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Heavenly Sword Story Update |

My favourite genre of game just happens to be 3rd person action games like Devil May Cry, God of War and Heavenly Sword. The last game I’ve just mentioned features in the latest issue of OPM and it’s got my excitement for this game reaching fever pitch!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Nariko dies. 😥 At the beginning of the game no less. So you can probably guess that the story is played out through flashbacks starting with Nariko’s death caused by the Heavenly Sword, which finally “devours her spirit”. The Heavenly Sword was originally created for a God and no mortal can handle the weapon and survive to tell the tale. The HS was protected by a Nariko’s father, Shen, and a number of his followers, but he is murdered by a deranged leader known as King Bohan who wanted the blade’s power for himself. King Bohan (voiced by Andy Serkis) and his band of equally deranged followers, slaughter Shen and the other protectors of the Heavenly Sword. This is the where Nariko picks up the HS and fights back, sealing her fate in the process.

Although Nariko is slowly dying, the magical blade imbues her with awesome fighting techniques, with the game throwing enemy after enemy at you. This isn’t a game where you will find puzzles to solve or platforms to hop across. It’s similar to the Devil May Cry series in that it’s main selling point is action, action and more action. Oh yeah!!!

When equipped with the Heavenly Sword, Nariko can switch between three different stances: Power Stance, Speed Stance and Range Stance. Using the Power Stance, the HS changes into a huge blade meaning you can cut your way through shields and causing massive damage but you’re a lot slower as a consequence. The Speed Stance transforms the HS into two circular blades giving you the ability to perform various combos but it’s obviously not as powerful as the Power Stance. The Range Stance extends the blades into a chain like weapon giving her a longer range attack. She can also use this weapon to grab enemies and fling them around using their body as a weapon.

Unlike DMC3 you can switch fighting styles during battle, giving you a varied selection of techniques for you to use when faced with different enemies and obstacles. You will also be able to counter enemies attacks and finish them off by using combos that you have learned. There is also the Hero sequences which are triggered during battle when you face a powerful enemy. The battle is won or lost by your ability to hit the right buttons when they appear on screen. This seems to be a more energetic variation of the finishing moves that appeared in God of War and are done on a far grander scale. We’ve seen these in action before in the previous Heavenly Sword footage shown at E3 and TGS, which you can watch here if you need a reminder of it’s beauty.

During your many battles you can earn ‘style points’ which can be used to buy ‘Superstyle Moves’, improve your combat techniques and play previously completed/unlocked levels with your new and improved moves. As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of the environment can be destroyed and used as weapons and obstacles during battle, giving the game a nice sense of destruction.

At some stage you will be able to acquire a bazooka to aid you in battle against the 100s of on screen enemies. On top of these minions, you will have to face off against King Bohan’s Assassin’s. Flying Fox is a Martial Arts expert who can take to the air. Whiptail is into cannibalism and can modify her body giving hew new attacks. Not someone you would ask out on a date then. You will also face King Bohan’s son, Roach, who is a sadistic piece of work. There is also the possibility that you will be helped out by Nariko’s adopted sister, Kai, who is also the only survivor of another murdered clan. She uses a pump action crossbow.

This game ticks all the right boxes for me I just hope it isn’t let down by a poor camera and that it offers some form of incentive to replay it.
The game is still scheduled for a March 6th release, so my fingers are crossed it will be a European launch date.

  • manlord

    My fingers are crossed there will be an European launch! 🙂

  • GOD OF WAAARRRR! Sorry but I had to say it. As much as I love the game, they seem to be constantly ripping off God of War. I thought it was just the swords, but the story?

  • Well just because both lead characters die at the beginning doesn’t necessarily mean they are ripping off GoW. I’m really looking forward to both GoW2 and Heavenly Sword though. My favourite genre is well catered for in 2007. 8)

  • Wow, march is going to be a busy month for games! I hope the European launch gets all these great games, they deserve it.

  • skootie

    My number one hope for this game is that it will feature some sort of multi-player element.

