So yesterday I played Dark Souls II for what felt like all day (which is false; it was MOST of the day) and after a while, I just needed a break. I elected for some down time and during said down time, the front page of Steam popped up. On the front page of Steam I saw an ad of a game called Archeblade which came to Steam not even two days ago, so I thought, “Hell, Free to Play? Fuck it, I’m not losing anything important.”
What I stumbled upon was some Dragon Nest/Smite-esque fighting game with simple controls and pretty damn fun gameplay. Not gonna lie, but Archeblade was a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be. With multiple game modes like a killstealing Free-for-All gankfest, team based Elimination, Team Deathmatch, and a MOBA-like pylon capturing map, Codebrush Games did a good job adding decent amount of variety compared to some other games locked into one game mode. Add in the fact that there are currently 14 characters to play as and Archeblade has great variety out of the box. Did I mention the gameplay is really fucking fun? This game’s MOBA map is probably the only MOBA-esque thing I’ve ever enjoyed, and MOBA bore the FUCK out of me. Just think about that for a bit.
On the bottom end of the spectrum, Archeblade advertises itself as a combo based fighting game, but honestly, it’s more of a “which three button combo do I want to use right now?” kind of game. Maybe it’s just how I’ve been playing, but I’ve played almost 15 matches and won 9 of them doing those three button combos. I don’t know if there’s more to it, but the combos make a very shallow first impression on you. Also, the graphics are pretty lacking. Middle-of-the-line computers could most likely run this game on high settings, which makes me feel that the devs could’ve put a bit more effort into the textures and stuff. Graphics don’t make the game, but please put effort into your textures, people. Thisi s almost Dark Souls I levels of embarrassing.
Now for the mixed news. The character designs are all just… strange, to say the least. While (most of) the males are all what you’d expect in a fighting game, the females are borderline fetish tickling, which might rub some people the wrong way. You have the skimpy succubus, the S&M Elf with a scythe, the two young schoolgirls, the sexy professor, the Paladin you’d expect to be heavily armored until you see her lack of pants, and then the one actually properly dressed person. I don’t usually say sex appeal is a good way to market a game, but some people, like the people who spend all day modding Skyrim with sex mods, like to nurse a chub while playing games and relentlessly jack off. It might offend some uptight people the wrong way and the decision to use such odd designs can be questioned, but it’s not really distracting in-game. Honestly it helps make every character easy to identify inside of a clusterfuck, which is very commonplace. Besides, if you manage to stay in shape, why not show it off? Being sexy isn’t bad, but just don’t make things awkward. Common courtesy.
Also, here’s the wiki page for the Champions, but be warned; the wiki’s a bit lacking for some characters.
Finally, the cash shop, which may or may not be a good cash shop. Yes, you can buy gear with in-game and real world money, but I did the math and even if you buy a full set of armor with IRL dosh, you don’t have that much of an advantage. Most of the game is still skill based, so even if you buy yourself into great gear, you still have the possibility of getting your skull crushed. I always say that cash shops should be purely cosmetic, but these stat differences barely seem to take effect. I managed to juggle a much better geared player with much less health than him till he died of an overdose of #getfucked, so maybe I haven’t seen the impact yet, but at the moment it’s pretty minor. Gear you buy with in-game money does take a little grinding to buy, but if you just jump straight into another match and don’t really think about money, the prices don’t seem unreasonable.
Overall, Archeblade has some problems with its aesthetics and cash shops are never good news, but the core gameplay is a hoot. It’s easy to learn the general mechanics and such but hard to master a character’s fighting style and their trole in team synergy. If you played Dragon Nest or Smite and are looking for another third person fighting game that’s free-to-play, check out Archeblade.
Also, I play Valle. Valle has a big hammer. Valle likes to smite bitches and hoes. Valle likes to dash across the map in like, five seconds and gib the sniper bitch. Valle likes to be tanky as fuck and have a shitton of AoE. Valle likes to have a spammable AoE heal for her buddies. Valle is love; Valle is life.