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Stellar Blade Review | Attack of the Fanboy


Although it’s grow to be a drained level of dialogue and the middle of some really disheartening discourse, there’s rather a lot to love about Stellar Blade. Developer Shift Up’s debut PlayStation 5 title has been proven off for what looks like ages now, and the completed product is much extra polished than you’d count on from a primarily cellular improvement studio. Nonetheless, regardless of its incredible presentation and satisfying fight, Stellar Blade sadly falls a bit brief in comparison with different video games within the style.

Stellar Blade is a good sufficient motion sport, although, and its nice fight system does rather a lot to hold the expertise. It initially comes throughout as extra of a Soulslike than it truly is, putting nice emphasis on perfectly-timed dodges and parries that open up enemies for a barrage of strikes. As you degree up and unlock new skills for Eve, nevertheless, Stellar Blade’s motion sport roots begin to rise to the floor.

Stellar-Blade-Combat
Picture: Shift Up

You’ll begin out afraid of most enemies that you just encounter, however after only a few hours you’ll be dancing round crowds of enemies and making fast work of even the hardest boss battles. The sport’s ability tree goes a great distance in making the fight really feel extra fluid and responsive, widening parry and excellent dodge home windows so you may focus extra on flashy combos and high-damage expertise. Stellar Blade exists in an odd center floor between Darkish Souls and Satan Could Cry, and whereas I undoubtedly began the sport wishing it leaned a lot more durable someway, the fight lastly clicked after a couple of hours of upgrades.

Upgrades are surprisingly one of the crucial satisfying issues about Stellar Blade, too. The sport’s ranges aren’t as easy as they seem, and there are chests, mixture codes, and difficult foes hidden round fairly actually each nook. Exploring each nook and cranny of Stellar Blade’s world can simply add hours to your playthrough, and the builders know precisely what number of rewards to position round each nook to maintain you touring alongside their tightly-designed path of breadcrumbs.

There’s additionally a good quantity of flexibility in relation to constructing Eve’s equipment and skills. The sport palms you ability factors so quick that you just’ll have the ability to unlock one or two new expertise each time you come throughout a protected zone, and the sheer number of expertise implies that your Eve can look rather a lot totally different than another person’s. Each excellent dodges and excellent parries are viable for fight, and you’ll concentrate on stringing lengthy combo assaults collectively or barraging enemies with fast slashes to construct up vitality on your expertise.

Tools additionally performs a big position on this, with Eve capable of equip varied Nano Fits and different gear which have huge stat boosts related to them. I discovered myself specializing in elevating Eve’s crit charge so I might spam gentle assaults and never get caught in prolonged assault animations in case I wanted to parry an incoming assault. Stellar Blade’s ability tree catered to this completely, letting me unlock passive skills that elevated my vitality recharge charge with each profitable strike. Others will play the sport in utterly other ways, which is why Stellar Blade’s development system is so nice.

Stellar-Blade-Skill-Tree
Picture: Attack of the Fanboy

Sadly, the opposite features of Stellar Blade fall wanting the competitors. The story is the largest miss right here, and a genuinely attention-grabbing premise and setup devolve into been-there-done-that sci-fi tropes that numerous different collection have dealt with a lot better. The wonderful character designs and environmental work deserve a greater storyline than what we obtained.

The world that you just discover in Stellar Blade is attention-grabbing sufficient, at the least, however the worldbuilding is paper-thin and leaves you wanting a lot extra. There are a number of corpses strewn about every zone with notes and letters hooked up to them, however they at all times comprise only a few sentences of a few of the most generic sci-fi stuff you’ve ever learn. It’s often a combination of “do we really know what’s going on” or “these monsters are really scary,” neither of which is especially compelling.

On the very least, Stellar Blade’s story and worldbuilding don’t get in the best way of the motion. Cutscenes are transient and most exposition occurs when you’re exploring, so it’s straightforward to tune every little thing out if you wish to. That received’t prevent from the stilted voice performances, although. Outdoors of a choose few cutscenes, you’ll get used to listening to bland line reads from Eve, her accomplice Adam, and the remainder of the forged.

Stellar-Blade-Cutscene
Picture: Shift Up

Regardless of these drawbacks, although, it’s surprisingly straightforward to lose hours to Stellar Blade earlier than you’ve even realized it. I’ve already talked about the breadcrumb path of collectibles and upgrades, however each swing of the sword feels impactful and each particular burst ability feels weightier than the final. Slicing by a crowd with a charged slice or smashing a protect with Eve’s protect breaker skill by no means will get previous. It’s simply a type of video games that tries means too arduous to place the enjoyable in entrance of every little thing else, it doesn’t matter what suffers because of this.

Even one thing so simple as the sound that objects make while you decide them up simply scratches my mind in one of the best ways. Plus, Shift Up turns the DualSense’s haptic suggestions to 11 with nearly each potential motion making the controller vibrate in a deeply satisfying method. Quite a lot of video games hype up their DualSense integration, however Stellar Blade’s implementation jogs my memory of an ideal arcade machine the place each enter has a tactile really feel and an addicting response.

That’s the principle factor about Stellar Blade. At its core, Stellar Blade is a sport obsessive about immediate gratification and intense dopamine rushes. The flashy fight is one factor, however developer Shift Up actually is aware of learn how to maintain the hamster wheel spinning and suck you into the sport till you don’t understand how a lot time has handed.

Stellar-Blade-Lily
Picture: Shift Up

In the end, Stellar Blade is a strong motion sport that blends rewarding exploration and mesmerizing visuals to create an fulfilling expertise, even when the story and world go away rather a lot to be desired. So long as you may put up with stilted dialogue and bland worldbuilding, the flashy fight system feels wonderful in movement after getting a couple of upgrades beneath your belt. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, and a comparatively transient, tightly designed motion sport is at all times welcome in my e book.

7

Stellar Blade

Stellar Blade is a strong motion sport that blends rewarding exploration and mesmerizing visuals to create an fulfilling expertise, even when the story and world go away rather a lot to be desired.

Reviewed on PlayStation 5


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