[PS3] IGN UK review Heavenly Sword: 7/10

Discussion in 'Consoles & console games' started by bahamut, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. bahamut

    bahamut Master Guru

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    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/815/815031p1.html

    That's just not good enough imo. A few more fanboy-ish sites have given it some stellar scores but IGN tend to be pretty good a spotting a dud. Seriously tempted to trade my PS3 in against a 360 Elite. :/
     
  2. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    i really aint a fan of these website reviews, at best i consider them as something that gives a rough idea of what to expect from a game. i still trust more on actual printed word.

    that particular review was a rather odd one if you ask me, the guy basically rants about the game throughout the article and then slaps a score of 7 wich on a 1-10 scale seems awfully generous after reading the actual review. it also seems odd that the review mentions how the game is kinda short and repetitive, i would like to see what this reviewer has to say about Gears of War wich kinda shares the same qualities but received a score of 9 from the same site.

    i'll wait for some more reviews and play the game myself before i start judging it.
     
  3. bahamut

    bahamut Master Guru

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    Edge Magazine gave it a 6/10, apparently even the Official Playstation Magazine gave it a 6/10 too. I liked the demo but this year looks to be pretty barren for the PS3 still with Lair not being great, Warhawk (although getting a 8/10 in Edge) not being mind blowing either and that has really shaken my confidence in Little Big Planet and ofc Heavenly Sword (the one I was looking forward to most) being average at best according to most reputable sources. :(
     
  4. StormVR6

    StormVR6 Ancient Guru

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    I feel my choice of selling the PS3 has been further justified.

    Heavenly Sword was a game I thought would have been the first "killer app" for the PS3, shame.

    I seriously think the PS3 was released too early, Sony had no choice really but the exclusives aren't looking too good, are they?
     

  5. crue7

    crue7 Master Guru

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    Gamepro 4.5/5
    "Gamers can and should busy themselves by taking in the compelling saga of Nariko and her heavenly blade. It is without a doubt a journey worth taking, even if the road to the end is somewhat bumpy."


    Game Informer 8.75

    play 10/10

    EGM 8/8/9


    and has anyone played Warhawk yet? that game is amazing...I have been playing this game NON-STOP


    the crappy offical PSM magazine also gave warhawk a 6.5....BTW the owner of the magazine is totally biased against the PS3 (his name is Rob)

    Every other site on the net has givin warhawk at least an 8 minimum. http://www.lazygamer.co.za/ps3/rob-smith-goes-nuts/
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  6. NvidiaFreak

    NvidiaFreak Ancient Guru

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    reason why it got a low score because its a clone and copy of God of war that why.
     
  7. crue7

    crue7 Master Guru

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    ?? what gave you that idea? The combat system is very different as is the story.
     
  8. NvidiaFreak

    NvidiaFreak Ancient Guru

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    what someone said in gamespot forum, that the game is like god of war but play a little like it but look like a god of war clone gone wrong. lol IGN did't like it because the control suck.
     
  9. teeffaa

    teeffaa Master Guru

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    I think all the things will change for the PS3 when God Of War 3 and maybe Onimusha 5, Socom and all the good stuff from the PS2 release
     
  10. crue7

    crue7 Master Guru

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    lol what someone said in a gamespot forum?? haha was this in system wars?

    BTW IGN loved the combat system....loved the graphics...liked the controls. They didn't like the length or repetitivness of the enemies.
     

  11. Copey

    Copey Ancient Guru

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    IGN didnt rate it that good but other sites have

    anyone seen the review for warhawk lol 8.8 now thats good from IGN
     
  12. StormVR6

    StormVR6 Ancient Guru

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    Repetition was something that worried me with Heavenly Sword, and is the killer of all games, no matter how good the core is. God of War could be regarded as slightly repetitive, although it somehow makes you want to finish it, excellent game.
     
  13. crue7

    crue7 Master Guru

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    I think god of war 2 still might have a chance at GOTY IMO
     
  14. StormVR6

    StormVR6 Ancient Guru

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    It's definitely mine, at the moment anyway.
     
