Heavenly Sword (2007) Review

Heavenly Sword is a hack and slash adventure game that was developed for the Sony PlayStation 3, it was developed by Ninja Theory and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

The game begins at the end of its story, the titular character Nariko has seemingly died after using the legendary heavenly sword, the game then takes the player to the chapter select screen where they can start the game and learn what happened before the previous moment. The game shows a war between a warrior clan and a tyrannical king who wants to steal the Heavenly Sword and use its power for mass destruction, the player controls Nariko in the game the daughter of the clans chief.

The main gameplay style is hack and slash a style that requires players to kill large quantities of enemies in one go using well timed button presses and a good use of various attack combo’s. In this game you have three main attack stances less powerful speed based attacks, ranged attacks and strong but slow powerful attacks. Switching between these is very easy however I found there was a delay for the game to notice that you have changed stance.

There are four boss battles in the game and they all challenging in unique ways, for me they were best part of the game and I think a lot of that is because the characters are each very comical and silly in nature, out of all of these the final boss was the most difficult which is to be expected however he is actually much harder than the rest of the game which is not very challenging at all.

I will be honest the main game play is quite forgettable even with the different stances, I found myself zoning out a lot and just breezing through it but the secondary game play when you would control Kai or cannons was great. In these moments you shoot arrows or sometimes cannon balls at enemies that are far away but you control how these fly and its really fun to try and hit different targets you can even shoot through fire to light explosives, I loves these segments and would have been really pleased if the whole game was like this.

Visually for an early PS3 game this looks really good it uses colours very well and for most part is graphically smooth, these days this doesn’t look so good and even compared to many PS3 games this doesn’t hold up but you have to keep in mind that this was only a year or so after the PS2 and developers were still getting use to the graphical capabilities of the system.

In a similar manner to the gameplay the official soundtrack is also very forgetful and none of the music really stands out.

Heavenly Sword disappointed me because I remember watching my cousin play it when it first came out and it seemed really fun so I’ve waited more than 10 years to play this only to find that its fairly mediocre for a hack and slash. My biggest issue was the delay in some of the controls it became a serious issue especially during the final battle when you need change stance constantly, I also did not enjoy the forced quick time events which really felt unnecessary, the worst offence was the unbalanced difficulty, the entire game is really easy until the final boss who is extremely difficult, this is bad design they should increased the difficulty gradually so that players can adapt to the difficulty as they get experience playing the game. I did really enjoy the characters in the game as they were all very funny and had some great moments, the designs are really memorable and voice acting is top notch, the plot of the game while simple is also really enjoyable and very well written. Overall not a great game but it’s far from a terrible experience.

4/10

Thank you for reading my review of Heavenly Sword for the PS3

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