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20 Jul 2023

REVIEW: Stray Blade on Xbox Series X/S

Review by Jon Donnis
Published by 505 Games and made by Point Blank Games, comes Stray Blade, an action role-playing video game.

Immerse yourself in an action-packed adventure and become a master of intense combat while exploring the enigmatic ruins of an ancient civilization. Legends speak of Acrea, the Lost Valley, a wild and potent place, concealed by overgrowth. You play as Farren West who stumbled upon this forgotten realm but met a tragic end. However, fate smiles upon you as you miraculously return to life, but with a cost - you are now bound to this land.

Take up the challenge to reclaim your freedom and embark on a quest to restore balance to this war-ravaged and desolate place, guided by your loyal companion, Boji. Traverse towering throne rooms once inhabited by giant god-kings and explore long-lost cities, unearthing their long-held secrets. But beware, as you delve deeper, even deadlier adversaries will cross your path. Get ready for an adventure that shapes the world, influenced by your discoveries and the raging forces at play.

Experience an unforgettable journey into the heart of Acrea and its ancient legacy. Unravel the history that transformed the tranquil valley into a battleground of strife and death. Armed with this knowledge, seek out and destroy the remnants of the past, bringing peace to the war-torn valley.

As you progress through your journey, every triumph you achieve leaves a lasting impact on the world. Time moves forward even if you fall in battle. Return to the sites of your former victories and witness the changes you've instigated in the world. But be warned, your actions will attract even greater challenges.

Engage in hyper-responsive combat, allowing you to react swiftly and execute precise attacks, enabling you to dominate battles. Strategically anticipate enemy moves and respond with split-second blade-to-blade reactions, creating a thrilling High Noon of melee weapon combat.

Confront the very God-Kings who once marred the land with their destructive legacy. Bring their reign to an end and liberate the land from the shadows of its dark past. Harness their powers to unlock the mysteries of Acrea, revealing uncharted domains waiting to be explored.

Both you, the adventurer, and your companion Boji have unique talent trees. As the fighter, you gain experience through battles, while Boji, the craftsman, increases his expertise by discovering pieces of ancient lore.

Acrea's vivid world spans from overgrown city ruins to frozen caves and winding canyons. Together with Boji, explore the deepest corners of this ever-changing realm, brimming with adventure at every turn. Each discovery holds valuable treasures, from rare materials and recipes to powerful weapons and lore pieces, all amidst stunning landscapes. Prepare yourself for an epic and unforgettable journey through Acrea's vibrant tapestry.

The Good
All the ingredients for a good action-adventure game are here, you have your classic bonfire/campsite/shrine save points, your character can do the dodge roll, you can parry attacks which became my main way of attacking, as opposed to just running in and swinging wildly. There are plenty of enemies to come up against, from regular type creature enemies, soldier camps, to mystical beings, the enemies all have different abilities so each will need different tactics from you to overcome.

You can collect resources which in turn can be used for crafting at set locations, tressure chests to find and open, different types of weapons, swords, shields, crossbows, spears etc.

The graphics are of the highest quality as you would expect on the Xbox Series X/S. Animation is very good. Your companion, Boji, gives a fun light hearted appeal. I enjoyed the cartoony feel of the world. Combat is strong, and most importantly, the game is fun to play.

Four different difficulty settings allow options for beginners and experts at this type of game, some customisation of the character (body type) is allowed. I would have liked a bit more of this.

The story is well told and interesting.

The Bad
Some gameplay elements can be a bit awkward at times, some enemies feel a bit too set in their routine.

The character's narration as you play is a bit annoying at times.

Ok perhaps not the most original of games, but it does have its own charm which is entertaining. Easy to get into, and enough content to keep you busy for a while.

I enjoyed Stray Blade. A fun action-adventure game which I score a decent 7.5/10

Out Now on Xbox at

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