Blades of Time Review

Blades of Time Logo

Medivh from the Warcraft 3 cutscenes moved to some strange dungeon and is planning to call the Palantir in the Valley of Dragons. Suddenly, a model from the “Igromir” exhibition and a guard burst into the hall, seemingly from there: the couple wants to bypass the line and get to the Palantir (which, it turns out, also works as a teleporter) without waiting. Medivh, despite the fierce brawl in the stalls, for some reason doesn’t mind. A blonde named Ayumi starts the device, and then…

The cardboard-like clumsiness of Blades of Time is not just noticeable, it’s just impossible to watch the monitor with a serious face. The gathered together bearded and not very fantasy-like characters – that’s normal, but why try to present this hodgepodge with a serious pompous sauce? The characters run around the jungle, do strange things, try to explain them, it turns out poorly, then something strange happens, to which the heroine reacts like, I don’t know, a carton of kefir in the fridge, and so on in a circle.

At the same time, they try to tell us a Story and convey Drama. And this is the main problem of the game’s stylistic component. They made me kill several initially friendly people just so that Ayumi could pass through a closed door. Why triple this trash and lawlessness – the question is open for me, but it is open for one reason. Instead of destroying everything in my path just because I’m playing a video game and it’s fun, I had to additionally watch a plot insert (poorly) trying to justify the heroine’s inexplicable bloodthirstiness. Thanks, now I know that nonsense is happening on the screen.

The script attempts of the developers spoil the entertainment much more than complement it, well, it’s not a big deal if you don’t consider the fact that they present this local vaudeville as a thrilling action movie.

Okay, let’s continue in order.

Swordswoman in Action


Let’s start from the beginning

I would start with something more down-to-earth, like the fact that Blades of Time is another 3D hack-and-slash game, not very original, but still a nice sequel to the Russian-developed Oniblade, and it’s cute to have Konami as the publisher, and so on, but the opening cutscene plays before the main menu, and then the level of craziness just keeps going up, so sorry about that.

Apart from the weak storyline, Blades of Time is actually quite good. It comes with not only an engaging gameplay but also impressive graphics and some other modern game perks.

Treasure hunter Ayumi brilliantly possesses all the skills of an anime heroine. First of all, our friend handles two swords at once, which probably weigh as much as their owner. Secondly, the heroine snipes with various muskets. And most importantly, Ayumi is a powerful magnet, attracting both light and dark magic. With such a set of abilities, this young lady won’t go unnoticed in any game.

Swordplay Excitement

Fighting with swords in Blades of Time is not difficult, just keep spinning combos with the right-left mouse button. However, the more challenging task is to avoid getting hit by the enemy’s hot hand. Close combat is the most spectacular and dynamic form of combat, but it can be chaotic. In order to survive, Ayumi will constantly have to run, jump, slide, and dodge various attacks. While this heroic approach to battles can be aesthetically pleasing, it is not always effective. The only relatively good efficiency can be found in QTE finishers, which never disappoint in terms of bloodlust and effectiveness.

It is much easier to pass through crowds of enemies using firearms. Theoretically, guns are only useful against flying enemies, special guys with energy shields, and groups of agile shooters. However, in practice, the combination of not-so-smart artificial intelligence, poorly designed locations, and an unfair health regeneration system makes local guns the easiest way to victory.

If one doesn’t rush headlong from one arena to another, it becomes apparent that sometimes absolutely defenseless monsters are unable to reach Ayumi due to the power of firearms, unless she allows them to get closer. The further the heroine travels through the Dragonland, the less appealing it becomes to tear apart the virtual fabric and charge forward with swords drawn. It becomes quite enjoyable when you notice that most bosses in the game get stuck in certain areas of their arenas, allowing you to shoot them without any remorse while standing in one place.

Time-Bending Adventures

And yet I haven’t even started talking about magic yet!

There are two types of magic in the game – one is purely combat-oriented and therefore only really necessary in one battle with the next boss (the rest of the time you can just use it for show), the other allows you to rewind time (but not like in Prince of Persia, here it won’t help you escape a pit or restore your health, rather the opposite). The majority of the game’s puzzles are connected to temporal tricks – well, where would we be without puzzles – although solving them is not particularly interesting. The obligatory episodic attacks of clones are perceived more as an inevitable routine than an interesting break from constant battles. The local puzzles also rarely cause real irritation, for which, in general, thanks to them.

This non-obligatory nature and freedom of combat maneuver on one hand indicate a not particularly high level of execution in BoT, but on the other hand, they even allow you to get rid of the stress called “I just can’t defeat this bastard with swords!”. If you feel like swinging sabers – go ahead, if you want to see sparkles – use magic, if you’re too lazy to deal with annoying monsters for too long – grab a musket.

Battle-Ready Heroine

When you want to, you can.

Second course

What is really great about Blades of Time, besides the fights, is the ability to jump on the local levitating flowers (note for newcomers: MMV and SCM are the same thing). The magical cacti are easy to handle, they don’t bore you with unfunny jokes over time, and they allow you to admire the local beauty from the best angles.

The surrounding world of Blades of Time doesn’t amaze the imagination, but it is still pleasant to the eye. Everything is simple, but tasteful. The combat locations are budget-console deserts, but the decorations do a decent job of creating a somewhat fairy-tale atmosphere and, unlike arenas, they don’t remind you of both Tomb Raider on PSOne and Korean MMOs at the same time. Here we have ruins, there is something resembling an industrial district of Nizhny Vershinsk, here is an abandoned city, and there is magical cargo pneumatic mail.

It is genuinely pleasing that, unlike the overwhelming majority of games of this kind, in Blades of Time, in many cases, you can actually climb on these decorations, not just in search of a secret chest or another collectible plush toy (this time we collect various diaries-magazines), but just because. Of course, there is no practical benefit to this, but at least now you don’t bump into a disappointing invisible wall.

The creators of Blades of Time didn’t hesitate to borrow a couple of tricks from Alice: Madness Returns. When transitioning from one large location to another, Ayumi will change her outfit; interestingly, with each change of clothes, more clothing will appear on the heroine, although it may seem… Well, and again, the diaries, some elements of the visual style – they will remind you of Alice a lot. Which, if you think about it, is not so bad.

Legend of Grimrock - Mysterious Dungeon

We are flying into space. You can come across this funny bug by jumping close to the barriers blocking the way.

Blades of Time is relatively quick to complete. Steam suggests that it took me about 9 hours for a non-hardcore playthrough. The relatively modest duration of the game is more of a virtue than a drawback. On one hand, you get to swing swords, shoot guns, jump around, and so on, but on the other hand, Blades of Time doesn’t have enough time to become completely satisfying. On paper, the gameplay of BoT looks diverse, but the jumps and battles end up being mostly the same throughout, and half of the puzzles and “atypical” fights quickly become routine.

So yes, it would have been better not to spend more than 10 hours playing Blades of Time, which the developers didn’t allow for…

…if there was no additional single-player campaign and diverse multiplayer available. Advice: if you plan to buy the game, first purchase its base version. Buying DLC separately from the BoT Limited Edition, of course, will be more expensive, but it’s far from certain that after a more or less satisfactory completion of the main story, you will want to play the bonus mission pack called Dismal Swamp (although, of course, you will be able to play as Michelle there, but still).

Blades of Time
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Gaijin Entertainment
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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