by Maximillian Ringgenberg | June 29, 2018 7:00 am
It seems the world still has a taste and a need for old school style beat ‘em ups and hack n’ slashes. After hacking my way through the excellent Dragon’s Crown Pro, it felt natural to continue the trend with Wulverblade. Brought to brutal life by Fully Illustrated, a this is a hack n’ slash game with a strong steeping in ancient British history and a very cool hand drawn art style. Wulverblade has a strong sense of its own identity and still tied to the hack n slashes of yore.
During the height of Rome’s efforts to spread throughout Europe, we have a tale of Caradoc, the Wulverblade of the Northern Tribes. During a ferocious trek north, Caradoc and his team of brutal warriors’ homes are invaded. So what do you do when you are proud tribesman warriors? You fight back! Wulverblade gives you choice to three different characters to play as. Caradoc is well balanced between being strong and fast, Brennus is the most powerful but also the slowest, and Guinevere is not as durable but is much faster and can do aerial combos. You can have two players together to fight off the hordes of both Briton tribesmen and Roman soldiers.
In combat you line up with your enemy, press the attack button, and try not to let them hit you too often. Wulverblade offers the player a handful of options like a basic combo string, grapples, an upper cut, and shield bashing. Each move has a use and each feels a bit different between each character so some experimentation goes along way. A couple gripes of minor gripes to note: you MUST commit to your action. Want to attack? Better time it right and make sure to stop if you want to block or roll. Also, the game does not allow any control customization. This may be a non-issue for many but the three preset options were not especially different. Although I did learn to make my moves more deliberate, I still found that I was more often than not rewarded for skillful play.
Wulverblade’s presentation is really damned good.The first thing Wulverblade will smack you with is its gorgeous hand drawn character models and art direction. Everything from the characters to the backgrounds and even the menus are bursting at the seams with style. The developers spent several years researching the history used and the passion shows. At the start and end of levels we are treated to a well-crafted cut scene and there’s even in game dialogue with dynamic camera usage. The usage and pacing adds a lot of emphasis on the brutality of the tale being told. The voice acting is a bit campy but it is very much deliberate. The narration also hits a nice sweet spot. Also, major kudos to composer duo Jode Steele and David Wainwright. The soundtrack is worthy of a listen on its own. Wulverblade is a good game. The minor gripes I had were cleared by the overall experience and I’ll come back to Wulverblade again soon.
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