Stellar Blade Is the PS5 Exclusive Enthusiasts Have Been Praying For

You play as Eve, a heavyset tough girl in a skin-tight latex outfit. Set in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi future where Earth has been conquered by an aggressive alien race named Naytiba, you represent one of humanity's few remaining hopes – and the odds are against your intergalactic enemies. There are all the acrobatic skills to overcome. ,

Heavily inspired by the anime, the demo – which documents the opening hours of the campaign, and will be available to play for everyone from March 29 – is stylish to a fault. It begins with a fleet of pods landing on Earth, as Eve and her allies attack their Natyba enemies. This beach scene is extremely impressive, as buildings collapse, spaceships fly overhead, and trees fade in the wind.

Image: Push Square

Although the Japanese-style character designs might lead you to believe that this is a character action game similar to Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, the combat is actually excess Even more thoughtful. Although it doesn't have the stamina system of Dark Souls, you are still forced to play carefully, as hammering the attack button will quickly send you to the grave.

The gameplay in these early exchanges relies heavily on counter-attacking with the correct parry. You need to read your opponents' actions and react appropriately. Timing your guard at the right time will create a perfect parry, and sometimes you'll need to chain these together in quick succession. It's rhythmic and challenging, but when you get it right it feels fantastic, and we can already imagine the “pro level” gameplay streams that are going to come out of this.

Every time you successfully execute a perfect parry, you will remove one point from your opponent, and when all of them are finished, you will stagger them. This is the perfect opportunity to unleash a flurry of attacks, including your beta abilities, which recharge every time you perform an offensive action. Although these represent the main systems in the game, there is a lot more going on under the hood.

Preview: Stellar Blade is the PS5 exclusive enthusiasts have been praying for for 7 years
Image: Push Square

In fact, it is clear that the fight will be dramatically different Ending This is in the beginning compared to Stellar Blade. A robust skill tree, filled with ways to earn and spend skill points, shows Street Fighter-style depth. For example, your opponents' ranged attacks can be countered by moving forward and dodging when Eve's sword flashes, allowing you to get behind your enemies and deal massive damage. You can also perform a precise dodge by moving out of the way at the right time.

Although it may initially feel like your fingers are overwhelmed with options, finding a rhythm is refreshing and satisfying. It's hard to make direct comparisons, as the gameplay relies more on timing than something like Elden Ring, but it also doesn't have the same combo-based combat as Devil May Cry. Perhaps the closest point of reference is a release like God of War Ragnarok, where timing those parries perfectly is so important in tough boss battles.

Amidst all the activity, you'll be exploring an abandoned Earth that still harbors the remnants of humanity amid the destruction caused by its alien invaders. The visual presentation is absolutely stunning, and is enhanced by the excellent use of the DualSense controller, which conveys the subtle patter of raindrops through the pads – as well as the clash of steel when you land those aforementioned perfect parries. Is.

Preview: Stellar Blade is the PS5 exclusive enthusiasts have been praying for 9
Image: Push Square

The excellent presentation also extends to the audio soundtrack, which improves on the brilliant work of Shift Up on NIKKE: Goddess of Victory, with a rousing vocal soundtrack that will have you bopping your head. You unlock camps as save points throughout the campaign, and each of these has a record player that allows you to simply stop and enjoy music away from all the chaos of your main mission.

The only thing we're not so keen on is the English dub, which feels disjointed and lacks emotion. Fortunately, you can change the dialogue to the game's native Korean, and the actors give more meaningful performances here. We believe that option should be appreciated above all else, so if you really can't get on with English voice acting, you can toggle it off from the main menu at any time you wish.

However, we are overall impressed. Stellar Blade isn't exactly the game we were expecting – it's more difficult and deliberate than we expected based on the key art. But it's clear that there's a deep combat system going on here, and it's supported by a beautifully rendered world and some authentic anime cutscene direction. Most importantly, it seems like fans have been asking for that type of game from PlayStation for some time: original, single-player-focused, and gameplay-focused. Next month can't come soon enough.

Preview: Stellar Blade is the PS5 exclusive enthusiasts have been praying for 4
Image: Push Square

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Stellar Blade (PS5)

You'll be able to try the Stellar Blade demo for yourself on March 29th. Any progress you make in the demo will transfer to the full game. Will you be giving Shift Up's console debut a shake? Sound off in the comments section below.

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