After Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice games about how the painted Celtic girls are fighting with the enemies pouring into their foggy British islands, are of particular interest. And although Wulverblad belongs to another genre (it's beat 'em up, and not an action adventure game), and among the heroes you can choose not only the girl painted in blue paint, but also brutal men who fight not with the Vikings, but with the Romans, everything equally, these projects unite the common spirit of a grim, desperate resistance to fate. And yes, Wulverblade also wants to be called an independent game of AAA-class.
Wulverblade tells how the legendary Caledonians, the rebellious northern tribes of Britain, until the last battle with the Romans, who have already made an alliance with the southerners and are trying to finally conquer the territory of present-day Scotland. Events unfold in the 120 years and are based on real historical facts.
Moreover, the game can find a lot of very interesting historical information about the life of the northern tribes, about how the Romans built the forts and roads on the islands, how legions formed, what resistance they encountered in Britain, about the then widespread weapons, and so on.
Michael Heald (Michael Heald), creative director of Wulverblade, for five years studying British history, going to places, taking pictures. And it says a lot - at least about how lovingly and meticulously the authors, the real fans of their business, relate to the chosen theme and to their creation.
And this love, attention to detail is felt in everything else. The mechanics themselves seem to be extremely simple. There are three heroes to choose from - the leader and defender of Caradoc, the huge Brennus and the deadly girl named Guinevere. Each is different in strength, speed and protection - Brennus is powerful, but slow, Guinevere, on the contrary, is quick and dexterous, and Caradoc is more or less universal.
Someone, of course, strikes harder, someone runs back and forth, knocks down and fiercely beats opponents in the air for a long time without letting them fall. At the same time, the superemotions of all the heroes are the same - this is a transition to a state of bloody rage, when the corresponding scale is accumulated, and the call of wolves available once per level. Yes, even all three can conduct approximately the same attack on the area, throwing all the enemies around.
"Bleeding" and fuss with the equipment is not here, but right in the battle you can take any fallen sword or spear from the enemy and throw at the enemy - sometimes this is very useful. Allow to throw even barrels and severed heads. In general, the environment here is very interactive - we often have to cut down trees, fences, walls and fortifications in order to go further. And the barrels, of course, too - there, sometimes, comes across a piece of meat that restores health, or another interesting historical reference.
Opponents, as you have already understood, can be cut to pieces, and also thrown into the fire and put on the palisade surrounding the military field. Yes, Wulverblade - the game is very bloody, brutal, but how else to talk about the desperate resistance of a handful of proud and recalcitrant barbarians who dared to challenge the Roman Empire?
The combat system itself is not as simple as it seems. Enemies are many - there archers, and legionnaires with shields, and cavalry, and various "bosses", protected by two or three layers of armor. Therefore, we have to study their features, attacks, block, roll, jump and knock them off in time. In some missions, you still need to dodge the rolling barrels or from the avalanche of arrows. Particular tension is felt when playing in a local cooperative in a complicated mode - there are no control points, everything is foreseen for only three lives.
Pleasure and design levels, and a story that interweaves historical facts with Celtic legends and myths. At some point, our heroes generally turn into wolf-crowds, and then everything becomes even more interesting, including on the battlefield.
Finally, Wulverbladelooks and sounds like a full-fledged animated film - juicy, atmospheric, stylish and with attention to detail. Just look at the screenshots - it's better to see for yourself than to read.
Wulverblade is an excellent example of how you can almost make a masterpiece from a simple game of mechanics thanks to the love of your work, attention to detail, a well-adjusted atmosphere and excellent artistic taste. Why almost? Yes, because, as in the case of the same Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice , the creation of Fully Illustrated and Darkwind Media still lacks the variety, some system of character development, more nontrivial levels. However, this is more a claim for the sake of a claim, and in general to play in Wulverblade is a pleasure!