Thursday, January 8, 2009
Heavenly Sword for the PS3
I admit when the Playstation 3 first came out, I was a little suspicious about what titles it had. At first, I didn’t see anything special since then I didn’t like Resistance, or Ratchet and Clank, but there was always one title I was interested in playing, Heavenly Sword. I didn’t know what to expect, except a cool-looking action adventure game that looks like God of War. So, how does it stand up to action adventure games of today?
The story of Heavenly Sword takes place in some area of Asia, where a clan of warriors protect a powerful weapon, known as the Heavenly Sword. The prophecy is said that the leader’s son will wield the sword and save the clan from certain doom. Sadly, the prophecy now looked like a curse, due to the leader having a Xena Warrior-like daughter named Nariko. The clan will have to look past this, as an evil tyrant named Bohan wants the sword to rule the land and its people, and is willing to crush the clan to get it. It is then up to Nariko to wield the sword and save the land from the evil Bohan and his generals.
The game play can be described as a somewhat clone of God of War, mixed in with extremely well done choreographed martial art moves. You will mostly play as Nariko and use the Heavenly Sword on hoards of Bohan’s soldiers. Your sword has three styles: speed, range, and power. A cool thing is that you can pull off combos and switch stances while making the combos. You also get to pull off gruesome finishing moves that are just amazing to look at. The weapon variety can be a little thin though, since you can pick up some enemy weapons and pick up a rocket launcher-like weapon. From time to time, it turns into a third person shooter where you control Nariko’s sister Kai, who uses a big crossbow to shoot down enemy soldiers. Nariko will also man a cannon, and shoot down giant catapults, taking down hordes of men. An interesting thing about using Kai’s crossbow is that you can control where the arrows go, using the motion sensitive six-axis controller. Throughout the game, you will also need to pull off quick-time events like in God of War, but the events are set up like fight scenes in martial art flicks like Iron Monkey or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
The graphics and art style get an A+ from me since it’s so beautiful. Yeah, we got graphically good-looking games today, but when I saw this, I was amazed to see what the Playstation 3 could do. The music also gets a ‘thumbs up’ due to its amazing choreographed songs, and sound played through the game. The person in question who composed the soundtrack is Nitin Sawhey, who is a well-known Indian British musician. The voice acting has to be one of my favorite areas of the game, with great voice actors like Anna Torv doing the voice for Nariko, and the famous Andy Serkis doing the voice for King Bohan. The boss fights are frantic and a little hectic, but they are fun nonetheless.
Sadly, it’s time to get into the bad parts of the game. The game itself is pretty short, only lasting about seven hours or so. While fighting enemies are great, it just seems like it can get a little repetitive when it seems like you’re in the same situation, only in a different area. There isn’t an upgrade system, which is kind of dull since the fighting looks so amazing. I wish there were more boss fights than the three generals you fight in the game, and besides, the final boss being Bohan. I wish the six axis controls weren’t so sensitive, since it makes controlling the arrows very awkward and clumsy at times.
Overall though, this is a great game. While it’s not in the top 10 best PS3 games as of now, it at least deserves to be in the top 20 best PS3 games, though I would say to rent it first just to see what you think. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did actually make a sequel for this game. I mean, yeah, the people of Ninja Theory said they were interested, but they are going to focus on cross-platform games first.
This game gets an 8 out of 10.