Stray Blade is a brave indie that is inspired by Souls

Stray Blade is a brave indie that is inspired by Souls ...

The name Stray Blade refers to the 505 Games-powered indie game Point Blank, which was also reviewed in the previous review of Stray. It's a more extensive and deeper Action Adventure than it's likely to appear at first glance. After experiencing the experience in an extended Beta, we think it's worthwhile to get involved in the immediate and lively world at the core of this adventure.

You don't have much in common with the explorer Farren, the (or the) protagonist of Stray Blade. Even if there is no real editor for the aesthetics, you can still select the gender of him, also opting for a male character with a female voice and vice versa.

A pleasant discovery leads Farren to an island, to a gigantic stone portal that... kills him, although he is unconcerned about the experience, which reminds us of great heroes such as Hercules (by the way, this game is excellently subtitled in English).

Even the artistic direction brought us back to Hercules, but not the mythological one, but the Disney one. Maybe it's because Stray Blade is characterized by the same vivid colors, the same high contrasts, and sharp shadows as in the Disney animated film. In addition, sinuous or twisted curved lines that alternate with square figures and straight cartoon-style lines, compliment a well-oiled exploration.

The developers of the game wanted to refer to the game as an Action Adventure rather than an Action RPG. For this reason, we have paid close attention to the explorability of the settings, and after playing until we were allowed by the Beta, we think that the team has placed the emphasis on the readability of the map rather than its hugeness.

Stray Blade achieves numerous suggestive locations, such as enchanted forests and small camps, which fade into sandy ruins, or imposing stone structures embellished with magical relics, followed by icy snow-capped peaks, and more.

Although it isn't as striking as the artistic eye-candy, the level design nevertheless offers enough variety. From time to time, you meet an adversary to defeat or even a boss, or as a result of a religious ritual.

The gameplay in Stray Blade is mostly focused on melee combat. The amount of gears is great, even if the movesets aren't always as differentiated as they should be. Particularly with heavy attacks, they tend to share offensive animations, but in the flow of the fight you end up forgetting it.

When the roles of friend and foe are intertwined in battle, the blows are felt, they are natural, and the movements in the middle of the combo and between several sequences are coordinated without friction. Each exchange is designed to be consumed in a short time, but only if the character's move pool is utilized properly.

If you don't concentrate enough, it's difficult to respond to each blow in the best possible light. Each opponent's animation is different, designed to deceive and not to make it immediately apparent when to counterattack.

Although the first game trailers may be helpful, a new icon has been implemented in this build that lights up white when the next blow is "parry," while yellow when it should be avoided. Depending on your skill level, this awareness may prove too restrictive, because the protagonist's reaction window is too large. Only in the moments when we confront the demigods, or when we face gigantic health bars, is it certainly useful to have a couple more lashes.

It would be a shame if this negative impression were to manifest in the finished game, because Point Break has created a well-developed system of improvements. You must manage two skill trees – one for each character – a spell wheel and Farren's offensive equipment.

The more weapons you unlock and master, the more varied and interesting the protagonist's skill tree. Axes, spears, swords, and broadswords, just find the project you want and have gathered the resources to construct it at an anvil.

The little creature is merely harmless. His spells can be significant, such as three elements or buffs and debuffs, and are often overlooked in the face of the utility of a good parry or a good dodge. Especially since when you die, there appears to be no "punishment."

Moreover, enemies tend to attack one at a time, even when they are in opposition to the protagonist. Crossbowmen, for example, are notoriously ruthless and never spared us a bolt in the back when they were given the chance. These heroes, then, are powerful.

A special mention must be given to the equipment's chromatic customization capability, which can be used to customize almost any set of items elegant, even very different ones, while remaining in keeping with the above-mentioned aesthetic and artistic choices.

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