the line.

Rise of the Ronin-1

Rise of the Ronin

Team Ninja’s Rise of the Ronin is an exclusive PS5 action RPG set in Japan, with the story taking place during the Edo period’s final few years.

March 22, 2024

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Action RPG

Online Co-Op


Mature 17+ // Blood and Gore, Language, Violence