Blade and Sword is an action-RPG set in ancient China that can best be described as yet another Diablo knockoff. The biggest difference between Blade and Sword and Diablo is that Diablo was actually enjoyable.Sure Blade and Sword has a few strong points like the combo fighting system and special attacks, but those just aren’t enough to keep it from becoming a complete bore after a few hours of play.
Blade and Sword’s gameplay is based on a point-and-click interface; click on an enemy to attack him, right click on an enemy to use a special attack. As you continue to play, you’ll learn to combine these attacks to string together some pretty cool combos. The combo system is a good idea and other RPG developers should think about using it for their future titles. The problem with Blade and Sword’s combo system is that there just isn’t enough variety to keep your attention for very long. It’s a good idea that could’ve been so much better had the developers expanded upon it by adding more unlockable combos later in the game.
When you start the game, you have to choose from one of the three pre-made heroes; long swordsman, a great blade swordsman and a heroine who uses twin blades. As you may have already guessed by the limited character selection, this game is all about hacking, slashing and kicking the stuffing out of the bad guys. In this case the bad guys include an evil Emperor, wizards, zombies, demons and all sorts of creatures just waiting to meet their doom at the pointy end of your blade. The storyline (if there really ever was one) seems to have been lost in translation from Chinese to English From what I can make of it, it seems that the evil Emperor is trying to take over the world and it’s up to you to put an end to his evil nonsense and restore peace and harmony to the world once and for all. Not what I’d call creative.
Developer Pixel Multimedia seems to have been going for an “old-school” look for this game but they may have gone just a bit too “old.” The terrain has a grainy and bland look and the character models don’t stand out from their surroundings. The menus look horrendous and the game installer is like the old Win 95 autorun programs. For reasons I can’t hope to fathom, this game takes up a whopping 1.4gb on your hard drive and it still requires the CD to load levels and data. If this game had been released in 1995 it would still have been considered just average looking. The same goes for the scratchy sound effects; which will have you reaching for the volume knob to put an end to the awful grunts and moans that come from the characters and monsters. Some of the sounds seem like they were recorded over a phone with a cheap microphone that had an electrical short in it. The music is the only tolerable component of the game’s audio, yet it’s quite forgettable and not very exciting at all.
One huge disappointment in Blade and Sword is the total absence of a multiplayer mode! Just a few good multiplayer options could have made this game a little more interesting or at least extended the replay value. As far as replay value in general, there is really no reason to play through the game more than once because it’s all the same no matter which character you choose. Honestly, I don’t see anyone having enough patience to play all the way through the single player game anyhow, it was hard enough to force myself to do it.
Bottom line is that if you are an RPG fan looking for a Diablo style game, you will be very disappointed in Blade and Sword. You can find better RPG’s in the bargain bin of a department store.
- Gameplay: 5.5
- Graphics: 4
- Sound: 3
- Replay: 2
- Overall: 4.5
- The combo fighting system is cool, but not enough to make this game a keeper.
— Buzz Kilgore