Like the series stealthy ninja protagonist Ryu Hayabusa, silently running towards an enemy pawn, a full 30 minutes of Ninja Gaiden III gameplay footage silently slipped upon us while we slept through the night. Through the jump you can feast your eyes on the intense action, as OXM plays through the entire first level of Ninja Gaiden III.

Fans of the hardcore series will instantly notice that there have been significant changes made to Ninja Gaiden III. It’s not surprising either, as it's Team Ninja’s first attempt without director Tomonobu Itagaki leading the charge. Instead, former Sigma series designer Yosuke Hayashi is manning the helm to take Gaiden III into a new direction that’s made to appeal to wider audience than before.

In his quest for vengeance against the demon fiends who've taken those he loved from him, Ryu Hayabusa has taken us from the mythical world of the Vigoor Empire to the cobblestone streets of European cities. We’ve de-limbed and decapitated thousands of mythical beasts throughout the years with his arsenal of weapons, but Nina Gaiden III is set to take us on a trip around the Earth, as he attempts to put an end to a band of cult-like terrorist — with only his Dragon Sword in hand .

Emphasis on the story is abruptly noticed by the unmasking of Ryu in the opening sequence and followed by the amount of in-game dialogue. New gameplay tricks like the ability to glide down from high places into brutal kills and QTE finishing moves up the ante on the action side of things, but the decapitation and delimbing animations from Sigma 2 are absent here. It’s a shame too, as the brutality of the gameplay and amounts of blood onscreen is so over-the-top, that it seems strange that enemy bodies can stay intact at times.

The OXM reporter playing the game in the video is obviously well-learned in the Ninja Gaiden combat system, but even on Normal gameplay settings, the game looks to be a long toss from the masochistic challenge of previous titles. We’ve previously explained Ninja Gaiden III’s Hero Mode that’s designed for more casual gamers, but it looks like those who’re looking for the intense challenge that’s expected here, will want to start off with the Hard Mode instead – keep in mind that this is only a preview version.

Ninja Gaiden III is indeed a bit different, but the fast paced combat action is still as present here as it's ever been. Ninja Gaiden III will be slicing into North America on 20th March, 2012 and into Europe a few days later on 23rd March.

Are you ready to face the challenge of Ninja Gaiden III? Let us know in the comments section bellow.

[via oxm.co.uk]