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Spitfire
11-05-06, 01:54
The first time Heavenly Sword was spotted at last year's E3 press event, it was labeled as just another KillZone rendered "target demo," with as much chance of becoming real time as MotorStorm. Now, a year later, and amid a distinctly lackluster Sony press event, one of the few stars of the show turns out to be the damn impressive 10-minute arena battle we saw 12 months ago, but with one important difference; this is the real thing. After a 10-minute, hand's on experience that really lets the PlayStation 3 shine, we're dribbling and more than a little moist to hack through the entire game.

A quick recap of the slaughter we undertook: Nariko is the crimson-haired heroine and wielder of the Heavenly Sword. She is attacked by two platoons of hat-wearing psychopaths (with a total of 35 bodies to poke at, in waves of around 10-15 at a time). Leading this band of bandits is a more muscular fellow with a nasty set of attacks and the voice of Andy Serkis (although it's known if this was placeholder voice or not; Serkis plays the role of main evildoer; King Botan) in this hyper-realistic, faintly Asian-inspired hackathon.

Nariko is the perfect videogame character: she's sexy enough to give anyone over the age of 12 a tingle in the pantaloon region, and violently fluid with her attacks to win over the God of War fan to such an extent that you'll want to watch someone play the game almost as much as manhandling Nariko in the combat zone.

And what a combat zone; a beautifully constructed arena so devoid of graphical anomalies (and resplendent in a variety of destructible tables and chairs) that we focused instead on the well-rounded and deep fighting system. What the screenshots, and even video footage, don't convey, though, is the rip-roaring combat. We found it to be, in a word, heavenly.

Here's how it works; there's a light and strong attack that Nariko can employ to slice, dice, and juggle, mixing up taps between the two attacks to create combos, like some sort of coy lovechild of Ivy from Soul Calibur and Kratos from God of War. Then there's the L1 and R1 buttons, that change her stance, and not to mention the Heavenly Sword itself. R1 gives her attacks a slower, and more damaging overhead slam, like Knightmare from Soul Calibur. L1 causes the Heavenly Sword to extend on two massive bolas-like chains for long-range, but lightly damaging strikes.

Now imagine releasing the shoulder button at any time, and Nariko fluidly changing to a different stance and continuing, in mid-combo! Imagine countering opponents as they attempt to strike you, and executing special finishing moves, which change as combat progresses (a giant slice to the groin being a particular favorite). Then there's your takedown stabbing motion for foes you've floored before they rise again, and if you're feeling particularly adventurous, objects can be picked up, hurled, and then steered in a first-person perspective (which points to ranged weapons being employed later on). Combat was nothing less than brutal and brimming with excitement; there were never problems facing directions, or enemies taking cheap shots, or glitching through foes.

Did we forget the power-up meter that, when filled, allows you to execute some truly brain-numbingly spectacular mass-carnage 360 whirling dervish slicing? And the final face-off with the boss bandit and the Shenmue sequential button-pressing extravaganza to ensure the guy was absolutely, unequivocally and impressively defeated? Well, replay God of War, but imagine Kratos with a red wig on. Although developers Ninja Theory aren't going to be delivering "giant" sized, supernatural creatures in the game (they're going for realism, not bull-headed fire-breathing beasties), they're set on making sure a dozen human-sized foes can realistically pirouette through a dance of death, full of sparkling contrails from the Heavenly Sword in whatever guise it dishes out grotesque slices and gurgling dices.

So, are there any perceived problems from this title? None that we can see, except some slight glitching of Nariko's hair through her blades, and that developers Ninja Theory were responsible for the less-than stellar Kung Fu Chaos on the Xbox; a spotty and unproven track record is the one Sony's banking on. Hell, who are we kidding? What we saw was like God of War on steroids. If Ninja Theory can follow Sony Santa Monica's plan and make the rest of the game as entertaining and varied as possible, then Heavenly Sword could become a monstrously awesome battle of blood, barrels, and ballet that sets the standards for all action-adventure titles in the future.



MEDIA SCREENSHOTS
http://img447.imageshack.us/img447/393/facialexpression6mi.jpg
http://img447.imageshack.us/img447/4751/alookatourheroine1eo.jpg
http://img447.imageshack.us/img447/7826/takehimdown1ma.jpg
http://img447.imageshack.us/img447/9664/godlyslash4tf.jpg
http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/8006/enviromentalgoodness2dc.jpg

MEDIA VIDEO
Heavenly Sword Multiple Trailers and Game Conference Demo (http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/700/700186/vids_1.html)

Credit to IGN (http://www.ign.com) and Gamespy (http://www.gamespy.com)



What do you guys think, I'm just floored by it playing in real time, looks deadly fun!

oocladableeblah
11-05-06, 02:31
haha first to post, i think this game looks sweet there are a couple of things that remind me of bloodrayne 2 like the grapple and the swords

Spitfire
11-05-06, 02:43
Reminds me more of God Of War, but thats not a bad thing in the least, and if you watch the Video...OMG it looks even better!

Jin Uzuki
11-05-06, 02:45
I don't mind the screenshots! I mind the the report about it - and it is beyond this world! I think this is going to be a ground-breaker. :tmb: :wve: Thanks, Spitfire. ;)

Jin Uzuki
11-05-06, 02:46
I am definitely getting this. No doubt about it. :tmb: :wve:

Spitfire
11-05-06, 02:56
I am definitely getting this. No doubt about it. :tmb: :wve:
I'm with you, this and FF13 are on my top of the PS3 games list.

Jin Uzuki
11-05-06, 03:05
Yes, Spitfire, when PS3 is concerned, the Tales of the Crystal project is also on top of my list. And Heavenly Sword. And Tekken VI. And MGS 4. And the untitled Naughty Dog game. And... The list goes on! ;) :wve:

Spitfire
11-05-06, 03:07
Tekken looks sweet but beside those two Heavy Rain looks Incredible!

Spitfire
11-05-06, 13:22
Take a Look at the Media Page, Two new Movies have been added and they are GREAT

Thorir
11-05-06, 16:30
It looks VERY cool!

tha_mattster
11-05-06, 16:36
The gameplay looks old fashioned. I would choose tekken over this. But I am a big tekken fan!

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