PS3 Review: Heavenly Sword


Reviewed by Andre Delaney 20th August 2007

What a month of games this has turned out to be. The Xbox 360 receiving Bioshock, Nintendo Wii has Metroid Prime 3 and the Playstation 3 gets Warhawk and Heavenly Sword. Has there ever been a better time to be a gamer? Sony Ireland have very kindly supplied us with Heavenly Sword, developed by British development team Ninja Theory, is without a doubt the most anticipated Playstation 3 release to date. Ironically for a game developed in Britain is the remarkable Japanese feel to it. Never has a game had so much hype behind it and a lot of eyes will be watching to see just how good this title is. While it won’t make or break Sony and their Playstation 3 efforts, if this game doesn’t do well, there may be trouble ahead. Thankfully Heavenly Sword manages the almost impossible task of surpassing any hype surrounding it.

Heavenly Sword

Heavenly Sword is not your typical game by any means. Looking more like an RPG than an all out action title, you may be caught off guard. By now we are sure you have all watched the videos, demos to an endless degree and are eager to get your hands on it. We had our reservations about just how deep Heavenly Sword could be, but our worries where laid to rest about 20 minutes into the title. Boasting some of the greatest level designs in gaming history, Heavenly Sword is possibly the most beautiful action game we have ever played.

The majority of Heavenly Sword will be played with the stunningly beautiful Nariko, a fiery redhead destined to become a bigger cult hit than Lara Croft. Nariko is the daughter of a local Chieftain named Shen. She is also the sister of another playable character named Kai. Nariko moves swiftly and unbelievably fast with some of the most unbelievable array of moves. Everything just flows remarkable well from character animation to the basic feel of Nariko.

Heavenly Sword

The game will launch you into Nariko’s family home under siege by evil forces commanded by King Bohan which by the way is the nastiest villain you will ever come across. He is also accompanied by his inept son Roach. There is a huge plot twist in the opening cinematic which we will not spoil for anyone, but he helps determine how the game will be played through to the end. Just be prepared to totally abandon your life, friends and work, because Heavenly Sword will have you enthralled and totally hooked from beginning to end. The game itself is absolutely huge and completing it is no mean fete.

Graphically Heavenly Sword is stunning as already touched upon earlier but the audio presentation is something to behold. Apparently Sony managed to cram more than 10 gigabites for audio material in Heavenly Sword and we can easily see that’s the truth. From character speech right through to dramatic scores, this is what audio is all about. Battle music will leave you breathless and the voice acting alone is simply the best we have come across in years. Capcom take note. No more dodgy Resident Evil acting please.

Heavenly Sword

As well as the playing with Nariko, there numerous levels in which you play as Kai, who lacks any melee abilities but is supplied with and endless amount of arrows – and you can, for example fire arrows through objects in your path. For example, if you see a burning bush up ahead, fire your arrows through the flames, aim them towards some explosive barrels and watch the fireworks. But for all the non stop action, there will be a lot of puzzle solving to do also, so make sure to get your thinking caps on because these aren’t simple brain teasers, you will be tested to the max of your logical ability.

One thing we feel we should mention before we end this review is the epic boss battles throughout Heavenly Sword. We always imagined God of War always holding pole position in boss battles but Heavenly Sword took our breath away. Again, we wont spoil anything here but prepare yourself for total shock and awe battles.

Heavenly Sword

Heavenly Sword really is a title which must be played to be believed. Videos have been popping up all over the web but trust us; they cannot do this game justice. The game will have you hooked from beginning to end and that’s a hell of a long time trust us. It will take around 15 hours to complete but it took us 5 days straight of 12 hour sessions to finally unlock all the secrets this title has to offer. We will definitely be revisiting this title to see what other surprises it has in store. If you own a Playstation 3 then it should be made law you must purchase this title. It simply is the most amazing videogame experience your likely to have for years to come.

Graphics 9.9
Audio 10.0
Gameplay 9.7
Replayabilty 9.5

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