Broken Blades (PC) – Review

Broken Blades is a 2D action platformer where you traverse the danger-filled underground land to defeat powerful enemies of all sorts.

There is not much to tell about the backstory behind why our hero character is digging through all the troubles because nothing is told to the player. In the beginning, it runs a tutorial phase where you will get yourself familiarized with the controls where everything is normal, apart from the fact that they mistakenly listed the same secondary button as the button for both dodge and attack. It was an honest mistake but still, it renders the developers as inattentive and that doesn’t give a good first impression.

The most elementary buttons consist of jump, attack and dodge. Then you have a button for opening your inventory and another button for using an item in the inventory without opening it, like consuming a health restoring potion. There is one more button to interact with the world objects and picking up magic shards dropped upon killing foes. Starting with attacking, our hero character is armed with a sword and the only combat system available at the start of the game is stabbing with it. That doesn’t bring many problems when faced with ground enemies since all they do is moving laterally. But it can’t be said the same for the case of flying foes like bats, for you have to be airborne to attack them and they can only be stabbed when you are in an equal position with them.

Jumping and double jumping have dual purposes since it as assist with combat and navigation.

Sometimes in the tightly enclosed territories of the map, doubling jumping is limited and that puts a strain on the evasive ability. The execution of jumping movement feels strict and lacks flexibility and there is no control over sensitivity which means jumping in the narrow parts of the terrain is disappointing. Also, bats tend to fly close to the ceiling and attacking them is just impossible since you will bump your head to the wall before you can execute stabbing.

Fear not, successful kills can randomly drop sword and ability shards that can be used to upgrade your character. For instance, a sword shard might enable you to perform a slashing attack that provides more attack reach than stabbing. The downside is that there is no useful explanation given on what a specific shard does. You will be given the choice between two abilities when you pick up an ability shard and the pop-up window would just simply display generic information like ‘Pig Tamer’ or ‘Berserker’ or something along the line. It isn’t always hard to identify the general usage for self-explanatory shards like ‘Healing’ but for shards like ‘Guardian Angel’, a little info would help make better decisions.

Here comes the most misunderstood part, dodging. Normally in a game like this, you can’t make direct contact with the enemies but here you can go through foes by performing a barrel roll dodge. At first, I thought barrel roll was just an agile movement used to keep distance between my character and enemies. It was the lack of information and misguided tutorial that made it harder than it should be. And the fact that enemies are only harmless when you’re the one running through them and not vice versa doesn’t also add more clarity to the gameplay.

Broken Blades is actually broken in a sense that it’s hard to enjoy the game for its imbalance and not-very-well-tuned controls and gameplay.


Our Rating - 4


Total Score

Dig through hordes of underground enemies to find your way out in this 2D roguelike platformer where combat and survivability are key.

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