Who knew combining souls with a deity would bring this much trouble...
Action, RPG, Wuxia
PC, PS4, PS5
August 4, 2022
Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is this series’s ninth and most recent release. With extremely beautiful characters and gorgeous environments paired with high-powered fight scenes, Sword and Fairy: Together Forever brings wuxia games into the limelight again! Our friends over at EastAsiaSoft graciously provided us with the PS5 version to review, so let’s get to it!
I was utterly unaware that Sword and Fairy was a long-running series in the RPG realm of games, but I am familiar with the genres it proudly represents, wuxia and xianxia. A quick explanation would be that wuxia is low fantasy whereas xianxia is high fantasy. Sword and Fairy is a mixture of both. Here, martial arts is paired with magic, the use of spirit energy, Chinese deities, and more.
The Sword and Fairy games are also known as “Chinese Paladin” and have been around for over 20 years, with their first release in 1995 via MS-DOS. It even has live-action adaptations! Sword and Fairy: Together Forever, recently released on PS4 and PS5 worldwide and released initially as Sword and Fairy 7 on PC in 2021.
One thing to note is the game is roughly around 20-30 hours depending on your gameplay plus side quests. Together Forever has Chinese voice acting with subtitles and a challenging selection for those who are new to the series. Having never played a wuxia/xianxia game before, I didn’t know what to expect, and I was completely blown away. My mind was blown by the quality of the graphics of the characters, environments, enemies, and spiritual particles; the graphics are top-tier!
The game begins with action in a mission gone wrong, tapers off into something milder, and then works its way up to something more complicated with multiple sides combined into one. From a celestial mission gone wrong, unknowing symbiosis, learning the truth behind a declining sect, to helping the unfortunate and dealing with lies and trauma, the storyline is very much comparable to historical Chinese dramas. An excellent Chinese drama.
The story is about the three clans of Human, Deity, and Demon, each affected by the other’s choices, losses, and wins. What you think is right or justified in this world may actually not be correct. Throughout the game, you’ll witness how divinely ordered things are now being questioned. The game is played between four characters: Yue Qingshu, Xiuwu, Bai Moqing, and Sang Yo. Each of them is equally important to the story and supports each other on their quest to open the eyes of the divine and save the world.
One of the most eye-catching aspects of Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is the game’s gorgeous graphics. The main characters’ character models and some NPCs have a crazy amount of details. You can see the individual eyelashes, their pores, the fabric of their clothes, lips, and the scales on that man’s armored bicep in the screenshot above! I was extremely surprised by how much detail went into the game. There are some locations in the game where you can observe the environment to take everything in. I honestly recommend taking a moment to look at all the details that were put into this game. The character models are nearly identical to the CG scenes!
The fights are nearly seamless. There are enemies on screen that are docile unless you attack, and there are some enemies that will attack you on sight. The enemy designs are unique to the point that I haven’t seen too many repeats of the same models. I also want to point out that even the enemies have nice graphics.
The battle system is straightforward with light attacks, strong attacks with the character’s flair, and special abilities that can be switched depending on the abilities learned. One cool feature about the battle system is that you can switch characters in mid-battle to link up attacks to deal massive damage against enemies. Boss battles can be punishing but overall still enjoyable. One thing to note is that sometimes there’s a lot of things happening and moving within battles, so they can get a bit overwhelming.
The battle system can be somewhat comparable to a musou game where there can be many enemies to just one massive enemy on the screen. However, you can pretty much run through the weaker enemies efficiently and not allow enemies to gather en masse on screen. There is a lot of action happening during boss battles where it can sometimes be hard to track the enemy or lock on. The battles are gorgeous, combining martial arts and magic seamlessly, but you can still have your butt handed to you if you’re unable to track the enemy.
Within Sword and Fairy: Together Forever are cute spiritual friends plenty. The main character Yue Qingshu will make contracts with spirit animals as it is a tradition of the Mingshu sect that she is part of. These beautiful beasts are not always scary and large. After Qingshu contracts with them, they are reduced in size to these cute little spirits that float around on the screen, assist in battles, and more. You can level them up by giving them spiritual fruit that can be found exploring the various environments, and most importantly, you can pet them!
The story is linear since there’s no option to make choices. There are tons of cutscenes, dialogue, and monologues within the game, which is not a bad thing it can be a bit much if this isn’t something you’re used to. There’s more talking in the game than in actual gameplay.
Occasionally during significant boss battles, there were some issues with audio balancing, some attacks being crazy loud and others not so much. I also noticed there were a couple of glitches throughout the game with floating characters, characters gliding across the screen, and some environments not fully loaded. This is nothing an update can’t fix, right?
Overall, Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is an enjoyable introduction to the wuxia genre of games. If you’re looking for something new within the RPG realm and have an open mind, I suggest checking out the Sword and Fairy series, specifically Sword and Fairy: Together Forever!
Sword and Fairy Together Forever Review
Are the gods always right?
Story rich game with eye catching fights and amazing graphics! A nice easy introduction to wuxia genre of RPGs!