Certainly not for those lacking in skill and patience, Bleak Sword DX distills the likes of Dark Souls into a lo-fi and brutal arcade-like action game
Whenever anything gets compared to Dark Souls or people give it a description of Souls-like I’ll admit that doesn’t tend to get me excited. While I appreciate a difficult game I’ve tended to struggle with the Souls series since I too often feel like their game mechanics aren’t as crisp as I’d like (though it’s been a number of years since I’ve tried). With that out of the way the great news with Bleak Sword DX is that I think it brought the pretty steep difficulty to the table but in no way do the game’s controls or feel get in your way. Crisp, reasonably simple, and effective, this is one of those great games that quickly puts you in your place often, but the responsibility is firmly on your execution (or lack thereof). Learning the attack patterns of new enemy types is key, but having that timing down and being good at parrying their attacks to then counter isn’t enough. On top of that you’ll need to get very good at positioning yourself in a way that keeps enemies from being able to hit you from multiple directions, always then looking for opportunities to hit more than one with a single swipe, spreading out the pain and making it less likely you’ve opened yourself up to an attack. Aside from the Campaign there’s also a Boss Rush and an Arena Mode, with each providing their own bit of unique flavor and challenge to help you get the most out of your investment. If you’re a challenge hound and are up for some tense slashing encounters, this may have a simple look but it delivers satisfying gameplay nonetheless.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.8]