Heavenly Sword

Heavenly Sword

Like Yahtzee, I use the months where new releases are less frequent to check out the games I missed the first time around. Okay, so I honestly don’t have that much interest (and why should I care about a game just because it was once hyped anyway), but Heavenly Sword fell into my lap and since it was rumored to be very short I gave it a go over the weekend. Turns out “short” was an understatement and Heavenly Sword didn’t last more than an afternoon, but since the game was free and my time is not that’s not really a bad thing.

Heavenly Sword has been compared to God of War on most levels, but apart from the general genre and art direction being sort of similar, the only thing that’s a direct copy is the simon says- mini games and the general flow of the game. Like in GoW you kill creatures (well… Unlike GoW you mostly slay humans in Heavenly Sword) in close-quarter battles, but while GoW is a pure hack-n-slash where the enemies are numerous and pouring in, Heavenly Sword is more like a fighting-game where you (usually) fight fewer enemies at a time and base your attacks on blocking and countering the enemies. In theory this should be more interesting but the variety of enemies in Heavenly Sword is very small (this goes for the environments as well, by the way) so it gets old. There are some sections where the swordfighting is replaced with different kinds of ranged attacks, and while this is refreshing and fun some are based heavily on controlling projectiles mid-air by tilting the controller – and as Lair-players can tell you, being forced to control something with the motion-sensors in the sixaxis is usually bad news.

Other than the aforementioned parts, Heavenly sword controls very well, looks and sounds pretty enough and has – despite the lack of decent progression of gameplay elements – enough depth to be fun all the way through. A decent diversion, but it is – in more ways than it is like God of War, even – like a gaming equivalent to a matinĂ©e movie. It’s incredibly short and doesn’t have anything in the area of hidden areas or exploration. It has some aspirations of having a dramatic story but the scriptwriters saw fit to destroy all the mood by throwing in some comically inept, cartoon-style sidekicks to the main villains, possibly to make the game more sellable to kids that might not understand the finer points of drama – although why you would want those to play a game where you run a sword up someone’s crotch is beyond me. It’s the sort of thing you usually see at the beginning of every new console generation, games that are audiovisually very impressive because people think the best way to improve games given new technology is to make them more like movies and throwing out the gameplay. But I guess it could be a lot worse.

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Posted on Jun 15/08 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »