Game Reviews

Blade: Sword of Elysion - Hack, slash, tap, tap, hack, slash, and so on

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Blade: Sword of Elysion - Hack, slash, tap, tap, hack, slash, and so on

As hack and slash free to play ARPGs go, Blade: Sword of Elysion is a pretty solid experience. The hacking is nice, the slashing is nice, and the tapping through menus isn't all that excessive.

There are a few niggles, namely a strange lack of polish on the UI and some weird stretching if you play on an iPad, but the meat of the game is pretty damn enjoyable.

It won't be to everyone's taste, but if you're looking for a reasonably filling, violent adventure, then there's a lot here to like.

What do you do?

Kill stuff. Then tap some buttons to advance the story a bit. Then kill some more stuff.

You choose from three different classes at the start of the game, then stomp around Unreal-built dungeons, killing everything that moves.

The more things you kill, the more XP you receive. The more XP, the strong you can make your character. It's a pretty standard setup, but it's handled with style and aplomb.

Key to the game's success is its layered combat system. If you want you can just hold a finger on the attack button and let it take care of everything. But more seasoned players can tap out some intricate combos.

There's a block and dodge button as well, and you earn a selection of special skills as you get more powerful. Throw in some counter attacks and you're left with a deep and interesting system that works pretty well on mobile.

The main problem with the controls comes from the dodge command. It requires a double tap of the block button, and sometimes instead of rolling out of danger you'll just cover your face with your hands twice.

There are other nuances as well, but most of them can be worked around as you learn them, and if anything they add a spark of individuality to proceedings.

Sounds like a lot of fun

It is, the violence is pretty sharp, and the levels are short enough to fit neatly into pocket-sized gaming sessions. You will need an internet connection to play though, which will put some people off.

There are some pretty solid PvP options here as well, and they add a sheen of longevity to a game that might otherwise get a little repetitive. There are, after all, only so many skeletons you can smash to pieces before it gets a little tiring.

It's not perfect, and the squishing issues on iPad do make it a little hard to look at sometimes, but there's enough going on here that you can lose a few hours before boredom or pay walls kick in.

Blade: Sword of Elysion - Hack, slash, tap, tap, hack, slash, and so on

A sharp edged ARPG with a lot going for it. Blade: Sword of Elysion isn't perfect, but it's quite a lot of fun