  15. Diernes

    Diernes Member Guru

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    I didn't think the god of war series was that great really. Good games but I much prefer Devil may cry 1 and 3's freeform combo system and gameplay alot more. Gow, while having a great story, design and puzzles didnt really do it for me combat wise, got a little too repetitive.

    I will buy a Ps3 once Tekken 6 is released Im sure, by then the price may have come down on the system to justify me forking out for one.
     

  16. bahamut

    bahamut Master Guru

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    Review of Heavenly Sword PS3

    [​IMG]

    I’d like to go on record and say that Heavenly Sword is, in my opinion, the best looking game out at the moment bar none. A few minutes into the game you question whether it has surpassed Gears of War on the 360, but by the end of the game there is zero doubt. It looks absolutely stunning and really begins to show what the PS3 is capable of from a graphical standpoint. The animation is top notch, the landscapes are amazing (although you do get the impression at times that some of the awesome scenes are there just for that reason, to look awesome and not really add anything substantial from a gameplay point of view), and while we have seen a lot of characters on screen in games like Dynasty Warriors, Ninety Nine Nights etc I’m not sure any game has done it on quite the scale, with as much going on and as little slowdown as Heavenly Sword has done. The facial animation and quality is totally off the scale, leaving Half-Life 2 in the dust, expressions are very well realised and after watching the “making of” series you can see the technology behind it and why it looks so good.

    This technology and the rest of the making of series can be viewed and/or downloaded here: http://www.us.playstation.com/heaven...dia_video.html

    Ok, lets get the basics out of the way. You control one of two characters throughout the different sections of the game, Nariko, the main character the story focuses on and Kai, an orphan who is obviously a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic at times. Nariko normally wields the Heavenly Sword of the games title bar in a couple of chapters and mainly focuses on sword play and melee combat. Kai uses a cross bow she calls “Twing Twang” but has no melee ability whatsoever so they make for very different playstyles.

    Combat

    The way Nariko fights will immediately remind you of the way Kratos fights in the God of War games, mainly thanks to the ranged stance you can use in the game with weapon chains. The combat when in control of Nariko is well executed and occasionally exceptional, in many parts of the game you are literally overwhelmed with bad guys beating on you but yet are still able to pull some semblance of a planned method of attack out of the mess, be it by huge sweeping swings in the heavy stance, rapid cutting moves in the ranged stance to clear some space or via the “Super Style” moves which at the higher levels can decimate an entire area of enemies. Yes at times you do get swamped and cannot fully react, but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule. For the vast majority of Nariko’s sequences the fighting is clean, flowing and varied, much like God of War. Even though there is no jump button, which initially seems crippling to the freedom of movement, you realise it wouldn’t really add anything to the fights thanks to the level design and the way the majority of the fights are staged. These combat sequences are broken up with the same cinematic action sequences seen in God of War, where you have to press a certain button or direction at the correct time in the correct order. These scenes are almost unfair and you have very little chance of completing them the first time you encounter each one. A number of the boss fights also feature these scenes where again they are equally tough and occasionally frustrating as failing these sequences can set you back quite substantially in these fights. 90% of the time the combat works very well and the “Hero Sequences”, as they are called, break it up nicely and allow for some of the most graphically impressive sections of the game. The counters generally work very well, blocking is passive which isn’t natural (to me anyway) initially, but you get used to it. There isn’t much else to say except the sword fighting is very good for the most part, occasionally exceptional with odd frustrating section thrown in for good measure. In addition there are a number of Aftertouch sections involving a cannon, rocket launcher and various thrown objects including shields and occasionally bodies.

