Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition expands on the Mark of the Ninja experience by bringing in a new playing style, new challenges, new tools and developers commentary!
Okay, technically the name is Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition DLC and it is not a re-release of the game. It just adds an additional level to the game as fans of the game were asking for extra content to the game.
I do not think the Special Edition DLC was worth $5.50SGD since it only adds one extra level that serves as a prologue to the events of Mark of the Ninja. One extra level = $5.50? Yeah….no. I would had expected a lot more for that price.
You play as Dosan, the clan’s tattoo artist during at his prime who is set to secure the flowers that create the cursed ink for the tattoos. The bandits that your clan have reneged on a deal, endangering your clan’s access to the flowers. You are tasked with showing the bandit chief that his decision was a poorly made one.
Unlike the marked ninja from the main game, as Dosan you can only do non-lethal take-downs. Dosan explains why he preferred this method and not using a sword in the game. Something to do with pride. He also comes with two unique tools that you can use: dusk moths which can block out spotlights and stun enemies & a poisonous fungus that kills enemies if they have contact with it.
I actually quite enjoyed the change of playing style, where you had to use non-lethal means to take down your enemy. However, you could still find other ways to kill your enemy. As well experimenting with the new tools. The poison fungus was interesting since it could keep killing enemies (if you use it on a dead body) so you could theoretically get unlimited kills on that single body. Dusk moths would be really helpful on the main game when you couldn’t get around the spotlights and elite guards since I still didn’t find a fail-safe method to disable an elite guard.
Environment-wise, it was nice to see the desert fortress level on how it used to appear in the past prior to the ruins you found in the main game. As well learning the bit of history of it as Dosan sneaks around.
There is also developer commentary place throughout the levels which explain the process of how they created the game from level design, environment, art, programming and history. I actually found it really interesting to look at, although I never found the commentary on history. Makes me sad.
So on a whole, as I said adding a few extra tools and level and pricing it as $5.50 was a little too high. I did enjoy the new playing style since it was a change from my usual style where I was usually murdering the guards left and right (because I could) and the new tools were definitely going to be handy for the main game. The developers’ commentary on the behind-the-scenes provided great insight in the work that was put into creating the Mark of the Ninja. Being able to link the new content into the main game and learning of Dosan’s early life as a ninja and his transition to the tattoo artist was a big plus.