Blade Assault Early Access — Is it worth it?
Building on the lasting success of Skull: The Hero Slayer, South Korean publisher Neowiz is back with another side-scrolling action rogue-lite. Blade Assault enters Early Access today, bringing with it tons of hack and discount, plus hours of Farm Currency upgrades for. It’s nice enough already and it looks like Neowiz might have another hit on his hands, but the question arises: is it Blade Assault worth it?
Blade Assault opens with the player character, Kil, stuck in a cell. He was captured for hacking into a business, so company forces recovered him. While it is simmering, a robot appears and opens the cell door. It doesn’t take long for Kil to come out of the holding cell area, grab a lightsaber and handgun, and start tearing the guards to pieces. But the head of the company sends his right arm to get rid of Kil, and he is electrocuted from a bridge.
Once Kil wakes up from his precarious descent, he finds himself in Blade Assaultthe hub. You know, the standard area rogue-lites initially have where you can talk to people and buy upgrades. After you die, you keep the money you had, as well as microchips. Money is used to buy permanent stat upgrades and unlock new types of melee weapons, while microchips add special bonuses to said melee weapons, like recovering a certain amount of energy with each successful hit. This is the bonus I went with, because you spend the game constantly hitting things, so it seems like a solid investment.
Chainsaw left all his brain
Now the intro of the game gives Kil a lightsaber, but the weapon upgrade guy in the hub turns him into a laser chainsaw as soon as the prologue ends. Earth Defense Force, eat your heart. If you are wondering what kind of rogue-lite Blade Assault this is, honestly, it looks a lot like Skull. As in, it has virtually the exact same structure. If it ain’t broke I guess. You leave the hub via a teleporter and then are brought to a level. As you move to the right, the level will fill up with enemies and you will have to kill them all to leave.
It is unfolding as you might expect. There are a lot of enemies, and you will have to hack them and fight your way through them. Melee attacks are decent, although the game is quite complicated. Kil can dodge as well, and he starts off with two combat skills. One is a spinning jump where he flies through the air with his chainsaw spinning in an arc. The other is the aforementioned handgun. Both use energy, which you can recover over time.
Once you’ve killed everything and reached the end of the area, two doors will appear with different icons. Yes, exactly like Skull. Successfully killing all enemies in the next room will then reward you with the icon, whether it’s microchips, temporary currency you can spend during races, or even just healing. Every few levels you will have access to an intermission area where you can also purchase healing. Just like Skull. I keep saying it.
Blade Assault is nice though, and the old rogue-lite permanent progression system is in good shape here, as are the other upgrades. The game is a little too familiar if you’ve played you-know-what. But this other game is great, so it’s not exactly a dealbreaker. I would say Blade Assault already worth it in Early Access. In addition, go: laser chainsaw.
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