Gameplay - 5
Presentation - 6
Lifespan - 4
Freeness - 5
ArcheBlade needs more in the way of entertaining gameplay, and a little less of the getting mercilessly beaten by groups of nearly nude women.
It’s good to see a little variety thrown in to the established formulas in order to keep things smelling fresh. CodeBrush Games takes a step in that direction by shaking things up with ArcheBlade.
ArcheBlade has all the feel of a MOBA with the touch of a fighting game. The genre is already dominated by the titans like Dota 2, and ArcheBlade needs to be quite impressive to draw in a reliable following. At first glance it really has a lot of potential. How long can that impression last?
ArcheBlade is pretty straightforward. The left and right mouse buttons control your attacks. By clicking both buttons in combinations you can use more powerful or contextually important attacks. That would be great if it were in any way relevant.
The big flaw with this – and let’s admit it, all fighting games – is that the handful of possible combo attacks are in no way important to some players. No matter how hard you try to string together that block breaking combo attack, more often than not, you are getting thrown into the air and demolished by someone with an overused right mouse button. In fact, the only time I have racked on any kills is by rolling my face around on the keyboard.
In all seriousness, the combat mechanics need a lot of work. ArcheBlade is the kind of game that seems almost completely devoid of any depth. I won’t lie and say there is absolutely no entertainment value whatsoever. If I could afford all the best items I would also enjoy making newcomers miserable. The cold truth is that this game doesn’t entice me into spending any money, and as a result there is minimal room for progress.
With some more complexity, the mechanics could be more balanced in a way that makes playing ArcheBlade enjoyable in the long run. There just aren’t enough options – or even enough balance between characters – to stave off a team of button mashing madmen.
The overall value of production is something of a mixed bag. I’m too cowardly to admit I may be biased toward the sexiness ArcheBlade carries in its artwork.
The game may be no more or less enjoyable without an array of sexualized female characters and the equally emphasized masculinity of some of the men. All in all, ArcheBlade looks nice. The fighters aren’t particularly complex in appearance, but they are given enough detail to be a pleasant sight.
Where the inconsistency becomes apparent is in the presentation of the few arenas you may find yourself fighting in. The characters are appealing enough to make me expect some degree of depth to be found in this game’s environment, but to put it bluntly, they just fall short of my expectations.
I can’t reasonably expect something on par with a game whose gameplay is more complex, but I would at least like to see the maps fall in line with the visual appeal of the rest of the game. The few maps that do exist are bland and generic. ArcheBlade is an arena fighting game, so the maps serve the purpose of hosting the often frustrating engagements that come with the territory. Each character has an appearance to suit her personality, but the environments leave way to much unsaid.
Once again on the positive end, ArcheBlade has an appealing soundtrack the compliments the violent fantasy it is set in.
ArcheBlade benefits from its relative uniqueness. Being a third person arena fighting game makes it stand out to me. The question is: Is it good enough to keep me coming back for another round?
There are a few maps with different game modes. The variety ends just about there. Not only are you unlikely to be impressed by the handful of maps and modes, the typical round goes down the same way no matter how many times you play it.
There are plenty of characters, but you’ll be lucky to see half of them in game. There are no restrictions on how many people can use a character at once. The bottom line is that no matter how hard you scour the server listings, chances are you’ll just find another match full of scantily clothed women with ranged attacks.
ArcheBlade’s freeplay model disappoints me. The fact that I have to endure round after round of frustration in order to gather pocket change is wildly irritating. I had received a small teaser for gems, the premium currency, when I started playing. Unfortunately, nothing can be done with so few, so early.
On a more positive note, gear upgrades are mostly locked by level. You’d think this would help to stall the inevitable leap toward pay to win. That might be the case if servers were more restrictive with the level range. At the start you can only afford to unlock one or two fighters with no gear. The abundance of leveled vets makes it impossible to get any momentum.
ArcheBlade looks like it should be a quality game that should keep you playing for hours. Unfortunately, the design doesn’t seem to add up to that fleeting impression it gives you at first glance. The mechanics are simple, but fail to bring about any sense of entertaining gameplay. I wouldn’t go so far as to say ArcheBlade’s only appeal purely in the visual aspects of the game. But the bottom line is that the most attractive part of the game is the artwork.