Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action
Hands on at E3: Of all the games that Sony showed to the press at their E3 2005 press briefing, Heavenly Sword was one of the titles that intrigued me the most. Controlling a beautiful female character with long hair, multiple weapons, and moves that would make Neo in the Matrix lose in a fight, it looked like a game that would be a great fit on Sony’s new console. Fast forward a year later and not only is the game beautiful to look at, it has some of the best character and hair animation I have ever seen.
In the brief demo shown at E3 2006, players control the female lead in a closed arena. Just because she is a pretty face doesn’t mean she can’t fight though. Wave after wave of enemies jump down and try to take you out. Players have several options to defend themselves. First is a projectile weapon. Holding down the L1 button and attacking with the Triangle or Square button will swing out a weapon that will hit enemies all around you. If you prefer a little bit closer action, the R1 button can be held down and our bloodthirsty vixen will start swinging a massive sword with either the Square or Triangle buttons.
As the player lands blows and wipes out enemies, a bar at the bottom of the screen begins to fill up. At any point, the player can hit Circle to pull out a wicked throw move. However, the more you fill up the bar, the more impressive the result will be. After I had filled up the bar I tried out this and the lead character began to grab the targeted enemy with her projectile weapon and swing them around and around until they ultimately met their demise in a most painful fashion.
The cinematic qualities of this game are very impressive. Visually Heavenly Sword looks and feels like something you would see out of a Hollywood blockbuster. As I mentioned above, the lead female moves so realistically, you expect her to hop out of the screen and threaten your life if you don’t buy a PlayStation 3 and her game. (Okay, I give in! I will get Heavenly Sword and the PS3!!!)
After clearing off several waves of enemies, the arena you were fighting in will be left in ruin. With no more enemies, you are victorious. However, we were told that the game is much more than just a simple arena. Sony was, however, unwilling to go into more detail about the setting of the game, length of gameplay, release date, or any other details about Heavenly Sword. We do, however, know that the weapons in this game are enchanted with magical power. When I commented on how the game felt more like a Hollywood movie due to that little woman swinging the heavy sword, I was told that the sword was enchanted and passed down from generation to generation. This is why she can swing it so easily. Regardless, women that kick butt are hot!
While there are several PlayStation 3 games I am interested in, Heavenly Sword appears to be the Best of the Show in the PS3 category. At least that is how I feel after day one of the show. Also, I should mention that I don’t think MGS4 or any other PlayStation 3 game shown in video form should be considered a candidate for this award.
I eagerly await more details about Heavenly Sword and I can’t wait to play future builds. Hopefully Sony will do their best to assist Developer Ninja Theory in getting this one out at the launch of the PlayStation 3.