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.