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Have you ever wondered what the God of War games would have been like if the protagonist wasn’t Kratos, but one of the many lustrous prostitutes scattered throughout Ancient Greece? Well, if that’s on your bucket list, then the cover of what is Heavenly Sword probably drew you right in.
The game stars a beautiful looking woman, Nariko, donned in nothing but her lingerie and a sword. On the outside she may seem like an unstoppable badass engine of destruction, but the game consistently pushes you away thanks to a boring and repetitive combat system, a pathetically paced storyline, and terrible acting.
Heavenly Sword seems too much like a God of War spinoff than it does its own game. The concept is simple, Heavenly Sword is a third person action-adventure game where the player must traverse through a series of brief missions that are littered with forced SIXAXIS mechanics that destroy the fun.
But most of the time you are fighting waves of enemies in melee combat with the titular sword, an object you have bound your life to to protect. The controls are pretty straightforward as well. Pressing square or or triangle will perform quick attacks while holding L1 will transform the two buttons (square and triangle) into ranged attacks or doing the same action holding in R1 would trigger heavy attacks.
There is also a combo system where you can chain together various attacks to unleash a devastating amount of damage on your foes. Although the few combos to be found are few and far between. The only challenging part about the game is the concept that your enemies will use the same three types of attacks that you have in your arsenal against you.
The only way to block their attacks would be to retaliate with the same type of strike. A powerful attack blocks a powerful attack, light blocks light, and so on. The system sounds like a cool idea and believe me, it was at first. But when you find yourself in a fight with ten or so guys and each of them are attacking with different types of moves, parrying them is next to impossible and the only thing you can really do is take the hits and constantly roll out-of-the-way with the right thumbstick.
But the type of enemies you face are almost always the same. Fighting off waves and waves of the same melee and archer enemy types got very old, very quick. Even the bosses are a repetitive wash of the same old thing over and over.
But not all the levels follow the same, consistent third-person brawler kind of play-style. On occasion, you’ll be put into the shoes of a character that uses a ranged weapon to take out the baddies and the controls are just god awful. Players will have to hold down square while guiding a projectile towards its target with the SIXAXIS motion controller.
The one thing I think developer Ninja Theory did nail were the spectacular looking graphics. The textures, characters, weapons and animation are all gorgeously detailed right down to the finest point. The game is actually one of the best looking games I’ve seen on the PS3 to date.
Although the game is graphically stunning and boasts a fantastic soundtrack, they do not make up for the boring, repetitive gameplay mechanics nor the poorly paced storyline. Heavenly Sword is more like a cheap version of God of War than anything else.
Replay Value: Low