Blades of Time is inexplicably awful. The combat is a swirling mess of shiny confusion, the graphics engine chugs like someone's pissed in the fuel tank, and barely anything that's going on around you seems to make any kind of sense. Sexy lady with two swords goes hunting for treasure in Dragonland, gains the ability to turn back time, and then does a bunch of fights and puzzles.
The fighting feels functional and almost fun, but too disconnected and repetitive to keep your interest. Excessively whirly attack moves mask the game's wonky hit detection, creating a mess of vibrant particle effects that make it difficult to notice when you've just been killed. A wealth of moves and magic spells to unlock aim to create a sense of variety, but it's the illusory equivalent of a dead rabbit in a hat.
The ability to rewind time to create multiple versions of yourself to attack all at once is an awesome idea, but one that's rarely encouraged by the game's enemy design, and barely used well by the puzzle sections either.
Aside from a couple of clever ideas, most conundrums boil down to standing on a button for half a minute, rewinding time, and then standing on another. Beset as you are with lasers, chasms and other threats, failing most puzzles means instant death. This is made even more frustrating by the fact it drains your rewind ability, forcing you to wait for it to fill up again before you can retry.
Off-the-peg Unreal Engine tech adds a generic sheen, but beneath the veneer the execution is terrible. You've got a frame-rate can barely keep up with the game, instant-death lasers and misjudged platforming, superfluous combat with a confusing health system, and barely-finished boss fights that often glitch out. The camera seems to have a mind of its own and there's no option to invert the Y-axis, an omission that for many will render it unplayable.
Some of the ideas at the core of it are brilliant, but the same thing could be said of the atomic bomb. Blades of Time is slightly more pleasant than a nuclear explosion, but that doesn't make it worthy of your money or your time.
Go back in time and prevent it
- Some of the ideas are nice...
- ...but the execution is dull
- Deeply frustrating
- Barely feels finished
- I want to go home