15th Feb2018

‘Wulverblade’ Review (Xbox One)

by Paul Metcalf


If you are a fan of retro games, there is always one genre that has survived, and that is the side-scrolling beat ‘em up. Depending on your age you may remember the likes of RoboCop, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Batman and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What these titles prove is just how versatile the genre is. Wulverblade is a new beat ‘em up based on British history, giving you the chance to bash some Roman brains in.

While some games of this kind like to create a basic story then just let you fight anything that moves, Wulverblade feels like the makers of the game actually care about the story they are telling. With the Romans taking over Britain, you and your friends play as barbarians from the north fighting traitors who have joined the Roman forces, and then the Romans themselves.

While there is a definite retro feel to Wulverblade there is much more to the game. Already mentioned is the rich story that is told not only in cut scenes, but a narrator in the game keeps the story going. This pushed the player to progress, not just feeling like they are bashing away at the buttons to just get through the battles.

When it comes to the actual battles, there is a very satisfying feeling of defeating each enemy, especially when there is a chance of cutting off limbs, then being able to throw them at other enemies. The level of destruction is impressive, especially when it feels that you are actually barbaric in your actions, throwing decapitated heads at Romans in the chance of stunning them. Also, the fact that you can see the enemies sneaking around in the back and foreground to try to trap you give an urgency to the battle.

If there is any enemy that is slightly lacking, it has to be the bosses. While they do have more variety to their attack, it is still easy to just keep on bashing at them until their health bar is depleted. This is just a small complaint though, as it is the fluidity of the fights themselves which make the game so fun.

When in battle, it isn’t just a case of repetitive attacks, there are a variety of ways that you can rip your enemies apart. This includes the ability to jump and strike down, but also add a few special moves, and weapon attacks which are upgraded as you progress through the game. It is possible to just bash away at the buttons, but once you experiment with running, jumping, and the different attacks to pull off more impressive combinations, it just adds to the fun.

Wulverblade is a gory and cartoonish trek through a part of British history that always interests people. Bringing in the dismemberment and gore where it matters, it may not have that much replay value but while it lasts, it is a fun and violent game that actually does feel like it adds something to the beat ‘em up genre, which is something to be celebrated.

****½  4.5/5

Wulverblade is available on Xbox One now as well as PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch (we we reviewed here).

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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