Wulverblade draws inspiration from the classic coin-operated arcades of yore, like Golden Axe, at the same time keeping itself grounded in historical storytelling, similar to Valiant Hearts.
Reviewed on Xbox One, also available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and PC.
It is the year 120 AD. The Roman army has begun conquering the isle of Britain, causing mayhem among its people. Caradoc, Brennus and Guinevere – guardians of the northern tribes rally their banners, and bring the fight south to the Romans. Although the story is fictitious, it is steeped in history. This history aspect was very reminiscent of Valiant Hearts, and players will have access to these pieces of history through collectables found within each levels.
Wulverblade brought me back to some of my formative gaming years, losing quarter after quarter in noise-filled arcades. Drawing heavy inspiration from Golden Axe, Wulverblade’s combat system seems somewhat simplistic at first, but as levels progress, enemies become increasingly more difficult. The classic style is perfectly emulated, and improved upon in Wulverblade.
There are three characters to choose from (though Wulverblade only allows two players to play simultaneously). Each provides a different strength, and though I tried all three, I found myself liking Brennus more due to his brute strength and ability to dispatch enemies quickly. I would have appreciated some sort of tutorial that may have highlighted the different aspects of the characters and perhaps would have changed up my play style during the game. It’s worth mentioning that the multiplayer is couch co-op only.
Wulverblade’s combat features heavy and light attacks, blocking, counters and special powers. Enemies drop weapons (and sometimes limbs) which can be picked up and hurled at others. As mentioned, I felt like Wulverblade may have benefited from a tutorial level, as new moves prompt the user to open a text based menu that explains the combat. Of course, these text prompts also occur for the historical finds within the game, so they’re not out of place.
I found it took a few levels to learn several of the tricks within the game’s combat system, and the progressively difficult enemies kept me from feeling like the game was too repetitive. One gripe that I have with every game in this genre is the movement along the Y axis – and perhaps this is simply the result of a two dimensional game operating using three dimensions, but I would have liked to see more use of a vertical evade which may have proved more useful against some of the game’s tougher bosses. Moving left to right was very smooth, and was boosted with sprint activated, but the same can’t be said about moving up and down within the gamespace.
Wulverblade offers multiple difficulties and also a classic arcade mode featuring three lives and no checkpoints. Also included is a battle arena mode. The game also sports some medium difficult achievements for those who are hunters.
Graphics and Sound
While not an enhanced title, Wulverblade is a very pretty game. Though it sports a cartoonish style, there are numerous times within the game where I really appreciated the polish as I was treated to some very impressive visuals. If you’re into gore in video games, this one also has plenty of that.
In addition, the soundtrack and voice acting was superb and helped craft a story steeped in history.
Wulverblade is a solid single player, couch co-op game. The work that Fully Illustrated and Darkwind Media put into the game is commendable, and I would highly recommend this game to anyone who has ever enjoyed a game like Golden Axe.
Graphics & Sound8.0/10
- Good classic coin operated gameplay
- Great graphics
- Engaging story
- Good couch coop game
- Nice polish on the game
- Could use a tutorial mode
- Control along the Y axis feels a little clunky
- Couch coop is good, but missing multiplayer