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The player controls a ninja named Hiro, who starts play unarmed but can collect a variety of Asian weapons throughout the game. These include blades such as swords and knives, spears and axes; all of which can be used to execute combo attacks. Larger weapons such as polearms have a longer reach, allowing Hiro to attack enemies without getting too close. Two weapons that the player has previously collected can be taken into each subsequent mission, more appear throughout the missions themselves, allowing Hiro to increase the amount of weapons he is carrying. Ranged weapons including shurikens and smoke bombs, and several types of ranged magical attacks like fireballs, can also be employed in tandem with close-quarters weapons.
Hiro possesses the ability to glide through the air by willpower alone, during which the player retains full control of Hiro's movement as he descends. The effect has been likened to wire-fu movies and takes the place of jumping in the game, allowing the player to bypass combat and traverse the game world. Some enemies are able to use this ability too, and will pursue Hiro through the air. Hiro also has the ability to roll, a dodging move, which is accompanied by a Max Payne-like bullet-time effect.