Broken Blades Review – You Gotta Roll With It

A tough 2D hack and slash where you need to rebuild your sword, slash at some baddies and utilise the humble roll. Broken Blades for PC...

Playing Broken Blades is another one of those titles that land in my inbox, playing this is like someone placing a cake you didn’t ask for on your desk, and you feel obliged to eat. Come on, you can’t not eat it, right?

An indie title from Golden Eggs Studio and West Wind Games, this is another one of those I hadn’t heard of until now, but not being someone who cherry picks and wave that righteous flag for the indie market, I was down as it’s a 2D hack and slash with a bit of humour chucked in.

The story and general setup isn’t something that Broken Blades makes a song and dance about as you’re thrown into the game straight away. Your hero will do the usual heroic thing of walking, slashing, and jumping, but the real highlight of their repertoire is the roll. Naturally an evasive move, you’ll want to use this throughout the game as you’re frequently overpowered and will want to ‘save yourself’ for better-suited baddies to take your mortal life.

Broken Blades Review

It’s very much a no-nonsense indie title as the enemies flow through pretty quick, with about as much speed as it takes to die. I initially took my time killing each enemy with care, but with no apparent benefit other than being a badass; it all felt a little pointless after dying from landing on a spike, activating a trap, or being killed by a persistent enemy.

Broken Blades Review - Is that a Jawa?
Is that a Jawa? Source: Steam

After a few successive deaths, I decided to steamroll through and was pleasantly surprised by two outcomes with this cowardly custard method. First of all, you don’t take any damage from touching enemies (unless they touch you), and best of all – depending on how you feel about this, the enemies you jump/roll past will continue to follow you.

Now that might annoy you if you’re looking for a quick run, but I liked this aspect, as the enemies in Broken Blades didn’t give up. This applied to the ground-based minions who desperately try to follow you to impale you somehow. Logic would be to sneak past, which isn’t an option or killing them all. Of course, if you keep dying, you might want to skip past all this tomfoolery.

I’d Rather Shit My Pants

This design reared its head as I dashed through to the first boss, only to be followed by a dozen or so enemies, making it impossible (with my ability) to survive, and it was a restart. Again and again.

As a Dark Souls fan, but not necessarily a glutton for punishment, the level of opposition and feeling underpowered was getting to my sensitive side. While I wasn’t prepared to shed any tears over Broken Blades, the brutal challenge wasn’t encouraging me to stay and put my slippers on.

Broken Blades Review - Shrek's grumpier sibling
Shrek’s grumpier sibling. Source: Steam

A redeeming factor could be the upgrade side of things. Armed with a reasonably sized sword, you can pick up shards that form an even greater one. Yes, you can knock about these fools like it’s nobodies business, but at the price of speed. It gets to the point of treating attacks like ammo in Resident Evil – a last resort.

Trippety Trap

Besides the enemies, there are heaps of traps too, and new ones tend to spawn on successive deaths, making it even harder. On one run, I only had to go up against a handful of bats with some spikes to contend with. A few embarrassing hits later and subsequent respawn, a pendulum and fireball shooting device appeared. As if the bat wasn’t enough.

Other than your sword, you can also get other buffs from drops in the game, such as the ability to walk over spikes without taking damage and health in the force of a juicy red apple. But you’ll lose them upon death, and without any apparent stats, this rinse and repeat weren’t getting any better. Interpret that as the game or my skill level.

Broken Blades Review - Hung
Hung. Source: Steam

In summary, Broken Blades wasn’t for me. The visuals are crisp, and the animation is serviceable when double jumping and attacking, but something about it feels a bit off in places. The music got a little bit repetitive too, but that’s only a little thing. If you’re up for a challenge and have the patience to persevere, have a look at it on Steam. It’s not something I’d deter you from seeking out, but nor is it a game I’d recommend.