Image of ArcheBlade

I?ll start off by saying I like the idea of ArcheBlade. The concept of a third person MOBA/brawler title is one that definitely intrigues me, as does the mix of third-person shooter styled controls with the dynamics typical in a fighting game. The concept actually interested me enough that I was willing to look past the animu visuals to see if there was anything of substance within.

Unfortunately, what I found was about as flimsy as the black tissue paper that Elrath passes off as clothing.

I?m not sure where to start here, so I think I might as well begin with the characters. I?m willing to overlook their over-the-top design, the skimpy, ridiculous outfits of many of the female characters, and even the god-awful voice acting (although the next time I hear the line ?just got out of the shower!? I?m throwing my headset out the window).  I like to think they add a bit of personality to the whole experience; they give it a sort of insane, quirky vibe.

I will admit that the combat, too, is fairly solid. ArcheBlade is basically an entertaining, fast-paced hack-and-slash, where you?re as likely to be torn to shreds in a manner of seconds as you are to consign your foes to a quick and painful death. Though the combos do take some getting used to, there?s actually a surprising amount of depth to the game, if you?re only willing to dig deep enough.

Unfortunately, when you do that digging, you?re likely to notice a number of glaring issues.

Out of the thirteen characters on ArcheBlade?s roster, some are unarguably better than the rest. For example: due to their large size, champions like Danmei or Cezanne are nearly impossible to miss in combat. Melee champions have an easy time juggling them because if their relatively large hit-boxes, while they can find it next to impossible to land their abilities on smaller heroes.

There?s also the fact that most of the text in the game ? including the ability descriptions ? reads like it was shoved through Google Translate a few times, pasted into the game, and then left to its own devices. I?ll give you folks an example:

 ?When the evil generalissimo of the Dwarf Empire who dreamed to govern the world suspected his downfall, and spread his blood relatives on the ground by manipulating his genes. The plan was to create the so-called ?children of the generalissimo?. The by-product of the plan was Dick.?

 That rather amusing description is quoted directly from the game?s lore page.  This sort of quality is pretty much par for the course in ArcheBlade; grammar and sentence structure clearly weren?t the developers strong suits, and as a result some of the text in the game actually grows so incoherent as to border on completely unreadable.

The lack of a matchmaking system ? in favor of a bunch of player-hosted servers ? is also somewhat bewildering to me. A game like ArcheBlade is uniquely suited to matchmade games, yet instead, developer Codebrush has decided to basically make it a complete and utter free for all. The end result is that novice players frequently come up against veterans while they?re trying to learn the ropes, quitting after they find themselves getting thoroughly trounced.  It?s something Codebrush desperately needs to fix if they?re going to move forward.

Like so many of the other games I?ve reviewed recently, ArcheBlade has potential?which it?s gleefully choosing to ignore. Pick it up on Steam or online if you like ? you probably won?t find me playing it much in the near future. 

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Reviewed by: Nicholas Greene