Cue the headline news music. This week, I beat Heavenly Sword, a game for the PS3. Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.
The game came out about two years ago, and my brother-in-law Robbie borrowed it from a friend, and then lent it to me about two weeks ago. I’d seen the title a few months ago, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I saw the large sword, and dismissed as one of those myriad Japanese and their large sword fetish games. However, free game to borrow? Why not.
The game is a martial arts game with a hack and slash quality to it — you know, “button mashing.” Wonderfully rendered, good story, and nice music. I did like the game a lot, and I thought it had some unique elements. The story starts out with about to begin a 1 vs a 100,000-man army final battle. You are Nariko, a tough-as-nails woman in feudal Japan. However, one minute into it, your sacred sword that will slowly drain your life finally kills you. As your out-of-body experience shows you going up to the sky, you end up in some strange purgatory.
You begin talking about the legend of the Heavenly Sword, and how the major recent events began five days ago. The game then truly begins at five days ago. The rest of the chapters in the game continue chronologically (four day ago, three, etc) until you reach the final battle you were in the beginning, in a chapter aptly named “Full Circle.” The story continues, but I won’t spoil it. It was certainly unique.
I did like it, but the game was awfully short. I thought the game was good, but….. I’d probably be annoyed if I spent $60 on a six hour game. Also, while I like all the numerous martial arts moves, you have to be pretty good at hitting all the buttons (square, triangle, square, square) in the right sequence and timing to get the combos. Doable, but at some point, you just regress into just mashing all the buttons, and hoping for the best. Good voice acting too. Anna Torv [Fringe] voiced Nariko, and Andy Serkis [LoTR, King Kong] voiced the evil King Bohan, as well as Dramatic Director.
Too bad there won’t be a sequel. The developer Ninja Theory has cancelled the plans for a sequel, as from a “follow the money” point-of-view, they’ll make more money on multi-platform games (XBox, PS3, etc.) I guess they can’t convert all their PS3 game code to be compatible with both the PS3 and the XBox 360. Ah well. I really liked the Nariko character.