Review: Stellar Blade

Estimated read time 4 min read

Developer – Shift Up

Publisher – Sony Interactive Entertainment

Platforms – PS5 (Reviewed)

Review copy given by Publisher

Originally Announced as Project Eve back in 2019 ; Stellar Blade, amidst its stellar gameplay and captivating universe, found itself entangled in the gravitational pull of many controversies. From the contentious censorship of Eve’s iconic bunny swimsuit to the provocative “Hard R” graffiti scattered across its virtual landscapes, the game has become a battleground where creative expression clashes with societal sensibilities.

Stellar Blade thrusts players into the shoes of Eve, a formidable warrior of the 7th Airborne Squad, tasked with reclaiming Earth from the clutches of the monstrous Naytiba. Humanity, driven from their home after a devastating conflict, now clings to existence in the last bastion of civilization, the city of Xion. As Eve ventures forth to liberate Earth, she uncovers chilling truths about her own identity and the history of her world.

The narrative unfolds against the backdrop of a shattered Earth, where ruins and desolation stand as stark reminders of past glory. With each step, players peel back layers of mystery, delving into the dark secrets that led to humanity’s downfall and the rise of the Naytiba.

At its core, Stellar Blade blends fast-paced combat with immersive exploration. Combat mechanics emphasize precision and timing, with players mastering Eve’s abilities to parry and evade enemy attacks. The innovative Beta Gauge system rewards skilled play, allowing players to unleash devastating skills and buffs as they fill the gauge through combat prowess.

The integration of the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller’s haptic feedback elevates the experience, immersing players in the intensity of battle. Whether dodging enemy strikes or unleashing powerful attacks, every moment is brought to life through tactile sensations, enhancing the connection between player and protagonist.

Outside of combat, exploration takes center stage, with players traversing treacherous landscapes and scaling walls with ease. Environmental traversal is seamless, with ropes and structures providing new avenues for exploration. Discovering hidden treasures and extra costumes adds depth to the journey, rewarding players for their curiosity and perseverance.

As Eve delves deeper into her mission, shocking revelations come to light, shaking the very foundation of her beliefs. The discovery of a recording by a former squad member, Raven, unravels the truth behind humanity’s plight. What Eve once believed to be her people are revealed to be advanced androids, manipulated by the enigmatic AI, Mother Sphere, into believing they are human.

The revelation sends shockwaves through Eve’s resolve, challenging her perception of right and wrong. Yet, fueled by a desire to end the cycle of violence, she presses onward, determined to confront the Elder Naytiba and bring an end to the conflict.

While Eve gathers the necessary resources to confront the Elder Naytiba, tragedy strikes. Xion comes under attack, and Eve is faced with a choice that will shape the destiny of humanity. With the guidance of her allies, including the enigmatic Adam and the resourceful Lily, Eve prepares for a final showdown.

Yet, as the truth behind Adam’s identity is revealed, Eve is forced to confront the ultimate betrayal. Adam, the very architect of humanity’s downfall, offers a grim solution to end the conflict once and for all. The ensuing climax is a culmination of choices made, as players navigate through multiple endings, each with its own consequences.

Overall the game is pretty great with only minor frustrations like no way to skip some longer dialogue (mostly with shopkeepers no matter how many times you previously interacted), and some of the auto-saves being poorly timed and unforgiving.

Finally when it comes to accessibility, Stellar Blade offers a ton of options(Found Here) , which include Auo-lock-on attacking , aim sensitivity, colorblind presets, text size options for subtitles, and more.

Stellar Blade is a journey through the depths of human resilience and the cost of redemption, and stands as a testament to the power of storytelling in gaming. As players embark on Eve’s quest for truth and justice, they’ll find themselves immersed in a world where every choice carries weight, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

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