    Kai uses her crossbow, and with this comes the bulk of the play using the Aftertouch technique. Aftertouch basically involves using the Sixaxis tilt controls to adjust the flight of an object, an arrow in Kai’s case, so it finds its target. This can make for some impossible shots and when done correctly does feel good. However the Sixaxis controls just aren’t that responsive in addition to the fact that the PS3 pad shape doesn’t lend itself to this kind of movement but if you can get past that, and the general frustration associated with the controls, you can pull off some simply outstanding shots and it does feel damn good. For instance, one section has Kai needing to blow up a store of fireworks, you have to shoot an arrow across an arena, through a flame to light it, out of a door and through a small barred window to hit your target and you just feel so good when you get it right. Yes it is generally a frustrating experience but if you can stay focused it really is very rewarding. Unfortunately with Kai, many sections do rely on you doing the previous section well otherwise they become almost impossible due to Kai’s lack of any melee ability (i.e. killing everything at a distance before it reaches you where possible), although I managed to just run through a couple of the sections avoiding and stunning baddies. Generally Kai’s sections will cause the most frustration and due to the way the game is structured, much like a movie, it doesn’t always add to the experience when you’re knee deep in bodies with Nariko and then suddenly switch to Kai. Still it does go a long way to breaking up the sword combat and as mentioned some of her sections are very cool and very rewarding.

    Story

    Without spoiling it too much, the story is told in retrospect, finally catching up with where it starts just before the end. It is pretty solid and the voice acting and facial animations help to carry it very well.

    For more story details I would say to check out the short 5 part animated mini series that is set before the game for an idea of what the Heavenly Sword is and its origins.

    Again these can be found at: http://www.us.playstation.com/heaven...dia_video.html

    Game length


    It is short, let’s not beat around the bush. I clocked it in about 7 hours and I know I could have done many parts of it substantially better and faster. While this isn’t so bad for what really amounts to an interactive movie, it’s a bit cheeky for a £40-50 game. Sections of the game have obviously been strung out to make it last a bit longer, and the cut scenes are pretty long (which I don’t mind because they are generally of a very high quality), but I found the experience very enjoyable and for a showcase title the price is almost justifiable depending on your perspective.

    Character and voice acting


    Superb. While initially I had difficulty accepting Andy Serkis’ voice as Bohan (he looks far more meaty than his voice would initially indicate) it really does grow on you and some of the humour he injects to the role is very much needed. His facial animations, alongside Nariko and Kai, are particularly exceptional and he does have a lot of extended scenes. A lot of the voices don’t seem to fit the Asian styling of some of the characters (although oddly Nariko’s really does) especially in the case of Nariko’s Asian looking, almost Scottish sounding father and a number of her clansmen. But the main characters are wonderfully voiced and acted and it really does a lot to blur the lines between live acting and gaming which is a good thing in my eyes. Flying Fox deserves a special mention, voiced by Steven Berkoff (Victor Maitland in Beverely Hills Cop for the 80’s kids among us). He is exceptionally well animated, at times very funny and very sinister with it all. Some of the scenes involving him and Bohan really did raise a smile as they bounce off each other very well.

    However, above all these, Kai is the character I felt the most drawn to. You cannot help but feel for her at times. Her facial animations are perfect as is her voice over and it really did make me actually care about her and what happens to her, which probably went a long way to making her sections of the game more palatable than they may otherwise have been.

    Conclusion

    What we have here is a graphical masterpiece, hell let’s be honest, it’s a complete feast for your senses visually and aurally. The soundtrack, mainly performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is excellent, the sound effects are also very, very good (more about both can be found in the video links posted above), the voice acting is movie quality in the vast majority of cases, as far as the audio is concerned it is the total package. Visually, in its most beautiful sections, this game has no peer, damn near destroying that line between CG and real-time graphics, sometimes it looks unbelievably good. Gears of War is the only title that comes close to it, and Bioshock is so radically different in style and focus that it can’t really be compared in my opinion. There is even a reasonable sense of humour throughout sections of the game including in jokes and some genuinely funny cut scenes.

