• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Sep 12, 2007
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. What MotorStorm has become to racing and Odin Sphere to action role-playing, Heavenly Sword is now to 3D action: Perfection. [Sept 2007, p.17]
  2. The title is by far the best single-player experience yet on the PlayStation 3 and certainly one of the finest on any platform this year.
  3. Heavenly Sword is one of the best PS3 games to date.
  4. Heavenly Sword is just a fun and beautiful game, with great action and amazing cutscenes that shatter the current boundaries of motion-capture technology.
  5. In the end, Heavenly Sword is really the first major standout title for the PS3 since its console debut.
  6. As a game experience Heavenly Sword is unmatched - it flows superbly and at its highest peaks it soars - absolutely unmissable and so close to a ten it hurts.
  7. It is a stunning achievement in capturing performance, and a solid jumping-off point for the franchise.
  8. 90
    In the end, I think the Playstation 3 has finally gotten another killer app in the form of Heavenly Sword.
  9. With production values rivaling the best Hollywood films and diverse but short gameplay, this could very well be the PlayStation 3's killer app.
  10. Heavenly Sword's lush presentation, graphical prowess and fast paced action deliver an outstanding game experience that no gamer with a PS3 should miss.
  11. 90
    So, while it doesn't eclipse the greatness of the original title that inspired it, Heavenly Sword is still a fun, engaging, and most importantly, exclusive PS3 title that Sony fanboys can brag to 360 fanboys about.
  12. 89
    Heavenly Sword is a game that can genuinely claim to be a next-generation experience. Most excitingly for us this is not some clever new combat mechanic or simply more polygons; rather, it is a whole new level of story telling that doesn't simply insert pre-rendered films into the game, but integrates characters into the heart of each play component.
  13. Ninja Theory and Sony have done an admirable job making a game in the style of God of War without turning it into a shameless clone, but the guys at WETA really brought Heavenly Sword to life.
  14. Nariko, Kai and company are the most compelling characters to ever grace a video game (and yes, that is opinion). The voice acting is dead-on and the graphics are gorgeous. In the end, though, the short gameplay and similarities to God of War lower the overall score.
  15. The amazing cutscenes (with some of the best facial animations I’ve ever seen), a cool cast of characters, and the stirring musical score complement the gameplay to create an incredibly cinematic experience. It may invite comparisons to other action titles, but I can safely say that Heavenly Sword is a unique and captivating adventure with a style all its own.
  16. All in all, the game is great fun from intriguing opening to thrilling end; it’s just a shame that the game is so short. Still, if you’re looking for a superb action game, you could do a lot worse than Heavenly Sword.
  17. For all of its compelling gameplay, stunning visuals and enjoyable story, Heavenly Sword is definitely worth the afternoon you will spend completing it. Whether those six hours are worth ten dollars an hour is up to you.
  18. For what it is, a good story with a lot of flashy action, it works extremely well. And finally, our hats are off to that voice crew (we have to mention Lydia Baksh as Kai and Steven Berkoff as Flying Fox as well) and to the Ninja Theory team, because you guys really went all out in the presentation and style aspects. No doubt about it; awfully impressive. Hey, the voices actually synch up with the characters lips in the cut-scenes!
  19. Heavenly Sword is a fantastic game, and the best game on the PS3. If you don't mind great games being short, pick it up. If you do mind, rent it. Either way, if you own a PS3 you need to play this game.
  20. Did you enjoy "God of War," "Shadow of the Colossus," and other games of that nature? Then, no doubt, this is a game you'll love. If you are thinking of a game with more platforming elements and puzzles, like the Prince of Persia trilogy, this might not be exactly your style.
  21. Heavenly Sword is one heck of a ride, but unfortunately like a summer blockbuster it comes to an end way too quickly.
  22. The ability to steer every object, projectile, and hurled corpse with motion control adds an unprecedented layer of complexity and fun to an otherwise familiar fare. [Oct 2007, p.92]
  23. 83
    Heavenly Sword is finely crafted masterpiece that takes presentation in gaming to new heights.
