It looks like Kratos may soon have some competition for the title of PlayStation’s best hack-and-slash exclusive. With as much effortless style as Bayonetta, together with some sumptuous fast-paced slashing action gameplay, Steller Blade will soon be viscerally capturing PlayStation gamers’ hearts. The game is being developed by SHIFT UP Corporation, a South Korean-based company, started in 2013 by an artist called Kim Hung Tae. These developers are mainly known for their mobile gaming titles, the most famous being the 2016 game, Destiny Child. It’s quite a leap from mobile games to console exclusive, but one look at the stunning trailers dropped by the company and you can easily see why SONY has taken this new IP under its publishing wing.
The Perfect Blend of Visuals, Storytelling, and Gameplay in a Trailer.
Stellar Blade promises a story that has more than a little dash of Horizon Zero Dawn/Forbidden West, that being saving humanity in a post-apocalyptic world from a malevolent force that has devastated it. In trying to reclaim the earth from the NA:tive, the main protagonist Eve, will find nothing is quite as it seems and ultimately start to question her own mission and what it actually means to be human. This will occur due to the adult themes the game’s narrative explores, in this exclusive PlayStation 5 single-player experience.
Hack and Slash Nirvana
Although you may not have come here for the story, the exciting and blistering fast hack-and-slash gameplay on display probably will. With boss fights that have the same visual style and size as some of the behemoths found in a Bayonetta game, alongside smaller more numerous foes, the ultimate thrill of the game will inevitably come down to the combat.
As someone who plays more than their fair share of action hack-and-slash games, the key to the enjoyment of the combat will be found in if the players can express themselves on the battlefield in the way they want to. The developers claim that the fast-paced action such as to be found here, will challenge the player’s brains and brawn in equal measure. As long as the mechanics allow for fast, fluid, and precise movements, (and it looks like it will from the gorgeous trailers), this game is shaping up to be a satisfying experience indeed.
Gamers will be able to see from this early build video direct from the developer’s YouTube channel, boss fights, look to be tense exhilarating affairs. Blocks, parries, dodges, as well as combos are all used in defeating enemies that finish with deliciously gruesome and cinematic finishers.
If the story or gameplay didn’t grab you, then it seems far too obvious to highlight the achingly beautiful visuals. As we enter the third year of the PlayStation 5’s life cycle, it’s great to see developers getting comfortable with the hardware and finally starting to push it. The trailers shown here, showcase some superb particle effects, lighting, and visual fidelity together with an interesting art style full of character, depth, and interest. The clarity of the visuals in the game is also another key component to the accuracy of the combat, and ultimately if it succeeds. With everything shown in the trailers having been captured on a PS5 console, it raises the hope the final product will literally be as good and as playable as it looks!
The Release Date?
The only question mark hanging over the game is its release date. The only goalpost marker given so far is 2023, and with just over five months to go until the end of the year, we really need updated information within the next few weeks to see if the game is going to hit this target.
Either way, if the game hits the shelves in 2023 or not, the prospect of immersing gamers into an intriguing game world, with stunning visuals and thrilling combat, sometime soon, is sure to garner interest from any fans looking for more hack-and-slash cinematic action. The God of War franchise is synonymous with the PlayStation brand, but it looks like a new contender for the title of PlayStation icon is ready to jump into the sword-slashing arena in the shape of Stellar Blade and its protagonist Eve.