    The gameplay is for the most part very good, solid combat mechanics, deep and varied combo system, broken up with the aforementioned Hero Sequences and Kai sections. There are sections that you can tell have been purposely extended, but overall it plays very well. There is the occasional niggle about the controls being slightly unresponsive at times, but these don’t really effect Nariko so much due to the flowing nature of her combat. The sword combat looks and feels great, more an exercise in style rather than substance but excellent nonetheless. The action Hero Sequences are unforgiving but still very, very cool (which again looks to be what this game is all about) and well spaced out through the game. The Sixaxis inclusion is useable and occasionally feels perfect, but is generally more of a pain in the rear than is really necessary compared to an analogue stick driven control scheme. It does however work for the most part and I guess the devs were heavily leaned on by SCEE to incorporate Sixaxis controls in some form.

    Boss fights are pretty good, very well scripted and interlaced with cut scenes, even if slightly frustrating and unnecessarily cumbersome at times (the fight with Whiptail springs to mind) but overall they have the weight and epic feel behind them a major character requires as far as the story is concerned. The final battle against Bohan does seem exceptionally tough at first and is pretty long, but it is a wonder to behold at times especially with everything else going on, but I won’t spoil that for you.

    So what kind of rating does this game deserve? Well so far the press has given anywhere between a 6 to a 9 out of 10, and parts of the game stand up head and shoulders above the rest and are well worthy of a 9/10. But the game is frustrating at times and too short for many people (excluding the Hell mode which apparently bumps the difficulty quite substantially if you don’t mind playing it through again), so I would place the game at somewhere between a 7 and a 9 out of 10 depending on what you focus on. The main thing I found is that I wanted to continue playing through it, something that has been sorely missing from a lot of the blockbuster games over the last few years in my opinion, and on that note I can recommend Heavenly Sword to any PS3 owner as a showcase of the potential of the system, a piece of art visually and sonically and as good a story as any that is very well told.
     
  17. xg-ei8ht

    xg-ei8ht Ancient Guru

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    There are many games that are short and can be done in a short amount of time.

    Sorry tbh if your thinking of selling a ps3 for a 360 elite, for me that is just funny.

    I'm a pc gamer, but i'd rate the ps3 far above the 360.

    PPL who go on about the 360, mention two games, GOW and halo.

    GOW is without doubt a graphical whore and a very good game. Halo 1 was a decent game, halo2 was crap.

    And i'm sorry to say, games that are coming to the ps3 smoke the 360 from what i've seen.

    As mentioned in every review i've seen, they all go on about hs graphics, then knock a point off for no mp, then knock a couple more points off for a shorter game.

    PS3 Just seems to get alot of hate. Don't ask me why.

    How can you hate this.

    http://www.gametrailers.com/player/25107.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  18. bahamut

    bahamut Master Guru

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    I have a 360 elite and a ps3 so im not sure what you are getting at...?
     
  19. Ryu5uzaku

    Ryu5uzaku Ancient Guru

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    still theres nothing out on ps3 atm that smokes best games on xbox 360 :eek:
    might be different song in the future but atm xbox is better option :)
    im waiting for fable 2, mass effect and pgr4 to give some more to play :p maybe halo 3 tho i never liked that much earlier ones
     
  20. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    got my copy a few days ago and so far ive been enjoying it quite a bit, the graphics are indeed awesome and now that ive mastered the controls the combat system feels great too. its really satisfying to pull off a counter attack and see the camera angle change to a more dramatic one to show the counter move in greater detail.

    i was a bit worried about the so called "follow through" thing wich allows you to take the passengers seat on an arrow or some other projectile and alter its course with the controllers tilting function and at first it did feel damn awkward but once i got used to it, it feels simply fantastic! steering an arrow between a soldiers eyes is really cool and ive got some giggles from managing to land an arrow on an enemy soldiers ass :D

    only thing that has bugged me so far are the boss fights, ive only had 2 but in both cases they felt a bit too long and the God of War type finishers where you gotta hit the buttons as they appear on the screen arent very well tuned as sometimes they require a bit too much precision and it can be quite tricky to react to them.

    cant comment on the length since im still working my way through the game but like i said, so far ive really enjoyed the game and recommend it to anyone who is interested in a cinematic action adventure game.
     

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