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Ninja-Gaiden-inspired retro platformer (with a twist!) The Messenger comes to PS4 next week

Cool hat.

Developer Sabotage has announced that its excellent retro platformer (with a twist!), The Messenger, will be heading to PlayStation 4 next week, on March 19th.

The Messenger, which launched on PC and Switch last year (to much enthusiastic clapping of hands and thighs), plays out something like Tecmo's classic NES Ninja Gaiden games, complete with 8-bit-inspired visuals and some fiendishly catchy music. In practical terms, that amounts to a linear series of tightly-designed platform challenges which, while not exactly groundbreaking, are a real pleasure to navigate, thanks to The Messenger's responsive, fluid move set. Also, it's a very funny game!

And then, of course, there's that twist (twist!), which is completely given away in the trailer below, so if you'd rather remain pure for whatever reason, avert your eyes.

Around about the halfway point [and here come the spoilers] your cheeky ninja avatar gains the ability to flit back and forth through time. And, all of a sudden, what was once a linear platformer becomes a more open-ended Metroidvania-style experience, with future versions of previous locations - which you'll need to switch between on-the-fly in order to solve puzzles and the like - now given a gorgeous16-bit-inspired makeover [spollerz end].

The new PlayStation 4 version of The Messenger should feature the New Game Plus mode added to other platforms last November, which introduces tougher enemies and bosses. The nifty part is that each time you finish a New Game Plus run-through, you'll unlock another, with developer Sabotage previously claiming you could, feasibly, continue forever, with each subsequent play-through getting harder and harder.

The Messenger will cost $19.99 USD (around £15) when it comes to PlayStation 4 on March 19th. Sabotage also notes that it'll be revealing more of the game's free tropical-themed Picnic Panic DLC expansion (twist status currently unconfirmed) soon.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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