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Arashi: Castles of Sin is as close to a VR version of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins as you can get

Watch Ian and his trusty dog Dave tackle the first castle in this week's VR Corner.

Playstation VR exclusive Arashi: Castles of Sin launched this week, bringing with it a distinct Tenchu: Stealth Assassins vibe.

Set in feudal Japan, you play as a shenobi assassin named Kenshiro, but the true star of the show is Kenshiro's faithful hound, Haru (aka, Dave). Haru accompanies you on your missions and is a useful tool when it comes to distracting enemies, but this wonderfully fluffy doggo is at its most paw-some when you're back at your family dojo.

In this between missions hub, you can pet and stroke Haru for as long as you want, something that often triggers some super cute animations. Plus, you can even play fetch with Haru, although as you'll see at the start of this week's VR Corner, that mechanic can be more than a little bit glitchy at times.

The video below isn't just 30 minutes of me playing fetch with though (although I could totally live with that), as you'll also be able to watch me stealth my way through the game's opening tutorial area and first level.

Cover image for YouTube videoArashi: Castles of Sin Gameplay Is Doggone Fun, If A Little Ruff Around The Edges - Ian's VR Corner

I've only played a couple of hours worth of Arashi: Castles of Sin so far, but the first few levels, which are miniature sandboxes, hint towards a game that will give you a lot of freedom in the way you approach your targets.

Will you use your grappling hook to reach hidden routes on the tops of building and snipe away with your bow or will you stride in through the main gates and set your dog on one of the guards before engaging another in a face-to-face duel? It's completely up to you and that's what makes Arashi feel so exciting to play.

The game doesn't give you the same sense of freedom as something like The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners does, but the fact that there's room for exploration and experimentation really ups the immersion.

In Arashi lore, Haru is actually a wolf, but that didn't stop me treating it like a dog and calling it Dave.

You've got plenty of tools at your disposal too, from a katana and a dagger, through to a bow and shuriken stars, and of course your best pal, Haru. But, it's not all cherry blossoms and matcha, because the weapon balancing does feel off at times.

When using ranged weapons, you'll easily be able to insta-kill enemies from the safety of a clump of reeds. The projectiles have quite a healthy dose of auto aim so they pretty much always hit their mark and this makes the stealthy approach feel almost like a cheat mode at times.

The sword fighting on the other hand, felt rather clumsy to me and going face to face with enemies this way often led me to lose large chunks of health. This felt like it was due to some unresponsive parrying mechanics, but in all honesty, it might be something that improves with time as you get used to the way it all works.

Arashi isn't the most polished of PSVR titles either. Haru has this habit of awkwardly stumbling around the scenery in a variety of gravity defying ways, and the graphics, while perfectly serviceable, do seem a bit basic and muggy - especially when looking at distant objects.

Even with those criticisms though, I had a lot of fun with Arashi and I'm excited to see how much bigger and more challenging the later levels will become. It may not be as good as Hitman 3 in terms of a VR stealth-em-up, but sneaking your way through the levels with Haru at your side is still a load of fun!

If you enjoyed this episode of Ian's VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I've covered Valheim VR's motion controls mod, Doom 3 VR Edition and everything we know about PSVR 2 so far. You can also read our list of the best VR games.

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