I wasn’t expecting much from the Xuan-Yuan Sword VII demo since I did play Sword and Fairy 6, a title from the developer that found its way west. However, I was presently impressed with what I discovered and the miles of improvements that this team has shown in this demo. Most importantly, they seem to have nailed character animation, which shows in the battle system and cinematics.
In the first 30 minutes of the Xuan-Yuan Sword VII, the game loves to take the control away from you and pretty much do what it wants. You are thrown headfirst into a daytime Chinese drama with plenty of random character introductions, lots of exposition, and even some loss. I took three steps in these moments and was treated with 5 – 10 minutes of dialogue. I’ve come to expect this type of story introduction from Chinese developers, but it makes it tough to remember that you’re actually playing an action game.
However, after this lengthy introduction, you are quickly reminded and what we get is an engaging and impressive battle system that blends some ideas from games like Nioh with less weight on the gas when it comes to overbearing difficulty. Enemies in the game shouldn’t be approached lightly because they will easily knock you out. Luckily, some unique systems revolve around dodging and attacks that make combat flow naturally with a dash of strategy needed to make it out alive.
I should also point out that the environments are well detailed and showed off a nice layer of creativity when creating a city and forest area. It was just interesting looking around and seeing the small details that were put in place for immersion.
As the game continues its development, I’d like to see the enemies evolve throughout the course of the game. Their attack patterns were a bit too basic and repetitive, so encounters left me hungry for more. Furthermore, I’d like to know how different weapons change the flow of battles and see how that affects gameplay. It’s impressive now with a few special attacks and abilities, but there has to be more for late-game enjoyment.
The last point I’d like addressed is the story, which leaves us on a cliffhanger that magic exists in this world, and nothing is as it seems. What’s most important about this is how excited I am to play a game from a developer whom I almost lost hope. This game shows so much progress and attention to feedback that they have me eager to learn more about this series, which until now, I have never even heard of.
Xuan-Yuan Sword VII is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC-via Steam on October 29.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.