All Rise of the Ronin release date, platform, and exclusivity details

rise of the ronin gun

Ghost of Tsushima and Elden Ring are being blended together to make one of the biggest PlayStation 5 exclusives of 2024, Rise of the Ronin. The release date, platforms, and story have been confirmed for Rise of the Ronin, and fans seemingly have a lot to look forward to.

Initially teased at PlayStation’s September 2022 State of Play event in September 2022, Rise of the Ronin has quietly been a game to look forward to. 2023 has been a hectic time for video games but there’s no questioning what Team Ninja is capable of, as the studio behind the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series.

The studio is seemingly looking to take a page out of FromSoftware’s playbook. In the same way that FromSoftware pivoted from Dark Souls to Elden Ring, Team Ninja is looking to do the same by going from Nioh to Rise of the Ronin.

What is Rise of the Ronin?

Rise of the Ronin is an open-world action RPG set in the heavily romanticized period of late-1800s Japan. The game is developed by Team Ninja and expands upon its Soulslike series, Nioh.

While the story itself will be fictional and the combat is fantastical, it’s set against the backdrop of the Boshin War will play major roles in the narrative. The player’s character will be an eponymous Ronin, a wandering samurai without ties to a master or clan.

The game has Nioh’s hack-and-slash core but will expand upon it by bringing the gameplay to an open world. As Team Ninja’s first open-world game, players can expect to freely roam Edo-era Kyoto and Yokohama, and the vast open spaces connecting those major cities. Horseback riding is set to be a big part of traversing the environment, and players will have access to gliders and grappling hooks for vertical movement in cities.

It’s hard not to draw comparisons between this game and Elden Ring. While that might be unfair given the success of Elden Ring, there’s proven to be an eternal hunger for Soulslike games that this could fill.

Setting the game apart from Elden Ring is a greater emphasis on story and a level of player agency to affect it. Rise of the Ronin will give players dialog choices that can change the path of the narrative. An array of weaponry and different fighting styles will be available, as well as a variety of firearms specific to that era. 

Rise of the Ronin story details

Rise of the Ronin takes place in the 19th century during the waning years of the Edo period, which was defined by brewing tensions between the western-influenced Tokugawa Shogunate and an alliance of traditionalist clans. In real-life history, this conflict leads to the Boshin War.

This period of history has served as the backdrop for many notable pieces of historical fiction, ranging from The Last Samurai to Rurouni Kenshin. Despite being tied to real history, the game still has plenty of over-the-top action.

rise of the ronin yokohama

Rise of the Ronin platforms and release date

Rise of the Ronin is set for release on March 22, 2024 for the PlayStation 5. Just like Death Stranding 2, there’s no mention of any other console or the PC getting a release. For the time being, it’s set to be a true PlayStation 5 exclusive.

Given that Sony Interactive Entertainment is the game’s publisher, it’s doubtful that Rise of the Ronin will be released on Xbox consoles or Nintendo Switch. It has also been officially confirmed that Rise of the Ronin will not be on PlayStation 4.

Judging by previous Team Ninja releases that were initially exclusive to PlayStation consoles, such as Nioh and Nioh 2, there is a possibility that the game could be released on Windows PC at a later date. Second-party titles like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Final Fantasy 16 have seen PC releases after a period of exclusivity and that could be the case here.

rise of the ronin horse ride

Rise of the Ronin Deluxe Edition version differences, pre-order bonuses

Rise of the Ronin is confirmed to have a standard version and a Deluxe Edition. No special collector’s edition or anything of the sort has been announced.

Rise of the Ronin Deluxe Edition is currently set to be digital-only and includes the base game alongside these extras:

  • Digital soundtrack
  • Digital artbook
  • Bando Warrior armor set
  • Iga Ninja’s staff
  • Japanese formal wear set
  • Toyokuni paired swords

The game also has several in-game items available as pre-order bonuses:

  • Iga Ninja armor set
  • Iga Ninja katana
  • Hayabusa-ryu combat style for katana
  • Hayabusa-ryu combat style for Naginata
  • Nioh-ryu combat style for Katana
  • Aisu Kage-ryu combat style for Katana

It is unknown whether these items and combat styles can be obtained in the game normally, or if they are exclusively available as a pre-order bonus. Pre-order bonuses are also typically available after release as DLC, which will likely be the case here.

Rise of the Ronin is set to be one of the biggest PS5 Exclusives of 2024

Rise of the Ronin stands tall as an original IP in a year populated by remakes, remasters, and sequels, and its pedigree and style position it to be one of the biggest PS5 exclusives of 2024.

Although 2024 will see the release of several major games, Rise of the Ronin grabs people’s attention for its status as an original IP. Sony’s moves to establish new IPs, particularly when it comes to open-world action games, have yielded blockbuster titles like Ghost of Tsushima and Horizon: Zero Dawn. PS5 players are more willing than ever to give new IPs a chance. 

