‘Stellar Blade’ game review – The Hindu

Stellar Blade
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In the world of action-packed video games, newcomers are always a sight for sore eyes. Hailing from South Korea, Shift Up’s Stellar Blade is poised to be a standout title of 2024. With a string of intriguing teasers leading up to its latest demo, this game teases high-stakes action with Eve, its leading lady, battling beautifully rendered foes within intricate worlds. We’re left to ponder: Can Stellar Blade hold a candle to its extremely hyped buildup? Will it earn a revered spot among classics such as Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, and Nier: Automata?

One must ponder who these menacing Naytibas are that forced mankind off Earth? Amid a scene straight out of Quake II, Airborne Squad 7 is utterly destroyed in their bid to take back Earth, with only Eve narrowly escaping to the planet below. It’s the kickoff to Eve’s brave quest to unite humanity’s survivors and take back their home while delving into the intrigue of their alien adversaries—and, along the way, collecting an eclectic mix of outfits. (Because who says you can’t battle fiends in style?)

Though Stellar Blade shares thematic threads with Nier: Automata, it takes its own route and draws from a variety of game influences. The ambition to weave these different inspirations into one narrative is clear but the delivery sometimes stumbles. While character and enemy designs, along with the world itself, are striking, the overall delivery feels a bit stiff. The storyline and characters sometimes appear more as plot devices rather than relatable figures with depth.

Yet, when it comes to creating an immersive universe, Stellar Blade excels. Players will revel in the fluid fighting mechanics that remind us of the precision of Sekiro combined with the finesse of Bayonetta (though Eve does not have those famous guns). The introduction of Beta Skills might be a tad confusing at first but ultimately enriches the combat system, allowing Eve to execute intricate combos in the heat of battle.

Stellar Blade

Developer: Shift Up

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Price: ₹4999 on Playstation 5

Challenging adversaries, especially the Elite Naytibas, make each fight a memorable part of the game. While the exploration component leads to additional wardrobe options for Eve and stunning landscapes, platforming sections may cause irritation due to Eve’s occasional clunky movements and a rather annoying password system.

Visually, Stellar Blade is nothing short of enchanting, with its fluid animations, impressive visual effects, and intricately designed settings. Enemy designs lend a surreal, threatening quality to the game, in stark contrast to Eve’s almost angelic appearance. Yet, some of her fashion choices seem peculiar and out of sync with the game’s overall theme, feeling like something out of a misplaced K-pop performance.

Stellar Blade is a noteworthy introduction to what might become an enthralling series. The game, despite a few hiccups, provides an entertaining experience, skillfully blending the best aspects of its genre’s forebears. Here’s to the hope that future improvements will smooth out the platforming wrinkles to elevate the overall player experience.

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