What do you get when you mix Darksiders, God of War, and ambition? This Game!
Strength of the Sword 3, is an PlayStation Network exclusive developed and published by Ivent Games. It was created by a 3 man team, and considering this is a console release (download or not), that is nothing short of inspiring. You play an unnamed warrior who fights in arena like stages, in an attempt to get passed waves of enemies, sort of like a fighter, where you climb up the ranks to get to the big baddie, but not exactly. The plot is sort of non-existent, but it seems that story isn’t exactly what they’re looking for, as this is a very gameplay heavy title. You face a number of devastating foes that can kill you in a group setting or one on one.
THE GOOD: The game plays ALOT like Darksiders and God of War, in fact it may be as close to a mirror image experience that we’ll get for a downloadable title. The music is powerful and very reminiscent to the aforementioned games. There were some cool character designs for the enemies and bosses.
Swing away, hero.
The difficulty had a huge hint of Dark Souls, there were times when you felt a certain enemy was impossible to defeat, but the extremely fun gameplay almost forces you to keep playing until you moved forward, I actually had a hard time putting the game down. The animation of the moves you performed was awesome. There were some combos you could perform that dealt extra damage as well, and you could level up with xp you gained after every battle, which would also lead to upgraded equipment. There’s also projectile weapons such as throwing knives, grenades, rockets, and flames.
“Death is in the air!”, indeed it is Dark Knight, indeed it is.
THE BAD: The combos you could use were extremely limited, in fact I only recall 3-4 being usable. By the time you finish the game you don”t unlock every upgrade, however this could have most likely been due to me sucking at gaining enough xp. It would have been nice if you could face different, more powerful enemies as you move up in the story, instead of being ganged on by those previously encountered.
The game is way too short for it’s own good, I completed it in a little (and I mean a very little) over 2 hours. and half of that was due to the amount of times I died. I also lost sight on the purpose of mana, until,l was half way through the game. It seems to improve the strength of your weapon, I didn’t try mana on projectiles, though I doubt there would be much difference, if a use at all. Speaking of which there was an odd glitch in some areas that gave you unlimited throwing knives, I don’t know if this was only in the review code copy or not, but it made such areas way too easy.
One of the latter more difficult parts of the game.
THE UGLY: The tutorial was a bit difficult to follow with all of the action in the foreground. It was basically a controller in the upper-left corner, and made things difficult when trying to watch it and your enemy simultaneously. Some of the reaction time controls like recovering and dodging didn’t always work, and you were left frustrated for not knowing why you took damage after you seemingly completed a recover move.
The bullet time was a very cool effect, when it worked, but half of the time it didn’t and would leave you wide open for major damage from your enemies. It basically just got in your way, speaking of getting in the way, the camera was a bit clunky when you were in a group attack, this was a rare occurrence, but when it happened you felt pretty screwed.
It would have also been pretty nice to get a more detailed explanation of the story, whatever it was, with actual cut scenes instead of the board game story movies that was present.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: Strength of the Sword 3, is a fun, challenging game, but got way too difficult for its 2 hour time span, however it’s fun enough to keep you going. The music and gameplay is very close to God of War and Darksiders, which is good, but the story wasn’t there. The camera and bullet time would screw you hard, and the tutorial was difficult to read while playing. The combos and animation for moves were cool, but very limited.