Does Stellar Blade Have What it Takes to be a Stellar Game?

Estimated read time 6 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Stellar Blade, previously known as Project Eve, has generated buzz with its combat videos and enemy designs.
  • Combat in Stellar Blade requires strategic defense and timing, focusing on parries and dodges to survive.
  • The game incorporates influences from NieR Automata and Starship Troopers, with challenging combat and unique mechanics.

Stellar Blade has been building up a great deal of buzz since it was announced back in 2019 as Project Eve. Early interest was generated by showcasing the creation of some of the enemies, such as NA-tives, highlighting some of the hostile creatures it would feature. Since then, more videos of combat and discussion about other elements in Stellar Blade have only added to the anticipation, making it standout during a period when so many other great games are being released. As the release date draws near, a demo was released to allow players some hands on time to see if the actual game could live up to expectations.

Crustacean Invasion

After losing a war against an invading alien species known as the Naytiba, humans are no longer the dominant species on Earth. Most of humanity has been driven from the planet, save for a few survivors. Protagonist Eve is part of a squadron that is sent to Earth to take back the planet from the invasive species. The primary objective is to take out the Alpha Naytiba, but these monstrous beasts have the home turf advantage and Eve ends up traveling with one of the few survivors left on Earth named Adam, who decides to help guide her to Xion, the last remnant of human civilization.

After Eve is able to navigate past the desert war zone, she finds herself in a ruined city. The broken buildings, overgrown with plants, are skeletons of society that indicate the Naytiba have driven humans out a long time ago. In fact, a comment about the weather suggests this is the first time Eve has set foot on Earth. A haunting melody plays as Eve wanders through the ruins which are infested with the crustacean-like Naytiba. The whole situation gives off a vibe of being the love child of NieR Automata and Starship Troopers.


Review: NieR: Automata The End of YoRHa Edition

NieR: Automata: The End of YoRHa Edition combines top notch gameplay with an incredible story.

Good Offense Is Good Defense

One of the more surprising aspects of Stellar Blade is how deliberate the combat is. Some of the teaser videos gave the impression that combat would be heavily focused on flashy combos like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. Combat is full of flashy combos and cinematic finishing moves, but rushing in button-mashing attacks is a surefire way to send Eve to an early grave. This is a case where a good offense is impeccable defense. Perfect parries and perfect dodges are essential in keeping Eve alive and also set up the enemy to become vulnerable to a brutal counterattack. Knowing how to read each enemy’s attack pattern is crucial, but they do telegraph their attacks to a degree. Regular attacks can be dodged or parried, but if the enemy flashes yellow, it’s best to put distance between Eve and the enemy’s incoming unblockable attack.


In addition to regular dodges and parries, Blink and Repulse are two defensive skills that are highly valuable in keeping Eve alive. These dodge counterattacks are used against fatal attacks by using the thumbstick in conjunction with the circle button, and can be unlocked early on at the Supply Depot. When an enemy flashes blue, it’s time to get ready to use Blink, and when they flash purple, that’s a fatal attack that can be countered with Repulse. Getting the exact timing down can be tricky at first, but once the timing is mastered, this becomes a satisfying battle mechanic, reminiscent of the deflect mechanic in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty.

How Stellar Is It?

Stellar Blade isn’t shy about flaunting its influences. When Eve and Adam arrive in the ruins of Eidos 7, the imagery of the broken buildings with overgrown vegetation immediately conjure up images of NieR Automata, and the music that plays in the area further cements the association. Eve is cut loose from Adam, but he does continue to communicate with her and assist in her navigation via drone. As Eve travels through Eidos 7, she will continue to encounter hostile Naytiba, but there are a few campsites where she can rest and heal. But be warned that resting does cause the slain Naytiba to respawn. A nice touch with the campsite is that while it does serve traditional camp functions, Eve can also take a breather and listen to different songs with the record player.


Stellar Blade has challenging combat, but is still easier and more accessible than some well-known games that are notorious for their high difficulty. Combat is fast-paced yet methodical, and getting attuned to the system can have the player pulling off impressive combos in no time. If the demo were to be generalized to the rest of the game, the main focus is mastering the combat with some minor puzzles and platforming mixed in. The short time with Stellar Blade did leave us wanting more.

The game itself doesn’t seem to be incredibly revolutionary, but instead skillfully picking gameplay elements from the previously mentioned games and melding them together to create something unique. Whether this becomes a game of the year contender or simply a passable action game is too early to tell, but the short time with Stellar Blade has us wanting to see the final version.

In the demo, certain elements of the game were only hinted at. Eve has several skill trees for unlocking new abilities, which is where Blink and Repulse came from, but the majority of what upgrades for Eve are available remains unexplored. There are thirty different outfits and several options for upgrading equipment, but getting into how those factor into the gameplay will have to wait for another time. The biggest mystery that we know is what activities await Eve in Xion, and how the other survivors will react to her arrival. These are all unknown, but the answers will be available soon.


Stellar Blade is scheduled for release on April 26 for PlayStation 5. The demo covers the beginning portion of the game and progress does carry over to the retail version. The demo is short, maybe an hour long, but it’s highly recommended to anyone who’s been following Stellar Blade as it’s long enough to determine if it’s worth your time.

You May Also Like

More From Author