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Dead Cells designer’s new game, Tenjutsu, is a yakuza action roguelike

Tenjutsu | Reveal Trailer
Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

During this year’s Devolver Direct, we got our first look at a roguelike called Tenjutsu, the next game from former Dead Cells designer Sébastien Benard.

Tenjutsu’s reveal trailer features some slick animation that shows the game’s main character, a “renegade Yakzua,” as she fights some criminals. We then see gameplay, and it becomes clear that Tenjutsu is a top-down action roguelike beat ’em up where players try to survive as they fight enemies, collect currency and other buffs, and upgrade parts of the city she’s saved to have better shops and restaurants to stop at.

A press release revealed a bit more about Tenjutsu’s lore, explaining that it takes place in a place in Secret Garden City, which is controlled by four yakuza syndicates. The main character goes rogue and then fights to liberate the city from those four syndicates in any order players want. It looks like Tenjutsu will give players the leeway to take a lot of time to explore the city, but a system where enemies get harder to beat the longer it takes players to complete a run has also been teased.

Gameplay from Tenjutsu.
Devolver Digital

If you’re unfamiliar with Sébastien Benard, he was one of the first two developers who worked on Dead Cells at Motion Twin and should be considered the primary designer of the beloved roguelike. He departed Motion Twin in 2019 as development duties for Dead Cells post-launch went to Evil Empire and Motion Twin started exploring its next project, which we now know as Windblown. After that, Benard formed his own company called Deepnight Games, and has been working on smaller titles. Tenjutsu is definitely Deepnight Games’ biggest release yet.

At this time, Tenjutsu does not have a concrete release window, as Devolver is simply saying it will be released for PC and consoles sometime in the future.

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Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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