Stray Blade is the 505 Games Action-Adventure to watch | Tried

Stray Blade is an Action-Adventure developed by German indie team Point Blank Games and distributed by the guys at 505 Games. Since the announcement, which took place during the pre-summer showcase of the Spanish publisher, the game has aroused interest due to its particular combat system.

I want to be honest with you, during the presentation the game didn't strike me, it seemed too derivative. However, I had to change my mind after the recent half-hour test that I was able to carry out in the Milanese studios of 505 Games, which certainly didn't give me all the answers I was looking for, but which made me change my mind a lot of pad in hand.

Stray Blade, a story yet to be discovered

In Stray Blade we take on the role of Ferran, an anthropologist (based on the gender we choose) who suddenly finds himself lifeless during an exploratory expedition to discover the ancient lost civilization of the Valle di Crea.

However, death is only a passage of consciousness through space and time, a mere narrative device that takes our protagonist to the real Land of Acrea, in an unspecified past in which the world is governed by different factions.

During the first steps I learn about Boji, an extravagant creature who confesses that our soul is trapped in the Acrea Valley, which makes it impossible to return to the real (alive) world. The engine that drives the whole adventure is just this: the will to go back safe and sound.

In all likelihood this great motivation will slowly be replaced over time by a personal interest that goes far beyond one's survival, something that I haven't had the opportunity to approach yet, but which will surely move the storyline in a very specific path.

One thing is certain, the game world offers a style that definitely surprised me: very colorful, lively and far from the dark seen in games like Dark Souls or Elden Ring. Playing it gave me a much better impression than what we saw from the first trailer, which makes me curious to know how vast and above all varied it could be in its final version.

It is still early for conclusions regarding the technical part, also because I tried Stray Blade on a very performing Ak Informatica PC. But considering that the game is currently in the Alpha phase, it would also be useless to pass judgment on it.

An ambitious combat system

What makes Stray Blade really interesting is undoubtedly its combat system, not very different from the classic Action-Adventures we are used to (just think of the more common Souls-Like).

Its peculiarity is that the enemies have the ability to graze us and do us more or less damage depending on the part of the body they manage to damage. For the rest, the characteristics are mainly linked to a light and heavy attack, dodging and the possibility of parrying with a shield, but attention must be paid because the defense skills (the last mentioned) consume stamina, which does not happen with the component offensive. Striking at the right time allows you to unbalance the opponent and gain a tactical advantage in the next attack (sometimes even instantaneous execution), which also makes it very dynamic and strategic in different situations, especially for the help that Boji gives us he will give our supporting actor in battle that we will be able to enhance with his dedicated skill tree in the full version of the game.

There are blacksmiths around the world who upgrade our weaponry (with the right materials and blueprints, of course). The weapons are more than 35, consequently the variety in the fights will be quite varied.

I'll make it clear: battles are not simple, you die often and the learning curve of the combat system seems high (but not inaccessible). The respawn is practically immediate and takes place through the sanctuaries that we unlock on the map. Nothing too original, but at least the death is contextualized with a narrative sense within the story.

Summing up

Of Stray Blade I can not say much yet. Its combat system gave me positive sensations, because it still tries to offer something new to the genre it belongs to. However, I played too little to have a precise idea of ​​the game as a whole, since I had practically no way to delve into the story and setting. Surely its style is an important factor in making it different from other similar products, but for all the rest we must certainly wait to try a slightly more full-bodied version, which can give me a clearer indication of the qualities of the adventure as a whole.

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