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|Hack and Slash Games, Nonlinear Narrative Games, Games Like Devil May Cry, Games Like Bloodborne
In the year 2007, one of the most awaited PS3 exclusives finally released, and we are talking about Heavenly Sword of course. Developed by Ninja Theory, this Hack and Slash was set to be one of the best in the genre. And it could have even been one of the best PS3 games all around. But if there was so much hype, the game seemed to be so amazing, then what went wrong? Why aren't there any sequels to this title? Well, let's start by talking a little about the game itself first.
First a little backstory: The legend tells that the Heavenly Sword comes from an ancient soldier who once used it to defeat the Raven Lord. The latter one being an evil demoniac warrior that massacred and destroyed entire towns and everything it touched.
The legendary warrior defeated him with the Heavenly Sword and ascended to heaven, leaving the sword behind on earth. This magic weapon carries great power, but it also bears a curse. And it drains the life of the user in a short time. After passing from one hand to another, it eventually ended up in the hands of a tribe leader who decided to protect it.
The game actually starts when we take on the role of Nariko, Daughter of the current tribe leader, Nariko fits the prophecy of the one warrior that would one day use the Heavenly Sword to bring all the tribes together and bring peace to the world. But then one day, the evil King Bohan, looking to rule over all the land attacks, and Nariko has to use the cursed sword to defend the tribes.
About the game
Now that's a promising plot, right? Simple yet effective, if applied correctly. But the thing is, they didn't develop it at all. The game's incredibly short, only six short chapters and that's it. And we're not going to spoil it here, but it doesn't really leave room for much of a sequel. Even though it has a lot of plot holes and issues with the story, it cuts off everything too fast.
There's pretty much no character development, King Bohan is just plain boringly evil, and it isn't very clear how this whole Heavenly Sword thing works. No motivations, not much substory, no nothing. The game feels as if it's in a hurry. When you play games like Vanquish, that you can literally finish in one sit, you expect them to not attempt to be huge, just like Vanquish. But Heavenly sword promised to be the next Devil May Cry, and it ended up becoming… well, nothing.
The game is technically great, the mechanics are polished and they work well. Now, the game is not bad, not at all. It's great actually, while it lasts. It only needs something very important to be an excellent game: A different writer. Otherwise, you end up getting this thing that seems like it's going to be great, but it's finished in less than 5 hours.
Graphics and Visuals: The visuals are incredible, the art department is excellent too. It was a show-off by PlayStation as if they were stating a point. The action scenes are beautiful and the scenarios are very detailed.
Gameplay: The gameplay is great too, the fighting feels like a polished version of God of War II, and the mechanics are greatly implemented. But that's just when you're controlling Nariko. Sometimes you'll have to play as Kai, Noriko's friend, a shy girl that can barely talk. Kai's controls are terrible, and they really slow the otherwise fast-paced game.
Sound: The soundtrack is top-notch too, with amazing sound design and environmental sound nicely developed.
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Paint this picture with your imagination brush: YouYe a superhot warrior of the female form. You stand alone in a gladiator-stye arena surrounded by dozens of barbaric mercenaries that came to kick some ass--your ass. What happens next is a beautiful flurry of acrobatic attacks, grabs, and throws that look less like you're playing a game and more like a highlight reel of the world's coolest martial arts moves. But you are playing a game. Every bone-crunching blow is performed with deadly precision, and the camera actually works with you--sweeping, dipping and zooming in and out at all the right times. Here's combat as an art form, which should help set Heavenly Sword apart from the rest of the action crowd.
Beating up dudes as a man is not too hot. But replace the brawny meatbag with a feisty broad and you have an entirely different game (and one that is 100 percent sexier). Nariko, Heavenly Sword's redheaded hottie, may look nice on the outside, yet she has no problem tearing your insides out. She shouldn't have much trouble doing so either, considering the variety of ways she can mince your meat--with her massive sword, dual swinging blades, and a variety of probing projectiles, Nariko is the type of woman you don't want to rub the wrong way (though, judging by her vicious crotch shots, even the right way sounds a little sketchy).