  24. This is one of the few games I’ve felt the urge to replay on a harder difficulty, just because those 7 hours were so sweet. Nariko’s time on earth might be cut short prematurely, but she does offer a small taste of the milk of paradise.
  25. Heavenly Sword has it's problems, but it's still an enjoyable, stylish and wildly cinematic ride that all PlayStation 3 owners should experience.
  26. Heavenly Sword is a fluid beat 'em up adventure. The moviesque presentation is top notch. Too bad the fighting is so monotonous – it is certainly no Ninja Gaiden. Shooting is fun, though. [Sept 2007]
  27. There is no denying that it is wonderful, and narratively and graphically speaking perhaps Heavenly, but it falls into the trap of many a young console’s first games, an attempt to show off what the console can do rather than what the player can do.
  28. Quality over quantity is the vibe here and there's no doubt in our mind that Heavenly Sword is a winner and a work of art (eat that Roger Ebert!) that will help shift tons of PS3s come September. When it's good, it's truly magnificent and some of the final stages will have anyone with a 42-inch high-definition TV foaming at the mouth.
  29. If you are looking for a purist's hack and slash that will test you for months, go elsewhere, ideally to Ninja Gaiden Sigma. But if you want a thrilling and cinematic adventure that will give you ample opportunity to show off the muscle of your PlayStation 3 and provide a glimpse of the console's possible future, you could do far worse than pick up this big-budget epic.
  30. Despite the strong presentation and excellent voice acting, Kratos and his mythological pals have nothing to fear from Heavenly Sword. The game doesn't quite match "God of War"'s sense of pacing, character control and after plowing through another room of identical enemies, button-mashing until your thumbs are sore, you may eventually lose the urge to see what's around the next corner.
  31. 80
    It’s refreshing to have a story in a videogame that I can actually take seriously. Ninja Theory’s commitment to storytelling shines through when you play it.
  32. Heavenly Sword provides exactly what the PlayStation3 is in dire need of. An extremely stylish and immediate action romp that will entertain the masses and earn points for its faultless presentation and production. Nevertheless, it isn't quite the game we were hoping for and leaves a number of areas for improvement when Nariko struts her stuff on the PlayStation3 once again.
  33. Heavenly Sword feels like a summer action flick. It's full of nonstop action, and it looks terrific. Unfortunately, like a great summer movie, it's over far too quickly.
  34. It's not sloppy, but it lacks a polished tightness. [Nov 2007, p.76]
  35. Heavenly Sword is an engaging game experience where, even if you don’t love the gameplay, you will enjoy a movie quality experience.
  36. 80
    Can a game that lets you pick up a body, throw it, and tilt it with the PS3 controller as it flies at other enemies be bad?
  37. 80
    Driven by an excellent story and cinematic presentation, if you're a PS3 owner, Heavenly Sword is one of the exclusive HD experiences that you've been waiting for.
  38. 80
    If you have a PS3 and love the action genre then you should not miss this incredible experience, unfortunately it is hard to recommend shelling out sixty bucks for such a short experience.
  39. It is almost unerringly gorgeous and a blast to play, though the combat could have been pushed forward to true "God of War" levels with just a few different options. Even so, this is the best action title going on the PS3 this fall.
  40. 80
    Our initial criticisms on the sameness of combat that led to an overall feeling of tediousness have not been completely eradicated, however, as there is still very little variation in the enemies you face, but the improvements to the framerate certainly make the combos and counters a lot easier to perform.
  41. Speedy, stylish combat mixes with incredibly detailed cinemas and movie-style storytelling to create a game that feels like an action movie and plays like a dream. [Oct 2007, p.50]
  42. With just seven hours of play and little replay value it’s the ultimate rental. While it includes a few new ideas, it isn’t a revelation that will rock the world, but it’s still one of the better action games available for the PlayStation 3.
  43. Good-looking fighting with neat ideas and solid combat, but it's repetitive and short. [Oct 2007, p.80]
  44. The boss battles and incredible cutscenes are compelling enough to keep you going, but the tedious fodder battles and inconsistencies stop the game from living up to its maximum potential.
  45. The game's tremendous art design, graphics, voice acting, and plot are really dragged down by the lack of decent puzzles in the game.
