Heavenly Gem; Review of Heavenly Sword

I just finished playing a copy of HEAVENLY SWORD that I picked up for $10 a few months back and was more than pleasantly surprised of how awesome it was. This gem of a game had been gathering dust in my tv stand drawer for the better part of last year until I decided to give it a shot over the semester break. I hadn’t expected much. IGN had given it a 7 out of 10 when it came out five years ago. Gamespot was more fair, giving it an 8 out of 10, though user scores were mixed.

All in all, the game was on my radar, but I just didn’t know  how truly awesome it was. We don’t typically review five-year old games on VGHL;  we typically do either recent games or “classic” reviews on games from previous consoles. I thought the blog would be a perfect place to do a written review in our VGHL format.

Story: 9/10. The protagonist, Nariko (voiced by Anna Torv, most noatbly of Fringe) is given a nice pathos. We learn early on of the guilt that she has carried with her since her birth and the trials of redemption her father and mentor have put her through to become the character that she is. There is also an evil King, the antoagonist voiced by Andy Serkis (of Lord of The Rings) who is also a director on the game. Supporting cast is also quite good and fleshed out in cut scenes.

Presentation: 10/10. The graphics are amongst the best of any PS3 title even today, which is impressive for a five-year old game. Nariko’s fighting style is like ballet and battling hundreds of enemies at a time on-screen with no slow down or lag is a delight.

Gameplay: 10/10 Easy to learn, and satisfying to master. The only game to make awesome use of the six axis motion controls, which is an afterthought now to the PS3. It’s the only game that made me wish there were more games that used it as well as Heavenly Sword.

Design: 9/10 Boss fights are quite good. Stages have variety, and there is a good use of QT events without over using it. A minor gripe is that there are a couple of annoying puzzle sections which require too much precision with the six axis, and enemy minions could have had more variety, but what works, works well.

Replay Value: 7/10 There are some sections you will want to replay through to earn three out of three medals awarded for kills and style. You need the majority of these to unlock behind the scenes videos which are worth watching, but after the initial quest is over, you are pretty much done with the game.

Overall Score: 8.5. It would deserve a 9 or even 10 if there were just more of it to play.

Jacob Safari,  Live Producer


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