Over time, you’ll unlock four “stances”, each with its own series of combos, and each one optimised for a different enemy type – the Stone stance, for example, is most useful against opponents with swords, and the Water stance for opponents with shields. As a gamer who super duper sucks at precision and timing and combos and parries, this was intimidating for me at first, but by the end of the game, I was swapping between stances almost without thinking and wiping out Mongols like a pro. Like a samurai, even, with honour.
But, much to uncle Shimura’s dismay, I’m about dishonour too. Combat is messy and inconvenient, and stabbing Mongols in the back is much more fun, anyway – and some of the game’s most memorable moments for me. Slipping between the shadows from one victim to the next, before vanishing into the pampas grass to the panicked shrieks of their comrades. Peering over the rocks, my bow or poison darts held close. A coward’s comfort, perhaps, but those Mongols started it.