Namco Bandai Games Europe today announced Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4, the first video game based on the Naruto Shippuden anime series. The game will feature the series' trademark one-on-one ninja battles and will debut a number of new characters as well as several new modes of play.

Set two and a half years after Naruto left the Hidden Leaf Village to undergo a strict training regiment with his mentor Jiraiya, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4 lets players experience this new storyline for the first time, with Naruto having to return to help save his rival Sasuke from the evil Orochimaru. Naruto will be reunited with all his old friends, only to find that a mysterious organization known as Akatsuki now poses an even more ominous threat to the Village.

A new Master Mode combines role-playing and action platforming elements, and will tell the story of how Naruto came to return to the Hidden Leaf Village after his training with Jiraiya. In this mode players will collect items which can be used to unlock characters in Free Battle Mode - series trademark one-on-one ninja battles. A total of 52 playable characters will be available.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4 is in development at CyberConnect2 and is scheduled for release on PS2 this May.