Contrasting backdrops or no, the action was still more or less identical to the first Genji. We started out as Buddhist monk Benkei, a bald steroid hulk who swings a giant pillar like a club. The handfuls of demonic samurai we ran across were easy to toss around just by mashing buttons and trying out Benkei's smash attacks. He was too slow to chain together any combos, but we were able to charge up and unleash a devastating spin move that sent everyone else flying. We were also able to switch weapons on the fly, changing between Benkei's colossal telephone pole and a serrated metal club that came with its own set of moves.
After working our way down the mountain a bit, we were able to switch over to Yoshitsune, the game's nimble, dual-sword-wielding poster boy. He's smaller and faster than Benkei, and was able to easily chain together graceful, rapid sword strikes. He can also jump to places Benkei can't, making him the overall more interesting character (just like he was in the first Genji). He also had an alternate set of weapons we were able to switch to quickly, a pair of coppery, blunt-looking blades that enabled him to pull off entirely different combos.