Bleak Sword DX from Devolver Digital and more8bit offers a minimalist Soulslike journey on Nintendo Switch. Check our Bleak Sword DX review!
Bleak Sword DX from Devolver Digital and more8bit offers a minimalist Soulslike journey on Nintendo Switch. At the end of the second age, King Eric and Prince Daeric were betrayed by the King younger son, Prince Rhael. Unfortunately, his mind had been poisoned by a cursed blade: the titular Bleak Sword. This is how the red age began, leading to an age of dark magic, with deadly creatures wreaking havoc across the land. King Rhael the Bleak extended his reign of terror for two hundred years.
You must go on a quest to collect the three magical stones that hold the power to destroy the Bleak Sword once and for all. This journey will have you exploring bite-sized diorama-style stages in which sets of different enemies of all shapes and sizes will pop into existence as they either rush toward you or wait until it’s the right time to jump in for a bite. And on top of that, each area will have you fighting against a deadly boss for which you’ll need to learn its movement and attack patterns so that you can hopefully have a chance of surviving.
Once you’re ready to play you’ll be able to select between two different campaigns: Classic and DX. Classic offers the original Bleak Sword experience just as it was before Bleak Sword DX was a thing. As you can imagine, the DX campaign will offer new content to enjoy while bumping up the overall challenge. At least you’ll get to play through new level layouts as you battle against new enemies!
The game also offers three different difficulty settings so that gamers of all skill levels can have a shot at enjoying Bleak Sword DX. There’s normal which is a bit more forgiving since enemies will deal less damage and will have less health. Doom boosts the challenge by having enemies that are out for blood. And then we have Bleak, which is a soul crushing experience reserved for the hardcore gamers out there.
The controls are simple and to the point. You’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you attack with the Y button and block incoming attacks with the L button as needed. You also have an always useful dodge that you can use by pressing the B button. As expected, every action you perform will consume some of your stamina, which is why you can’t just button-mash your way to victory.
The good news is that dodging won’t consume any stamina! If you press and hold down the Y button you can charge up a heavy attack that is slower but will deal more damage. Do know that stamina will not replenish when you’re charging up a heavy attack. When you successfully block an attack you’ll get a small window to unleash a counterattack to gain the upper hand.
The items you collect will be added to your inventory. You can then use them by pressing left or right depending on what is slotted to each one. You will find items that you can equip to boost your stats. You will collect consumable items, such as a delicious piece of bread, that can be used to recover some if tour lost health. Some items will boost one stat while lowering another one, so you’ll have to keep this in mind to see if it’s worth it or not.
As you defeat enemies and complete each level, your character will earn experience points. Once enough have been obtained, it will level up. When this happens, you will get to choose between the offered upgrades to boost your character’s stats. Will you increase it’s defense or boost its hit points? When defeated, you will lose all of your experience points. You have one chance to recover them by immediately taking on the level where you were defeated. Beat all monsters, and the experience points will be added back. Lose, and they will be lost for good. At least you have the option of replaying previous levels to grind some extra experience points.
Bleak Sword DX offers a fun minimalist Soulslike journey on Nintendo’s console. As you play through each bite-sized diorama-style level, you’ll need to attack, roll, block, and counterattack your way to victory as you gain experience points and level up, obtain new items to equip and consumables to heal your wounds. You can customize your experience on the settings menu. You can change the language or set the value for the volume for music and sound effects. Set the values for camera movement, screenshake, runble, and lighting strength. There’s even the option of choosing between a Performance Mode or a Quality Mode for the game’s graphics. Bleak Sword DX is out on Nintendo Switch with a $9.99 price tag.
This Bleak Sword DX review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Devolver Digital.