As the games industry continues to hemorrhage staff and cancel projects, the success of IPs like Rise of the Ronin matter more than ever. If original IPs manage numbers on the level of established franchises like Uncharted and God of War, then it’s one less company that has to worry about its chances in 2024. 

Is Rise of the Ronin a Soulslike?

Rise of the Ronin is not a Soulslike game. It will feature many hallmarks of the Soulslike experience, but the inclusion of difficulty sliders robs it of the status.

There isn’t really a defined checklist that classifies games as a “Soulslike.”  Although Rise of the Ronin does feature elements similar to Soulslikes and Soulsborne titles like Elden Ring including challenging enemies and in-depth combat, Team Ninja made it clear it wanted Rise of the Ronin to be more accessible. A difficulty slider means that any chances of Rise of the Ronin being considered a Soulslike by hardcore fans are gone.

Who is developing Rise of the Ronin?

Team Ninja is the studio behind Rise of the Ronin.

Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden (2004)

Team Ninja is a division of Koei Tecmo that made its name in the industry with franchises like Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, and Nioh. The 2004 Ninja Gaiden was a key forerunner to the Soulslike genre, with unrelenting difficulty that forced players to familiarize themselves with foes in order to progress. The company’s action games since have maintained a reputation for being incredibly difficult, even compared to other games like Dark Souls.

Nioh’s creative director Fumihiko Yasuda insisted on a single difficulty for the title, citing that different levels would offer different feelings of satisfaction. Fans of the company are cautiously optimistic that Rise of the Ronin maintains the classic Team Ninja difficulty on its hardest setting. 

How difficult will Rise of the Ronin be?

The player can adjust the difficulty of Rise of the Ronin to their liking.

Team Ninja uncharacteristically offers difficulty sliders in the upcoming Rise of the Ronin. There will be three difficulty settings, likely the traditional “Easy, Normal, and Hard” modes. The game’s enhanced focus on narrative means that Team Ninja wants players to experience the story without the difficulty of a traditional Soulslike.

The difficulty sliders do present some concerns for long-time Team Ninja fans. Difficulty sliders can sometimes result in “damage sponge” enemies, an artificial way for developers to make games harder without much thought. Whether these worries have merit will have to wait until release.

elden ring shadow of the erdtree art
Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree concept art

However, Team Ninja ensured players looking for a challenge that the higher tier of difficulties will give them experiences similar to its past titles in terms of difficulty, such as Ninja Gaiden and Nioh.  

Is Rise of the Ronin like Ghost of Tsushima?

Rise of the Ronin is an open-world action RPG set in a dramatized depiction of Japanese history, much like Ghost of Tsushima.

With Ghost of Tsushima’s PC port a few months removed from Rise of the Ronin’s release date, gamers can fill the Japanese historical fiction void with a new open-world action game. Team Ninja used several real-life historical figures as characters for the game, furthering the authenticity of the period.

While neither Rise of the Ronin nor Ghost of Tsushima are the first open-world samurai games, they are arguably the most ambitious in modern times. However, the historical authenticity allegedly led to Rise of the Ronin not launching in South Korea, because one of the notable political figures in the game historically approved of the annexation of Korea. 

Does Rise of the Ronin have multiplayer?

Rise of the Ronin will have co-op multiplayer for up to three players.

Rise of the Ronin allows three players to experience the game’s story through co-op missions. However, Rise of the Ronin will have no PvP combat and a PlayStation Plus membership is required to play online. 

Nioh 2 also offered a three-player cooperative multiplayer mode, so it’s familiar territory for fans of other recent Team Ninja games. The difficulty will likely ramp up to balance the presence of two other players. Unfortunately, Rise of the Ronin will not have split-screen or couch co-op multiplayer, with all multiplayer being online-only.

Will Rise of the Ronin have DLC?

Team Ninja has not announced DLC for Rise of the Ronin. However, Team Ninja does have a history of offering DLC for its action RPG titles. Its last release, Nioh 2, received three DLC packs following its launch, all of which offered new post-game missions to enjoy.

With how complex Japanese history can get, it’s unlikely that the base game covers all of the major events from that period. Rise of the Ronin DLC may follow the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration. However, with the multiple endings caveat for Rise of the Ronin, the DLC might be very different depending on the player’s choices. 

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Written by Michelle Pereira

After playing at least one good game in every genre, Michelle Pereira has arrived at the conclusion that while she can find something to like in almost every niche, she really doesn’t enjoy rhythm and dance games. Why strain herself when she can sit back and strafe the enemy team with a biplane in Battlefield 1, or meticulously plot the every move of her misfit crew of mercenaries in Jagged Alliance 2?


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