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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Archeblade Review

In a market filled with First Person Shooters and MOBAs, a game that combines some fighting game and action elements to arena-based matches does sound quite interesting. And that is exactly what Codebrush tries to bring with their game, Archeblade.

Archeblade was recently released on Steam after being in beta for quite some time. It has apparently changed quite a lot since beta with the addition of a server lobby and character equipment that adds loads of customization options.

The first thing that will catch your eye is the anime aesthetics of the characters. You can expect some over the top designs and a lot of fanservice thrown your way but I do find that the characters does look interesting and for those who don’t mind anime art style, Archeblade does look good aesthetically. On the technical side however, the graphic seems to be a bit lacking. Considering the game uses Unreal Engine, I was expecting it to have more detail both for the character models and the environment.

I find the combat enjoyable and the number of moves available for each character adds more variety to the game. It reminded me of fighting games where you need to learn each character’s move list to be able to use them effectively. Some attack animation seems a bit weird and hard to connect but it only happens with a few characters and you will get used to it after a while.

There is also no auto-lock feature so it means that you have to personally aim your attacks to hit the enemy characters. This is actually a good thing so that you actually have to learn your character’s attack animations and plan your attack carefully, especially in tight spaces where you can potentially fall to your death if you attack carelessly.

Each character also have different mobility options from simply dodging, backflip, forward dash, flying and even teleporting. These options are usually balanced with the characters attack or defense potential so characters with more defense or great attack capabilities might not have the best moves in terms of mobility.

The game modes available are what you can usually find in other competitive PvP titles, with Free for All PvP. Team Deathmatch and Team Domination match available for play. The game mode depends on which server you get into so players must choose a different server if he want to pick another game mode. In certain areas, there might be a shortage of servers available and this could prove to be a problem. Thankfully, any player can host a server and the developer has added a tutorial on how to do it in a Steam Guide. I just wish they had added the option to create the server from within the game though and make the process so much simpler.

The biggest problem with Archeblade right now is the microtransaction. While selling characters and character costumes are completely acceptable, the equipment being sold in the store made the game Pay to Win. I have checked and every equipment sold in the store for gems(currency sold for real money) have better stats than those that can be bought with mecetas(in-game currency).

This stats advantage on the equipment that could be bought with real money will be detrimental to the game in the long run and even in the short run. Player who wanted to try out the game will decide not to when they see that it is Pay to Win. And what would stop the developer to add more stats on future equipment? Essentially creating a power creep and a situation where players must constantly buy new equipment with real money to stay competitive.

The various items available does add a lot of customization options to the characters with various interesting accessories that you can choose to dress up your character with. This should be what the developers focuses on, adding more variety to how players can customize their characters rather than adding stats to the equipment.

Archeblade is a fun Free to Play title to try out, but I wouldn’t suggest buying any of the equipment from the item store yet, at least until the developers can decide whether they want a respectable Free to Play game or just want to cash in with a Pay to Win game. Codebrush, it’s your move. 

Note: This article is an old article I wrote for another site that is now closed. The content might not be relevant anymore right now.

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