Blackwind is the brand new sci-fi action platformer with hack and slash combat from Drakkar Dev and Publisher Blowfish Studios. A smooth looking, fast action genre mash-up with plenty of potential but can it deliver?
Blackwind begins with young James Hawkins accompanying his father to the planet Medusa-42 to deliver his latest mech suit to the military. As well as building a new mech for the military James father also built a shiny new prototype mech suit!
Would you believe it just has Professor Hawkins is describing this bells and whistle prototype to young James their ship comes under attack from the surface! The quick-thinking professor bundles James into the new paradigm of military badassery and ejects him from their spaceship.
James Hawkins lands safely on the surface of the planet as his father’s ship crashes on the other side of Medusa -42. Not only is James stranded half a planet away from his father but the peaceful mining colony has been overtaken by the alien race known as the Raknos.
James is now stranded, surrounded by a swarm of alien bugs with zero military experience! Luckily for him as professor Hawkins ejected James from the ship he also activated the Blackwind protocol. A powerful advanced AI that has been given one task… keep James Hawkins alive!
The first thing you notice with Blackwind is how beautiful it looks. The graphics are simply stunning. A mix of clear crisp graphics and sublime lighting really make Blackwind pop out of the screen. Whether you are running through a sun-flooded canyon in the desert or traversing the shadowy corridors of a research facility you can’t help but be in awe of the lighting employed by the Drakkar Dev.
The mech suit itself is both menacing and beautiful. The perfect mixture of intimidating kill machine and cool as fuck mech suit. Honestly, it wouldn’t look out of place in Gundam or something. packed to the hilt with numerous ways of racing down death on your adversaries and looking amazing while doing so.
Also, I think it is worth pointing out how effortlessly Blackwind goes from light, airy open spaces to claustrophobic, atmospheric interiors. The execution animations are brutal and fantastic. They are genuinely so visceral they have to be experienced to be truly appreciated.
Hopefully, I have established just how wonderful Blackwind looks. But does it play well? For the majority of the time…YES!
The controls are intuitive and seamless. Linking together violent combos topped off with a brutal execution quickly becomes effortless. Within a matter of minutes, you will become a walking harbinger of Raknos genocide.
The mix of combat is paired nicely with RPG-esque elements. Lay waste to hordes of Raknos bugs, collect orbs and use them at terminals to upgrade the fatality capability of your mech. Blackwind is a great game to play…when you are inside a building.
My biggest gripe with Blackwind is the outdoor sections. Yes, they look great. Yes, the controls are the same as they are inside. Yes, the mech is still as murderous and beautiful. What is different is the camera.
By Nimah, the camera in the outdoor sections is just bloody awful. It always seems to be a couple of degrees off the correct angle and is really jarring to the experience. As if the atrocious camera angle wasn’t bad enough for some reason Drakkar Dev and Blowfish Studios decided this would be a great point to add platform/jumping puzzles.
one of the biggest crimes that can be committed in gaming is having to jump from platform to platform with an awful camera angle. I can’t fathom how this got through the game design process or at least get picked up in QA.
Blackwind is a truly brilliant game. It doesn’t bring anything new to gaming but refines all the aspects that we love. Seamless controls, brutal combat, fast-paced gameplay, exploration, unlock & upgrading abilities.
Graphically it is stunning, it plays so well and that is why it is so frustrating that it is let down by such a simple issue.
I have mentioned the god awful camera angle on the outside sections of Blackwind. It really is inexcusable and is so jarring it pulls you out of the experience. I found myself wishing they had left the outdoor sections out completely.
At times Blackwind can feel like two different games. Indoors it is sublime. almost perfect. Outdoors quickly destroy any enjoyment you were having. This is a shame because Blackwind truly is a fantastic game at its core.
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