Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

After Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, games about painted Celtic girls battling enemies flooding their foggy British Isles are of particular interest. And although Wulverblade belongs to a different genre (it’s a beat ’em up, not an action adventure), and among the heroes you can choose not only a girl painted in blue paint, but also brutal men who fight not with the Vikings, but with the Romans, everything equally, these projects are united by a common spirit of gloomy, desperate resistance to fate. And yes, Wulverblade also feels like an independent AAA game.Wulverblade game review

In addition to the campaign, there are also battles in the arenas, where you need to hold out as long as possible.

For Caledonia!

Wulverblade tells how the legendary Caledonians, the unconquered northern tribes of Britain, fight to the last with the Romans, who have already made an alliance with the southerners and are trying to finally conquer the territory of present-day Scotland. The events unfold in 120 years and are based on real historical facts.

Moreover, in the game you can find a lot of very interesting historical information about the life of the northern tribes, about how the Romans built forts and roads on the islands, on what basis the legions were formed, what resistance they met in Britain, about weapons common then, and so on.

Michael Heald, creative director of Wulverblade, has spent five years studying British history, visiting places, taking pictures. And this says a lot – at least about the love and meticulousness with which the authors, real fans of their work, relate to the chosen topic and to their creation.

Three against Rome

And this love, attention to detail is felt in everything else. The mechanics themselves seem to be extremely simple. There are three heroes to choose from – the leader and protector Caradoc, the huge Brennus and the deadly girl named Guinevere. Each is distinguished by strength, speed and defense – Brennus is powerful, but slow, Guinevere, on the contrary, is fast and agile, and Caradoc is more or less versatile.

Someone, of course, hits harder, someone runs back and forth, knocks down and violently beats opponents in the air, preventing them from falling for a long time. At the same time, superpowers for all heroes are the same – this is the transition to a state of bloody rage when the corresponding scale accumulates, and is available once per level to summon wolves. Moreover, all three can carry out approximately the same attacks in the area, discarding all enemies around.

Wulverblade game review

At times like these, Wulverblade’s art style is genius.

barbarian massacre

There is no “pumping” and fuss with equipment, but right in the battle you can take any sword or spear that has fallen out of the enemy and throw it at the enemy – sometimes this is very useful. Even barrels and severed heads are allowed to be thrown. In general, the environment here is very interactive – we often have to cut down trees, fences, walls and fortifications in order to go further. And barrels, of course, too – there, sometimes, comes across a piece of meat that restores health, or another interesting historical reference.

Opponents, as you already understood, can be cut into pieces, as well as thrown into the fire and planted on a palisade surrounding the military field. Yes, Wulverblade is a very bloody, brutal game, but how else to talk about the desperate resistance of a bunch of proud and recalcitrant barbarians who dared to challenge the Roman Empire?

Werewolves and wolfhounds

The combat system itself is not as simple as it seems. There are many enemies – there are archers, and legionnaires with shields, and cavalry, and various “bosses” protected by two or three layers of armor. Therefore, you have to study their features, attacks, block in time, roll, jump and knock down. In some missions, you still need to dodge rolling barrels or an avalanche of arrows. Particular tension is felt when playing in local co-op in a complicated mode – there are no checkpoints, only three lives are provided for everything about everything.

Pleased with the level design and the plot, which intertwines historical facts with Celtic legends and myths. At some point, our heroes generally turn into werewolves, and then everything becomes even more interesting, including on the battlefield.

Finally, Wulverblade looks and sounds like a full-fledged animated film – juicy, atmospheric, stylish and with attention to detail. Just take a look at the screenshots – it’s better to see for yourself than to read.

Wulverblade game review

For each level, a certain rank is issued, which can then be compared in the global rating table.

***

Wulverblade is a great example of how a game that is simple in terms of mechanics can be turned into almost a masterpiece thanks to the love for your craft, attention to detail, balanced atmosphere and excellent artistic taste. Why almost? Yes, because, as in the case of the same Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the creation of Fully Illustrated and Darkwind Media still lacks variety, some kind of character development system, and more non-trivial levels. However, this is more of a claim for the sake of a claim, but in general, playing Wulverblade is a pleasure!

Pluses: bloody battles; simple but effective combat system; chic visual style; atmospheric music.

Cons: no character development system.

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