Recent PSVR releases have been all about the DualShock 4 or the PSVR Aim controller. It’s been a long while since I really needed to use my PS Move wands, but since I was tasked with reviewing Kingdom of Blades for PSVR, that has since changed.
After waiting four hours to charge the buggers up I strapped in and didn’t really know what to expect. There’s been next to no buzz around this game at all, despite it having released way back in February, 2018 on PC virtual reality headsets. I couldn’t even find any reviews from decent publications, so it has definitely flown right under the radar. And that’s a massive shame.
As Kingdom of Blades is a PSVR game, a PlayStation VR headset is required. You’ll also need a couple of charged PS Move wand controllers, too, as the game only supports them as an input method.
In a nutshell, Kingdom of Blades is Fruit Ninja VR, but far more frantic. Instead of chopping fruit and veg you’ll be slicing and dicing mini enemies that come flying at you. Literally at you. Unlike Fruit Ninja VR where the targets just pop up, the enemies in Kingdom of Blades come straight at you. It’s intense from the get go, aside from the tutorial that you can’t skip.
When I say it’s intense, I really do mean it. There’s no warming up and the first level is straight up madness. Enemies come bounding towards your face and it’s your job to slice them or deflect them away, depending on your loadout. To add more chaos to the proceedings, there are other enemies that pop up in the background to throw ninja stars at you. You can either dodge them or parry them away with your weapons. I actually found that I was pretty lucky when it came to deflecting these, but your luck may vary.
There’s a little more depth to Kingdom of Blades than you’d expect. On the outside it really does look like it’s aping Fruit Ninja VR, but there’s a lot more going on. There are bosses, for one, and failure means death, though you can stave off the game over screen a little longer thanks to the game’s upgrades system. It’s really easy to follow, too. The more you play, the more you unlock. You can customise your loadout with different swords and shields, with better equipment unlocking the more you play. It could have been extra fluff for the sake of fluff, but to the game’s credit it actually made a difference to gameplay. Upgrading your armour means you can take more damage during a level – something you’ll definitely need to watch out for during the boss battles – and unlocking new super abilities gives you a fighting chance at success when dozens of enemies are headed straight at your face.
You’ll definitely want to take care when you’re playing Kingdom of Blades. It demands that you be very, very active. Make sure you strap the controller to your wrist; I had a little mishap that ended with my Move controller flying out of my hand. Luckily it didn’t cause any damage and it doesn’t seem to be broken, but this could have been a different story. The straps exist for a reason, people.
After half an hour of exhaustive play I was dripping in sweat. So I tried the endless mode and almost passed out. Great exercise for those who want it, but just watch out that you don’t do yourself any damage by playing too hard for too long.
The main game mode is a campaign with a story, but I can’t say that I was honestly interested in the story at all. It’s nice that it’s there, but the way it’s presented leaves a lot to be desired. That said, nobody is really playing this for the story – they’re playing to swing massive swords around! The gameplay is the key here and it does everything just about right. It’s a simple game, sure, but there’s a lot of fun to be had in swinging around ancient weaponry.
As far as looks go, I can’t really complain about Kingdom of Blades. I played using the PS4 Pro so maybe I had the best possible experience, but it didn’t look terrible. The graphics are basic and they don’t need to be anything more than that. I could always make out what was going on in the game’s cartoony levels, and that’s all you need.
Tracking was also very well done and I honestly can’t remember any instance during play where the game failed to track my motions, even when I was crossing both arms across the face of the PSVR headset, so that’s a massive plus. What more could you ask for?
Kingdom of Blades PSVR Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
Kingdom of Blades is more than a Fruit Ninja VR knock-off, even if it relies on the same gameplay concept. The campaign is tough and boss battles boil down to complete madness, so don’t be surprised to come away with arms that ache for days. Cheap and cheerful jollies.
Clean graphics and presentation.
The upgrade system keeps you reaching for more.
Fair amount of content.
A little too difficult to begin with.
Story presentation and dodgy English.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)