- Summary: A dramatic tale of revenge sees Nariko, a fiery red-haired heroine embark on a quest for vengeance against an invading King and his army. The story builds around the ancient Heavenly Sword which once belonged to a powerful deity. It can never be wielded by a mortal without it draining their life-force, killing them within hours. When the invading King (played by Andy Serkis) destroys the warrior clan that guards the Heavenly Sword, the clan leader's daughter, Nariko, takes up the sword in a desperate fight for survival. Nariko must now pay the ultimate price as she embarks on one last mission of vengeance against the King and his army before her life is finally drawn to a close... The Heavenly Sword itself can Transform into Three Distinct Stances – Players can switch between on the fly allowing players to create their own fighting styles. The Combat Engine can Scale Up – From sophisticated one-on-one encounters to one-on-many, where enemies employ intelligent squad-based dynamics, right up to combat against battalions pushing real-time gameplay and AI to unprecedented new levels. Physics-based Combat – Players can sweep debris against opponents, kick tables to halt an oncoming surge of fighters, smash the enemy into the scenery or throw bodies into other enemies using aftertouch controls. [SCEE]… Expand
While it certainly has its flaws, they are minor and certainly not large to discredit this as a must-have for any PS3 system.
The story consists of a revenge plot with a strange twist: our heroine has some major issues with the people she's avenging. The story provides enough of a plot to explore Nariko's character but mostly stays out of the way of the hordes of enemies and outlandish bosses that you get to slaughter. Rarely does this get said about a game, but: the acting is magnificent! The cutscenes were directed by none other than Andy Serkis, noted for his portrayal of Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies and Cesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," known as the best motion capture actor in the business. Serkis also plays the game's chief villain, the despicable King Bohan, a complex villain with heavy doses of heartlessness and insanity. Nariko is portrayed by Anna Torv (think Olivia Dunham from the TV series "Fringe"), and she does a great job of bringing us a badass heroine with some deep emotional flaws that you can't help but love. The game is told mostly in flashback, with some very bizarre monologues taking place during major breaks in the action that very few actressess could have pulled off convincingly in person, much less in motion capture. In many ways this game is like an interactive film.
But, I know most of you out there could care less! "How does the game play?" you are pleading. Short answer: great. Nariko has many options in combat with moves that require a bit of technical ability to execute mixed in with moves you can get by smashing square over and over again. While it is possible to beat the game "button mashing," it is certainly more satisfying to take the time to learn at least a few of the combos and employ them strategically as it will make the game much easier. Nariko has three stances with the Heavenly Sword (which is what you spend most of your time wielding): speed, power, and ranged. There is no guard button since Nariko automatically blocks attacks that she is capable of blocking in her current stance. Enemies glow with a colored aura when they attack, signaling which stance you should be in to successfully block the attack. For those with good timing, there is also a counterattack option, which becomes an automatic kill when executed in a short enough frame. Defeating enemies fills up your superstyle gauge which allows for the use of level 1, 2, or 3 superstyle attacks. These devastating attacks can literally level armies! These attacks, her myriad of combos, and counterkills give Nariko a gleeful ouch factor that adds to her smooth and visually pleasing combos resulting in a character that is mesmerizing to play.
As much as I love this game, I found myself giving it a lower score than I wanted to for a few reasons. First of all, there is some button mashing. There are some levels that require a level of knowledge of Nariko's fighting style to do well, such as when five enemies blitz you at once or some ninja chick pulls a reversal of your counterattack, but the majority of them can be mashed through if one is determined enough. The game features beautiful graphics (others have disagreed with me, they must have a poor video connection or something), but works against them in a couple of ways. First, there is no free-rotating camera. You can press the left and right triggers to force the camera to pan a limited direction one way or another, but it snaps back very quickly when released, making some camera angles difficult to deal with. The game also features quicktime sequences. While normally a good thing, the graphics are so pretty and the action so well scripted that I find myself wanting to just watch them and not press the buttons. Also, the response times are very quick, making a new player forego seeing the big sequences in lieu of watching the bottom of the screen for buttons. Lastly, the game is short. This was of course reflected in the lower pricing, but it is such a shame to come out of such a fun game craving more.
Heavenly Sword is a must-own just to see the marriage of cinematic and videogame production techniques. However, those who start it won't be disappointed with the gameplay or effects either. The most credit, however, needs to be the fact that the game gives us Playstation fans a new and likeable console-specific action heroine.… Expand
DanishA.7A great game, but I take this game lightly because it is kind of short. This game is also depressing but still fun once you get really good at it.
RichardMitchell1Ever since the demo of Heavenly Sword was released, it has been called "Heavenly Flop," because the "in-game" "Playable," graphics aren't nearly as good as the "Cut-Sceen" "Non-Playable" graphics...also, the gameplay of Heavenly Sword is very clumsy--it plays like a "button massher," which requires no true skill. There are also graphic framerate problems with Heavenly Sword. Some reviews rate Heavenly Sword as a good game, while others rate it poorly. I think the main thing to keep in mind is that Heavenly Sword is receving, "Mixed Reviews." In other words, it certainly isn't considered anything special by everyone who plays it.… Expand