In a far away land, a beautiful red haired woman named Nariko finds herself faced with a choice of a lifetime that may change the course of her world. A ruthless and cruel king has ravaged her homeland and destroyed the clan that has been chosen to protect a blade known only as the Heavenly Sword. The sword was originally wielded by an almighty deity, and it cannot be used by a mortal without it draining their life force and killing them. When Nariko discovers the warrior clan sworn to protect the sword slaughtered, including her father, her choice is clear. She picks up the sword and turns it on the king and his minions, hell bent on vengeance before her life force fades.
Up until now, the team at Ninja Theory was known as the guys that used to be Just Add Monsters, that made that crazy party/fighting game Kung Fu Chaos. After the launch of the PS3, Ninja Theory will be known as the team that made 'that wickedly awesome chick God of War game', and I'm guessing that after this you'll start to keep an eye out for upcoming Ninja Theory games. They're not alone on this one though, Andy Serkis, known for his roles as King Kong and Gollum in the Lord of the Rings, has lent a hand not only in development, but in casting, writing, and his performance as a rather pissed off tyrant king. But enough with the behind the scenes stuff, lets take a look at what everyone has been so hard at work on.
The combat in Heavenly Sword is the meat and potatoes of this game and the pride of the folks at Ninja Theory. The deep and well-rounded fighting system looks to rival some of the best games out there. The action will take place throughout a series of battles with the king's minions, featuring a handful of challenging boss battles. The combat system is like putting a red wig on Kratos from God of War, shooting him up with steroids, and telling him to go have fun. There are strong and light attacks that Nariko uses to maim and slaughter, while using L1 and R1 to change stances and the Heavenly Sword itself. When L1 is pressed, the Heavenly Sword is used on chains for long range light attacks, and R1 gives Nariko slower more devastating attacks. These attacks can be changed mid-combo at any time to offer brutal and electrifying chains of attacks. Don't forget that Nariko can also counter attacks with devastating finishing moves that change as combat progresses, as well as use environmental objects and the environment itself as a weapon. Nariko can utilize takedown maneuvers on foes trying to get up, and sequential button pressing attacks to ensure that enemies don't get up again. Combat isn't done yet though, Nariko's power meter builds throughout all of this chaos to culminate into devastating mass attacks of sheer destruction that will leave bodies in piles. With a control scheme that's easy to use and stylish at the same time, amazing combos can be pulled off without becoming overly complex.
The graphics in Heavenly Sword can be described in one word, beautiful. If you've seen the trailers you know that the amount of detail put into the environments is rather stunning. The lighting, characters and environment are ridiculously detailed and the fluid animations flex the beefy PS3's muscles. The soundtrack matches nicely with the overall epic feel of the game and Andy Serkis's performance as the king is awesome.
Some questions are still unanswered as it pertains to the amount of game environments available. The question of multiplayer play is still up in the air, but rest assured, Ninja Theory is looking to make a major splash at the PS3 launch. They seem to be well on the way to delivering the kind on unbridled chaos and destruction that we've all been waiting for. Check back at MyGamer.com for our reviews of Heavenly Sword as soon as we get our hands on it.