Hands On with Stellar Blade Demo | PS5 Daily

Apr
14

Hands On with Stellar Blade Demo

Shift Up, a Korean studio – announced they were working on a project called “Project Eve” and would be released for PlayStaton 4, PC, and Xbox One. Project Eve would be developed using the Unreal Engine 4. It was revealed during a State of Play livestream in September 2021 known as “PlayStation Showcase.” But the final name of the game is not “Project Eve,” it was revealed as “Stellar Blade.” Moreover, Stellar Blade is now exclusive to PlayStation, and it would be released for PlayStation 5. Originally, Stellar Blade’s demo was mistakenly uploaded to PlayStation Store on March 8, 2024. It was officially released on PlayStation Store on March 29, 2024.

Gameplay

Let’s begin by explaining what is “Stellar Blade”? Stellar Blade is an Action-RPG. I don’t care who says it’s not, but it is. The wikipedia entry for the game describes it as an “Action/Adventure” game, and gaming websites call it an action/adventure game, too. But it IS an action-RPG. I’ll explain why as we progress. You really need to play the game to actually understand it. And I got the sense from a demo. The demo is about an hour-long if you know what you’re doing. In the first playthrough of Stellar Blade, I felt like the game could have been an action game, but as I progress – I misunderstood the game at first. The second playthrough with the concepts I learned from the first playthrough, I grasped the concepts.

In the first playthrough, I did NOT pick up upgrades. Second playthrough, I took the time to take off my beaten path. I learned that I can upgrade my player character, whose name is “Eve.” In my sockets, I can add attributes. I can upgrade my health by finding 4 or so “souls,” think of it like Zelda’s heart pieces. You collect coins, currency to purchase, sell, or upgrade some parts of the game. The game teases slots in the pause menu. Sockets is just one part. You can think of this section akin to Call of Duty’s 3 perk system, pick 10, that sort-of thing. But there’s a separate menu and this is where your abilities are earned. In order to earn these abilities, you need to spend SP to upgrade a ability path. Sounds like an Action-RPG to me. It’s not a full-scale RPG, but it has hallmarks of it.

The best description of Stellar Blade is a mix between Devil May Cry, and a “Souls” game like Elden Ring. It’s also got some “Nier: Automata” in there, too, because you’re dealing with tech, androids, and monsters. How is it like Devil May Cry? It allows for a variety of movesets, including air dashing. However, I think Stellar Blade is really, really deep. It’s got a two-tiered system, with regards to movesets. So, you have an escape button, correct? Well, there are colored-coded escape systems available. Blue, from what I understand, is the game’s way of saying – “escape now!” But Purple is more advanced. I am speaking hypothetically, because when you unlock escape, you’re supposed to press the Circle button to move out of the way. And so, when you unlock a second tier of escape, you will need to do it at the right time, with the right button. I have a gripe with this, which I think I’ll explain in controls section. Anyway, the game is really intricate with the way you interact with enemies, and bosses. This is where I call the game a bit of a “Souls” vibe. You can’t just attack the enemy or boss all the time, no no no. You are forced to do certain actions. I’ll explain in controls.

Controls

For the most part, I like the controls. Although, my biggest gripe is how responsive the game seems, but lacking on. Once you press attack, it attacks, no problem. When you block, you block. No problem. But this has a bit of a drawback somewhere. Blocking works, yes, but the hit detection is a bit poor, the game forces you to block at the correct time, or it won’t register the block. Great idea, but execution is poor. So, even if you block at the correct time, you can sometimes lose the fight. This is same true for the escape button. I tried using the escape button sometimes in the gameplay, but it doesn’t actually register sometimes. I embedded two videos to show you what I am talking about. So, therefore, I am not using escape button. It’s because not just the timing, it’s also because when you DO, there’s actually a delay. This is the weakest part of the controls.

There is a small nitpick – I don’t actually like the mechanic of pressing the R1 button to collect some items. I mean, it should work the same way most games do. If enemies drop currency or items, you should be able to collect them without pressing the button.

Graphics

Trust me, the two videos I embedded in this article, DO not do the game justice. I don’t know why the game looks drab/muted when I record gameplay and upload the video(s) to YouTube. Whomever is doing the coding for the recording side of the game is not doing a very good job of trying to output the true colors of the game. I’m not sure if Sony knows this. Needed to be fixed before launch, because the game looks beautiful in person. The game’s character models are the best part of the game. The environments are cool and all, but it’s the models that shine. All footage uploaded is STRAIGHT from the actual PlayStation 5 console.

Music & Sounds

Another strong suit of Stellar Blade is the music, and sounds. The music is extraordinary. From the beginning of the demo, all the way to the end of the demo, the music will actually match what’s going on. It doesn’t matter if you are battling enemies, or not… the music is what is helping the environments and storytelling. The sounds are punchy, and goes with the action. Voice acting is well done, especially during battles.

Misc Feedback

I’ll try not to give away too much about the game, but it’s actually the small things that impress me. And you’ll see it in the videos that I’ve embedded. In between spots, you will come to a section of the game, where you will save the game, buy items, and whatnot… This spot is more or less your save station. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll need to watch the videos to really understand. When you come to these spots, you will be greeted to an area. Typically, these areas have 2 or 3 vending or resting spots. One will allow you to purchase or sell. One will save your data. One will change your musical score at the time of the spot. And to operate these spots, you need to turn on the electricity, and then put in a coin to actually use it. Nice touch. Really nice.

Replay Value

I’m not sure if this will be the case for the full game or not, but so far it feels like a linear/”Open Quadrant” game. I like action games like Stellar Blade, and so far, there’s a replay value within’ the game. I mean, I re-played the game twice only to discover new mechanics, and concepts. Moreover, there’s an “arcade” aspect to the game, where if you die, you get a “Game Over” screen. It’s taunting you to try, try again.

In Conclusion

So far, Stellar Blade is a game that thrives on action, but it is intricate in practice of defeating enemies in general. Stellar Blade has hallmarks of a great game, and has attention to details. Controls for Stellar Blade is good, but needs more polish in areas that need it the most, like blocking or escaping from the attacks of enemies. The overall atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired, which makes you curious about how the rest of the game is going to be like.

Stellar Blade is scheduled to be released for PlayStation 5 on April 26, 2024.

About Carlos Morales

I've been writing about Video Games since 2001. I have become a well-known, recognizable name in the industry. I started CarlosX360.com in 2006, and has accumulated over 1 Million Users, and 4.5 Million Pageviews worldwide. I'll always be most passionate about this wonderful community.

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