  46. With charming characters, great acting, beautiful cutscenes, and an overall great, immersive experience, Heavenly Sword has raised the bar for the presentation of next-generation games. It’s just a shame that the experience ends so soon, but there are always sequels to take care of those problems.
  47. The scenery is breathtaking, battles can be exciting, and the intelligent, cruel King Bohan — voiced brilliantly by Andy Serkis, who was the voice of Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” movies — is one of the best video game villains ever. The game is frustrating because it seems as if it should have been a great game and as if its creators tried to make it a great game, but it managed to be only a pretty good one.
  48. A solid action game, but not a "must have" title.
  49. 71
    If this game was longer than six hours, we'd give it a much better score, but the length of it isn't quite redeemed by the great story and mediocre gameplay. [Issue#157, p.72]
  50. 70
    Heavenly Sword turns out to be a short experience, and one that isn’t going to challenge even the cerebrally impaired.
  51. No amount of lavish technical polish and drama-filled cut scenes can disguise how it feels to play, and the fact that at its core, the combat doesn't quite cut it. Put simply, it feels like it's trying too hard to be different for the sake of it, and throws all manner of good, well-established ideas out to its detriment. Instead of being a spectacular refinement of what's gone before, Heavenly Sword is a reinvention that doesn't quite pay-off.
  52. For those who are fans of the fantasy action genre and who overlooked this almost-classic first time around, I would strongly suggest you not let the negative criticism keep you from missing you on this incredible ride.
  53. There are definitely moments of triple-A brilliance to be enjoyed here, but they're occasionally overshadowed by the game's shortcomings.
  54. Too short despite early promise of an epic, Heavenly Sword is quite a disappointment. [Oct 2007, p.119]
  55. Though it's mostly good, often excellent and technically spectacular, as a wannabe movie this can't help but fall short of heavenly. [Oct 2007, p.102]
  56. 70
    Heavenly Sword's presentation is stellar and nicely ties the action sequences together, but we just wish that the same amount of care that went into these cutscenes were applied to the game's pacing.
  57. Heavenly Sword will run you about 6 – 7 hours but as an action game that’s about all we can really expect from a title that wants to tell a spin a narrow tale.
  58. For all its flaws, Heavenly Sword is still somewhat satisfying. Perhaps its short length (just ten hours or so) keeps the button-mashing from becoming overwhelmingly repetitious. Perhaps Nariko’s sexily smoky voice and gorgeous hair is just distracting enough to take your mind off the annoying camera?
  59. For all its showboating, this is an average action game with few standout moments. [Nov 2007, p.74]
  60. 65
    A pretty, short, next-generation God of War-alike with quirky gameplay.
  61. It’s worth experiencing for the artistry in its visual flair, excellent cutscenes and one or two inspired directional moments, but as a game? The previous generation God Of War has the definite edge. [Oct 2007, p.86]
  62. The excellent characters and simply beautiful looks throughout the many cut-scenes will do a fine job of impressing those looking to see what their PlayStation 3 is capable of, but despite these highs, it’s likely to be the lows that stand out. [Oct 2007, p.112]
  63. If Metal Gear Solid and Halo had acting this good, we'd be on to something.
  64. Ultimately very few players will wish to repeat the experience and for such a high profile release questions have to be asked just what went wrong.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 481 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 89
  2. Negative: 17 out of 89
  1. Aug 6, 2010
    10
    It was a good game with amazing gameplay, but it could have been better with more gameplay options. I like this game in general. if you have 5-6 hours to kill, try it out. Full Review »
  2. ThomasO.
    Jan 1, 2008
    6
    What looked to be a rather exciting and interesting title soon found itself being swapped for something else. The game was all over in 4 relaxed days of playing. The ONLY thing enticing the user to replay the game was the obligitory 'unlocked' hard mode. Visually the game is very nice for an early release however it is a long series of button mashing against the hoards with the occasional mini-game using the 6-axis for good measure. I would suggest hiring instead of buying. Full Review »
  3. RichardMitchell
    Aug 22, 2007
    1
    Ever 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. Full Review »