I have this friend, he told me “Blind Fate: Edo no Yami” has a great demo, you guys should review it! It just so happened that Publisher 101XP had already sent us a review code for the game on Steam. What luck, this is developer Troglobytes Games’ second release, and it features a cybernetically enhanced Samurai tasked with tracking down and slaying evil spirits. Graphically it’s nice, the music and voice acting are great, but can the gameplay and story keep up? Let’s journey to ancient future cyberpunk Japan together, shall we?
Slice Slice Block Repeat…. Sleep
The game’s setting is weird, sometimes cool, but ultimately missed opportunity. You are the Samurai Yami and in this weird future Earth, you are in the period of New Edo. It’s a post-Cyberpunk world, and I wish it was just an actual Cyberpunk one because the areas that take place in the past look way cooler than the rest of the game. There is a catch to these looks, and it’s that you’re blind! Yami was left for dead with his eyes eaten out and his arms chopped off. A friendly Tengu spirit finds him and attaches cybernetic limbs and a mask that enhances his senses of hearing, smell, and heat. This is the heart of the game, constantly changing between these senses as you fight your foes. It is really damned cool at first, but quickly, much like every other part of the game, it becomes insanely repetitive.
You start the game off powered up with abilities you’ll quickly lose. These are just a few of the main upgrades you’ll unlock as you progress through the story. Once you have most of your abilities unlocked after a very long time of playing the game finally becomes almost mediocre to play. It takes far too long to get to this point, however. I was over 5 hours in before I had unlocked even a handful of upgrades and I see a lot of people who buy this game not lasting long enough for it to get to the point of being halfway decent to play.
Controls are simple with X being your slice, Y being your ranged stun, B is for dodging, and A is for jumping. While playing as your cybernetically enhanced version you can double jump as well, there are brief periods where you play as your pre-enhanced self that are not fun at all. The right trigger is your block and eventual parry, the left trigger is for swapping senses, and the left bumper is for interacting with the environment at certain times. There is more you’ll unlock, very slowly, over your playthrough and while it can occasionally look really damned cool it never feels smooth while playing.
Run to the Right
The game features decent 3d graphics on a 2D plane, with occasional moments of brilliance in the art design. On the whole, it’s a pleasant-looking title, though the outdoor forest areas are rather bland. I much preferred the city sections but the levels there were few and far between. My time with the game was spent on PC where it ran well at Ultra settings. For a 29Gb install, I was disappointed at the low quality of many of the textures, though. If you set this game to a lower resolution it could easily pass for a late 360/early Xbox one title.
The best part of the game is the audio. I mainly played with Japanese audio and subtitles but even the English VO is solid. The writing was solid and carried what otherwise was a rather basic plot. It was matched by voice acting that was fully committed to the tale being told. It is pretty damned serious most of the time, with little to no humor and it works. The music isn’t particularly memorable, but it fit the post-cyberpunk/ancient Japan vibe the game was going for and the sound effects were serviceable.
Options-wise the game is light, with only three difficulties that mostly felt the same just with slightly different damage in and out numbers available. The game can be really damned hard, not because it’s clever and wants to test you, but because the hitboxes are routinely off, and your character can feel incredibly stiff to try and maneuver around with. The energy system that dictates your ability to block, parry, swing, and dodge is a massive annoyance as well. It’s far too punishing in the early stages and the boss fights were miserable to learn as I constantly felt like I was dying instantly to attacks that were far too hard to read ahead of them hitting me.
Blind Fate shows potential for this rather new dev team. They nailed multiple parts of what it takes to be great, with the writing being solid and the voice acting being fantastic. It looks good but feels terrible to play, only getting to almost decent after many hours. It can feel wildly unfair but there is still just enough there that it may be worth checking out if you can find it at a decent price. It may not be the best Samurai game, but it’s got spirit.
|Available on||Xbox, Playstation, and PC|
|Release Date||September 15th, 2022|
|Rated||T for Teen|