E3 '07: Heavenly Sword Hands-On Preview

Goddess of War, Kratos with Breasts, etc. We’ve all heard the names, and I figured it was time I finally put Heavenly Sword to the test. Do they fit? Yeah…

I finally made my way to Sony’s little E3 area just before leaving for the day. Seeing God of War PSP, I had to try that first (I’ll post that tomorrow-I’m tired!). After playing as Kratos for a few minutes, my eyes wandered right, and landed on a big sign reading HEAVENLY SWORD. I decided to try it out. (It let me escape the people trying to play SingStar.)

The story of the game is pretty typical fare, and honestly, I already forgot the basic plot. It doesn’t help that the sound in E3 is horrid this year, making it extremely hard to hear cutscenes.

What matters about Heavenly Sword is the gameplay. Starting off, I rode a rope (like Tarzan) towards some pillar filled with enemies. During this journey, they decided to try and impede my path by slicing my means of transportation. Hah! I hit right, and jumped to an adjacent rope. Hitting X constantly sped me up, and when they cut that rope, I jumped the previously cut one and landed on another. That continued for another couple seconds, until I landed smack dab in the middle of a group of enemy combatants.

Someone stole the little piece of paper posted at Sony’s display listing the game’s controls, and no Sony people were around to talk to, so I pretty much just started hitting buttons until I found out square and triangle were quick and strong attack, respectively. (At that point, I remembered I could pause the game and look at controls – a lot of other E3 games disabled pausing, so I forgot that a lot.)

By holding R1, I entered the power stance, which basically combined my two blades into a much bigger blade, good at hitting people with hard blows… Hmm…

By holding L1, I entered the ranged stance, which let me flail my two blades around on the edge of chains, causing huge area damage… HMMM…

Yeah, the game basically plays like God of War, except Kratos is a chick, and a lot of weird guys kept taking pictures every time the game zoomed in on her crotch. The one difference I noticed is that the enemies tend to be a lot more difficult early on, and can’t be held back with simple combos; you keep hitting them, eventually some will block and allow others to attack in the opening.

When an enemy attacked, by pressing the strong attack I could counter their blow, leading to a nice animation; my favorite involved me grabbing their foot, lifting it high, and kicking them in the crotch to knock them off the pillar. At times, you can also press circle to perform a special finishing blow; the only one I saw every time I did it involved snapping their neck. Whether or not there are others and I just didn’t do it right, or they aren’t done yet I don’t know.

After taking care of the enemies, another interactive cutscene takes place which leads to the pillar crashing into a wall and allowing me entry into some walled area. Once in, more baddies come storming out, and the fighting process repeats itself. This time I figured out I could use X to grab their corpses and use them as weapons, so I spent a lot of time just picking up bodies and throwing them only to miss and get myself slashed.

When that group was killed (whether by blade, corpse, or pot) the gates break, and a couple big burly dudes walk in. That’s where it ends, and reminds me that I can buy the game soon to see more.

Was it fun? Definitely. The combat was fast, the animations were cool, and the enemies were fairly difficult, even in the beginning. Was it really THAT different from God of War? Not really. From what I played, the game could easily pass as God of War 3 by placing Kratos’ model in there and adding a jump button.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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