Review – Blade Assault

Overview

Developer Team Suneat
Publisher Neowiz
Genre Indie
Platforms PC (reviewed)
Release Date June 7, 2021

Blade Assault is an Indie Roguelike game developed by TeamSuneat and published by Neowiz. Currently, the game is only on PC with plans to come to all major platforms. It blends classic action platforming with roguelike elements in a cyberpunk environment.

Content Guide

Violence: The game contains a lot of violence along with some blood and gore. The gore and blood are cartoonish and pixelated.

Language and Crude Humor: I did not encounter any strong language during my 4 hours of playtime, however, according to the ESRB rating there is language as part of its T rating.

Sexual Content: Some female characters wear revealing clothing and one male character is always shirtless. Some billboard ads can be slightly suggestive.

Drugs and Alcohol: The main base of operation is a jazz bar with alcohol and many characters are seen smoking cigarettes. The game does not condone smoking. There are also references to made-up drugs.

Other Negative Themes: None of the player characters have honorable motives for their actions in the game. Each character is just out for revenge in one form or another.

Blade Assault has a rating of T for Teens from ESRB and a PEGI rating of 12.

Review

Blade Assault is a Roguelike that struggles to make a name for itself. The gameplay loop can be enjoyable with the customization of your character’s weapon elements and random perks that can be stacked to add benefits to your characters such as a higher critical hit rate or the ability to get health drops from killed enemies. Unfortunately, this loop can get repetitive as boss encounters and story progression is the same every replay as opposed to adjusting based on where you had died.

Blade Assault has a classic action platforming gameplay style mixed with RPG elements. The player has stat items that can be acquired when out in the world in addition to the base improvements that can be made to all player characters simultaneously. Additionally, each character that can be played, has its own unique fighting style. Darcy is a character who is faster than the starter character and wields a katana. Her fighting style is fast and focused on finishing off enemies with special abilities after whittling down their health with main attacks. Jenny’s claim to fame is her attack range with her kusarigama along with having poisonous element attacks that can be stacked with other elemental abilities such as ice, fire, or lightning to further her lethality. Jett is a tank-based fighter with heavy damage output and is able to take as much punishment as he deals. He has the ability to have a forcefield appear whenever he takes damage during skirmishes. He is also the slowest character with the shortest dash. Kil is the starting character who wields a chainsaw sword along with an Ironman-like gauntlet laser. He also has the ability to change his main weapon to a war hammer or a laser gun.

Visually Blade Assault is a great-looking game that utilizes its pixel art style well to feel nostalgic yet fresh. The animations of the character sprites are reminiscent of the ones used in the early Street Fighter games and each help add to the character’s personality. The bosses all have unique artistic approaches one looks like it would be right at home in the 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while another looks like something out of the early Resident Evil games. The sheer variety of stages and enemies is impressive as well, each area seems to focus on a specific style of enemies and it works really well for the game.

The place where Blade Assault shined brightest was its music. The music all felt very well composed from the jazz at the Bar to the music played on stages and during boss fights, all of the tracks were enjoyable and memorable. The soundtrack allows the player to feel energetic and engaging throughout every playthrough.

While Blade Assault has solid mechanics and well-crafted art and music, it feels as though it squandered what was given to it. The story itself is lackluster and feels like it should’ve been left up to interpretation rather than trying to spin a narrative. Additionally, the game feels like it took the punishment of death too strictly with the player having to start at the beginning and having to refight every boss again instead of just losing gear or buffs. Despite being a full release, Blade Assault could have spent more time being in early access to iron out some of its flaws such as a more robust story and more engaging gameplay.

Blade Assault has low points and never managed to reach any high points. It possesses a strong foundation but just doesn’t do anything with it in a meaningful way. The best parts of the game were playing the stages and fighting enemies, every time the game tried to establish any type of lore it just fell flat. Ultimately, the structure of the game made it seem as though the story was an afterthought as opposed to the actual gameplay.

The Bottom Line

 

Blade Assault never manages to do anything unique with the elements it possesses. This leaves the game feeling half-baked and not finished. A player can’t help but feel disappointed thinking about what Blade Assault could have been.

 

5.5

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Logan Smiley

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