Join the resistance in Blade Assault full -release 1.0. Full Review

After the devastating Red Stone War, the world is divided into three regions: the mutant-infested outside grounds, the Undercity where peopl...

After the devastating Red Stone War, the world is divided into three regions: the mutant-infested outside grounds, the Undercity where people have fled to seek refuge from mutants, and the sky city Esperanza where the rich and powerful rule over the world. Fight against the corrupt military of Esperanza as part of the resistance force of the Undercity. Bring the corrupt to justice by becoming stronger and fighting alongside your trusty comrades.

What is it?
Blade Assault is a rogue-lite action platformer from publisher NeoWiz!  Set in a desolate sci-world and presented in beautiful pixel-art, the game features brings a cast of charming characters who make up the last resistance against the ruling rich. The player fights their way through a series of randomly generated levels using various transformable weapons that customized by different “Cores” and “Transform Upgrades” that appear randomly during gameplay. Some of the progress will erase if you die in the game but other parts will be permanents and allow to level up your character and weapons making a successful run more likely next time.


After a brief introduction level Blade Assault has your main character, Kil,  wake up in a bedroom in the undercity. Patched up and ready to go you can talk to various NPC's and quickly jump back into the action. The game presents itself in a series of areas to clear of enemies before moving on to the next. Once you enter a new area an initial set of enemies spawn. 
The controls are simple and easy to grasp which is needed with the fast pace of the game. Your basics are Jump, Dash/Dodge, Normal Attack, Skill Attack and Sub Weapon Attack.
There are also slots for Active gear and Hyper cores that you can use as you progress further in the game.

You use these abilities to get rid of all the enemy forces as quickly as possible because as soon as they appear a threat level meter starts rising. The longer enemy hangs around the more they see you as a threat and they will send stronger forces. So dispersing them fast is important.  Once the first wave is cleared a switch of sorts appears and when you are ready you can activate it to start a second wave.  Once this wave is disposed of, you get to pick an award that either upgrades or changes your abilities. 

Your abilities in large are determined by the weapon you use  and something called Hyper cores you equip, of which there are 3 base elements. Electric, Fire and Ice. each come with tons of additional upgrades as well. In fact powerups can be found everywhere, there multiple ways throughout the game you can upgrade your abilities either permanently or for the duration of your run. With  over 200 different items you can use and upgrade there is no shortage of combinations to try.
Each of  these upgrades can use a different form of payment . There are Coins, Gems, Chips, Roses, and Cubes which you find through out the levels. With the help from cast of helpful though questionable characters it is up to you to get a gear set powerful enough to make it all the way through. Additionally throughout each area there also are lock boxes that can offer similar upgrades for a price. The price can be gems or taking the risk of raising the threat level in the game. In between runs you also level up and can buy additional specs that can give you the needed edge to progress further. 

Besides your default character Kil, The full version launches with three additional playable characters,  Jett, Jenny, and Darcy.  Every one of them has their own unique playstyle and signature weapons. However they are not your friends right away so perhaps you should get to know them better and buy them a drink, or at least pay them in cubes.(what is in that that makes them like me so much?)  These cubes can be used to grow relationships with the other NPC's as well perhaps enticing them to give you a tasty discount next time you top to shop.

The strength of Blade Assault lies in two main areas. First of all you always feel like you are progressing and that you stand a chance to win. If you mistakes and have to start over it does not feel as much as a punishment but more a new opportunity to upgrade and re-strategize.
The second strength it the fact that the upgrades can offer powerful combos. At one point I had equipped one item that would deal electric damage and few items that could drastically reduce damage taken and in some cases ignore. This made me a dangerous force in up close combat and I started tearing through wave of enemies. Then I added a skill that when I dashed would should out lightning bolts to near enemies. Now just dashing and evading would also be an attack.  Combining that with an upgrade that let me heal slowly and regularly find health items on a kill. As you can see you can create various builds that quickly can become very powerful. 
Adding in a robust control system and the game feels more skill based then luck based, despite the face there is a descent amount of RNG (Random generated content) in place during each run. With enough practice you can learn and get further each time. 

This is a crime!


The story of Blade Assault is fairly simple and plays out over a series of NPC dialog. Nothing too deep and contains the usual hero tropes. But the game is self aware of this and presents itself in such a way that it is easy and fun to play along. Behind the plain looking starting screen the game world presents itself in gorgeous designed pixel art with smooth animations and fun character designs. I am glad that the text, HUD  and menus in the game do not use pixelated fonts though as it increases the readability while still keep a great esthetic for the game. As stated there are different regions in the game but even with the overall apocalyptic feel of the game, each area looks and feels unique including the various enemies. 

The NPC's in the game have great designs as well and display clear personality in their design as well as their dialog. I would have loved some more dialog option thought to flesh out the relationships with these characters a bit more and learn what motivates them in order to breath some more life into the lore of this game. But then again it is all not that deep. "We good, they bad.. go get 'em" So we will salute the general and get to it.

Fights are fast and chaotic but they are easy to keep track of as the framerate never suffers. Boss fights seem to bring a bit lower pace where in true tradition it is  important to get a feel of the attack pattern of the boss enemy while fighting off additional waves of minions or avoid a barrage of missiles, explosions etc.  They have great unique designs too as they are glorious mutations such as a big frog, rat or even a sentient plant.  As an added bonus if you feel the chaos is too much and you have some problem you can actually turn on easy mode which reduces damage dealt by enemies by 50%. This offers a great way to get used to the game for those new to the genre or having trouble to keep up. Once you have a good feel for it and are getting to good, you can turn it off and try a real run.

Lastly, Blade Assault comes with a killer soundtrack and similar to my comment on the use of normal fonts for the menus etc, I am glad that the develop team did not go with a chiptune set for this game. As much as I can appreciate a good chiptune song I think that the one they chose is excellent and fits really well to the game. The audio production is excellent and it is combined with great powerful sound effects as well. Audio is an important factor for my enjoyment of a game and if the audio balance is off, out of sync or feels empty it can really bug me. But I am glad to say that this is definitely not a problem in this game. 

Final Thoughts

Blade Assault succeeded in giving players a easy entry into the rogue-lite genre. We get to review a lot of games in this genre as they are popular especially in the indie game scene. But very often, despite being good games too often they are just to hard for casual gamers or new comers to the genre which can be a put off. In case of Blade Assault it has a great balanced feel to the combat, a solid progressing system that does not feel like too big of a grind and a balanced RNG that feels mostly fair and if it is not the greatest during your run it can be overcome easy until later down the road. Perhaps hardcore players might find it too easy, but I am not the one to speak for them and I personally am glad that I did not come from this game feeling utterly punished for playing it.
I find a lot of enjoyment going back each time and trying a new run and see what skill combination I can come up with and how far it gets me.

Blade Assault is a well build rogue-light game with great gameplay, good price point and replay value. Check it out if you have every been curious about the genre, are a fan of these type of games or just like to play a smaller indie game. If you are looking for a full on platformer then this is not it, but check out some gameplay videos to see if it is something you want to try. 

Developer: TeamSuneat 

Publisher: NeoWiz!

Release Date: January 17, 2022

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC (Steam), Macintosh operating systems

Review platform: Steam

Price at launch: $17.99

ESRB: N/A . GvG recommendation: E10+

About the writer: DadGeek (Rob) is the co-founder of GeeksVsGeeks. He is a product of the eighties and never let go of his geek interest and hobbies no matter how often someone told him to stop. His love for gaming and all things geeks has been part of his parenting style and permeates throughout the whole family. A family of Geeks vs Geeks


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