Ninja Gaiden 3 will reveal the emotional side of its hero Ryu Hayabusa as Team Ninja introduces the concept of "consequences" to the series.
Victims who fall at Ryu's blade will often beg for mercy before dying, calling out to the player to spare their lives.
Occasional set-pieces explore this further; at one point in an extended demo set around Downing Street, Ryu slowly approaches a victim who pleads with the player, telling them in a forced London accent how he has a family at home and how he shouldn't have taken up a job for the game's fictional security service in the first place.
Yosuke Hayashi defended the new feature when asked if it conflicted with Ninja Gaiden's stylized violence.
"We are keeping the killing style," he told Eurogamer, "but one of the most important things we want to stress with Ninja Gaiden is 'unmask'. This metaphor of a mask, when he takes his mask off he reveals the human inside, what he feels and the consequences he has to suffer for. When he has the mask on he's a killer, but when he takes the mask off he shows his inner workings."
Ninja Gaiden 3 also introduces a new easy mode with utilizes auto-guard and auto-evade to smooth the series' notoriously fierce difficulty.
"What made the old games was the difficulty levels," admitted Hayashi "what we wanted to do is keep that element, but show gamers that there's something more to Ninja Gaiden. We wanted to broaden its appeal, while obviously maintaining the notorious difficulty levels for our core players."