Developer: Fully Illustrated
Price as of Article:£14,99 $19,99
WulverBlade is a side-scrolling beat’em up set in 120 AD. The Romans have seized control of south Britannia and you have to prevent them from getting closer. You have the ability to pick from 3 unique characters, each warrior having different stats such as power, Agility and defence. The story is based on true stories and tales of the people at the time. Lots of research has gone into the story with the developer of the game visiting places all across Britain. Whilst each character doesn’t offer a different story it does offer a different play through. There are 8 levels for you to tackle with each having unique bosses and design. This was a great aspect of wulverblade as every level has a distinct look and feel.
In terms of audio, the full game is fully voiced acted. Each character, boss and enemy have a different voice. This is absolutely phenomenal for a small indie company as voice acting is very expensive and time-consuming but it paid off in this game. The music is beautiful and sounds great when playing in intense battles. The weapons have a great metal on metal effect and with the added HD rumble it feels immense! Made you feel like you were in the heat of the battle yourself such was the ferocity of the sound.
The visuals are handcrafted with great design and look beautifully rich. The art style is fantastic and suits the Roman era perfectly. With dark colours in the foreground and colourful waterfalls in the background the themes ideally contrast with each other. The game is brimming with detail from the wooden structures do the characters themselves. The game plays in 1080p 60fps so the combat feels smooth and this is all down the game being very well optimised for the Switch. Both in docked mode and handheld I did not encounter any slowdown but of course, take into consideration that in handheld this runs at 720p.
Gameplay is where Wulverblade truly shines! The action-packed battles have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and the main mode here is completing the story. The battles consist of you going through the stage dispatching enemies as you go. You don’t just battle a few enemies, you will come across many more before you are able to move on. By defeating the Romans you build up your special meter and when its full you can unleash your rage! By pressing L you can initiate this devastating rage against your enemies gaining health as you slaughter them. This was very satisfying and greatly appreciated when you were running low on health. However, if you happen to die before you use this attack you will lose all of your built up points. As I stated at the start, each character has unique stats. These stats impact gameplay heavily and so its wise to take them into consideration. For example, if you have low stamina your character will feel very sluggish to play. My chosen warrior was Guinevere as she has the best stamina with average damage and health. All characters are balanced so you aren’t at a disadvantage for using one or another, it just depends on your play style and personal preference.
You can pick up weapons along the way and these can range from sweeping brushes to awesome swords. Every weapon will range in power so be careful if you pick up a weapon that’s less powerful than the one you already have. There’s, not just your standard Roman weapons you can use severed limbs to attack enemies which adds to the fun. The game is quite brutal in that respect and there will be a lot of blood and gore throughout. You can combo attacks using Y and X on your controller. Y corresponds to your light attack and X being your heavy attack. You can also dodge roll to evade oncoming attacks which is useful when herds of enemies are surrounding you. If the challenge is too much you can always hand a joycon or the other controller to a friend for local co-op. I am glad Wulverblade included this feature as it fits the game really well and is great when on the move with a friend. If your struggling then there is nothing better than having a friend to help you negotiate the tough battles. I did find if dying having to start midway through the level again was a little harsh. Having to grind your way back to the boss over and over again was a little on the frustrating side but luckily the game is fun enough for you to want to try and get better.
The game has 3 modes which include story, arcade and an unlockable mode after beating the game. Arcade mode consists of you being able to beat the full game in 3 lives and 3 continues. This is hugely challenging by the way and I found it tough. When killing enemies they drop loot which adds to your score at the end of a stage and builds up your special meter. Basically, you want to defeat as many enemies as possible to get a fast time and a higher score. When you die you respawn right back where you got killed. All you lose is your special meter and this is a good enough reason to try your best to stay alive.
When considering the game I really enjoyed the Story mode and trying to beat the game, It’s difficult but persevere and you will be rewarded with a fascinating game and story which you can tell the developer has spent a lot of time on.
At a great price of £14.99, I would have no regrets with this purchase. With hours of content and a challenging arcade mode, you will be spending a lot of time with this wonderful game. You can also tell that the developer has put lots of hard work into this. The designs of each level took 2-3 months to hand draw and the dev spent 5 years on this project. So in my humble opinion, it’s worth every penny.