  • I doubt it, skootie. There’s been no hint whatsoever of any multiplayer action and it’s less than two months away from release.

    I also find it strange that no gameplay footage has been released since E3 last year.

  • ehandlr

    I want this game badly.

  • Pc

    AWWWWW…..I’m sad now !!!! Why does she have to go and die ???? Ohhh welll….I’ll be picking up this game for sure.

  • I am glad, somehow, that it does not feature multiplayer stuff…

    I dont care for that pretty much. I am a single player gamer. The game I really used to play multiplayer was Doom 2… And that was 1995 or so. Later I was playing Q3A alot, but this games was straightly built for multiplayer in mind.

    Now I am now and then playing WoW, but mostly alone, as I dont need to depend/wait/deal with different people I often dont know and whatnot.

    In my understanding, it is my advantage, as theres no need for the devs to do multiplayer stuff, so they can concentrate on the single player aspect.

    Mostly and often games in my opinion are MUCH too short. I mean look at my current play time in Final Fantasy XII. I am at 28hrs in game and not nearly done (second to last chapter before the endboss… It is still a long way off) with it. Same goes with FF X. On my first play I was killing Sin at 50hrs ingame (more or less no sidequests done). If I then play Doom 3 or Max Payne and I am done after what like 10 hrs, I feel ripped off…

    I just hope, it has a lengthy campain and much stuff to explore outside of the main quest to push multiple play throughs. If this games does not do this, then I will only rent it, nothing else (Same goes for nearly any other game by the way)

  • i am SO looking forward to this. i don’t care if it’s a god of war ripoff or not, it still looks like it’ll be worth playing.

  • You can’t really compare game lengths of RPGS v action orientated titles. RPGs have always been longer than any other genre, except maybe RTS games but they are boring. 😉

    I will be surprised if HS lasts more than 10-15hrs. I still think it’s the type of game that will show off what the PS3 can do and unless it gets some terrible reviews from trustworthy sources, I’ll be getting it.

  • A great 10hr story with some interesting stages is all I ask. I’d like to play through it once or twice on different difficulty modes.

  • Hopefully there will be a Must Die Mode similar to DMC.

    With kick ass moves at your disposal you want some enemies to put up a fight.

  • How would they implement Multiplayer into game like this? Co-op maybe, but a deathmatch style ould be weird. Though I can think of a few DW style things they could do with MP.

  • I don’t think they could, it would break the flow of the game. Games like these are suited for single player only especially the main game.

  • 2 player Co-op would double the replay value (no pun intended…)

  • ehandlr

    give me 10-15 hours and I’ll be happy I guess. I’d like to see them use the Blu-Ray to their advantage and give some extra content/levels/etc.

  • Of course RPGs have always had a lenghtier campain, but why is that?

    Its not like the genre itself makes it longer somehow. Look at Final Fantasy X or XII (preferably the latter, as it has less cutscenes and is less linear). These games are so good damn long, I easily can tell myself, I want to shell out 60€ for this (rather 70€, if the “preorder” prices stay) for a game that will bring me joy for more than 20hrs. I just think, the price/performance is not good enough to justify a 70€ expense for less than that time, mostly only HALF that.

    But I still think, HS will be a great game, albeit short (like GoW, which was also great, but I played it thru in 2 freakin days).

  • I think it’s primarily because, more than any other genre, it’s story driven. On top of that, there’s the building up of your character’s stats, equipment, magical ability etc, and you do that by constantly fighting battles.

    Value for money is always a complicated issue in games. There’s no doubt that RPGs offer you great value for money with regards to lifespan and the amount of hours you put into a game.

    If a game is around 10hrs long but makes you want to play it again on Hard mode and Even Harder mode then that gives a shorter game good value for money even though you can finish it in a day.

  • Bad news guys. The release date could be wrong. :/

    *Link edited by Gary.

  • In a way I wouldn’t be surprised as nothing new has been shown of the games since E3. 😥

  • This was always in the back of my mind. Sony informed the Game Advisory Panel that it would be released Fall 2007. I think March 6 is just a placeholder date.