From the northern villages of ancient Scotland, a man along with his two siblings journeys forth to free the lands of his ancestors from the impending Roman invasion. This warrior, inheritor of the title of ‘Wulver’ craves a bloody path of hacked up corpses and dismembered limbs along the way, and guiding him along the way is the hand of the player as they mash those buttons in a frenetic dash to slay dozens of Roman soldiers. This rampage against the Romans with Caradoc and his two siblings is the core premise of Wulverblade, a 2D sidescrolling game developed by Fully Illustrated and Darkwind Media which saw its release back in January of this year.
Wulverblade Review: Combat
Combat is what makes up the heart of Wulverblade and the entirety of the campaign as well with almost zero downtime from the hacking and slashing within levels. Blood will spew and heads will fly as you make your way across the game’s 8 stages.
Battles are a simple, straightforward affair, however the barrage of enemies will constantly keep you on your toes and make sure that you use your small pool of maneuvers as quickly and efficiently as possible. A basic side combo along with aerial strikes and an area of effect strike for prickly situations make up your main offensive capabilities along with the weapons and body parts dropped by enemies which can be picked and used as projectiles.
The combat also varies depending on which of the three characters you wish to fight the enemies with. Caradoc provides a balanced approach, offering equally strong capabilities in offense, defense and speed. His sister, Guinevere, meanwhile, ditches the defense for a more reckless all-out attack style focused on speed and aerial combat. Caradoc’s brother, Brennus, goes for a more power based build, sacrificing speed for offensive prowess. Each of the three provide players with a different style of battle that adds to the game’s replayability.
The story takes a similar approach to the gameplay, there’s nothing here that’s going to really wow anyone but is nonetheless an engaging tale that’s elevated in its execution through the use of stylistic comic-like cutscenes and fantastic voicework. And speaking of (or rather typing about) the cutscenes, the Wulverblade’s vibrant cartoon aesthetic looks especially great in action with a good amount of detail to the character designs and smooth animations. The soundtrack is suitably epic as well and varies in its intensity depending on the challenges you face.
Wulverblade is fairly short game, clocking in at about 3-5 hours for a single playthrough. However, with three playable characters, local multiplayer and a special mode that’s unlocked after you beat the game once, there’s still plenty of reasons for players to dive right back into hacking though the 9th legion.