Publisher: Darkwind Media
Developer: Fully Illustrated / Darkwind Media
Release Date: October 12th, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
When we think of being a viking, we imagine being a giant badass, slicing down anyone who dares getting in our way and throwing their decapitated heads at anyone still standing. Well, maybe the decapitated head thing wasn’t the first thing that popped into our head, but you’ll find that and more in Wulverblade, the new tough as nails beat ’em up. Fair warning, it’s going to frustrate the hell out of you at points, but you’ll love every bloody bit of it.
Wulverblade will set you against traitorous Vikings and conquering Romans as you choose from three characters, each with different abilities and balanced stats between attack, defense, and speed. The combat fairs like a standard beat ‘am up with standard attacks, strong attacks (when you come across a bigger secondary weapon), and plenty of throwable objects. The things you’ll fling at enemies include enemy swords, daggers, chopped off-hand, and, yes, decapitated heads. Beyond throwing appendages, the biggest thing that differentiates Wulverblade from other games in the genre is the heavy reliance on defending attacks. If you attempt to button mash your way through the game, you’re not going to get very far. The amount of enemies you’ll face, and especially some super difficult bosses are going to require a little finesse and patience as you block attacks and wait for your time to strike at times.
The difficulty might turn many away, but your hard work gets a great payoff through an awesome story and plenty of collectives. Throughout the games levels you’ll find hidden scrolls and letters that fill in plenty of the backstory, fictional and otherwise. Even the secondary weapons you’ll find throughout the game have interesting backstories you can read about. Playing to find everything and completing it with the different characters will warrant at minimum a couple of play throughs.
Wulverblade is a hard-but-rewarding, polished beat ’em up that fans of the genre should thoroughly enjoy. If you’re not a fan of hard games it might not be your cup of tea (though there is talk of an easy mode possibly coming.) For everyone else looking for a challenge, Wulverblade is the latest Nindie for you.