The game will include a 'Hero Mode', a less challenging iteration of the gameplay with auto dodges and blocks. But why was the option included into a series that's well known for its punishing difficulty?

"We really wanted to flesh out the story this time around," director Fumihiko Yasuda told Joystiq. "So we wanted people to enjoy that story and get used to the game as it is. In the past the games were really hardcore and we couldn't get players to stay with us and complete the game."

“We’re keeping the hardcore aspect of the game anyway, we’re just trying to get the players who have never had a go at Ninja Gaiden to come check it out."

Team Ninja's aiming to make protagonist Ryu more relatable as a human, without completely reworking the character.

“When he has that mask on, he’s a ninja,” he added. “When you take that mask off, he’s not a ninja anymore. He’s a human like all of us. To leave that aspect out doesn’t make sense. We wanted to show that human under the mask. Who is this guy, why he does things.”

[Thanks Joystiq]