Ninjas and robots don't really mix. How do I know this? Well, because I got to play a short demo of Double Helix's upcoming Metroidvania-style side-scroller Strider. In it, Hiryu, the futuristic ninja protagonist, sure hates robots. Little flying helicopter robots, menacing soldier robots, and even giant spider-like robots were no match for my cypher (plasma blade). And all that swiping is a blast, but one of the most enjoyable new aspects of slashing up all those bad guys is that you can select different elemental effects for your blade. The flame cypher (surprise!) sets enemies on fire and charging your sword with ice will freeze enemies in place. Then, when enemies are frozen, not only can you shatter them into little, bitty pieces, but you can also jump on their frozen bodies to reach previously inaccessible platforms.
For this particular demo, I had the chance to run through an enemy research facility full of biological experiments and weapons manufacturing equipment. The place definitely had futuristic tech factory written all over it, with conveyor belts dragging you into pits and lasers that vaporize you on contact. Luckily, Hiryu's sword-slashing skills also come with some advanced ninja agility. Strider can double-jump, climb on ceilings, slide, and use the new catapult shot for a third mid-air jump. You'll have to use all of these abilities to get past the platforming challenges as you dodge lasers and other deadly traps.
The last section of the demo had me face off against a giant, mechanical gorilla that throws electrifying sparks at Hiryu. This boss battle played similarly to one of Mega Man X's robot masters. You enter a closed off room to duel the metal beast, then you'll use all of your wall jumping and mid-air dashes to avoid attacks and get some slashes in. The gorilla eventually went down after several minutes of dodging and slicing, but it was no cakewalk. It looks like that old-school Strider difficulty is still intact.
For more information and images, be sure to check out the following slides.