Stellar Blade Review

Stellar Blade

Blades, ponytails, and robot alien things all over.

There are many things that can go together in a great stir fry. Broccoli, rice, chicken, water chestnuts, pineapple, peanut butter, chocolate, the list goes on. But you may have tilted your head at my list and challenged one or more of the stir fry ingredients I just mentioned. Stellar Blade by Shift Up is an action platforming hack/slash adventure with RPG elements and a ponytail length simulator. The game blends many different styles together to make one sensory overload game that sometimes might make players tilt their heads at some of the gameplay ingredients throughout their time playing. Is the head tilting in admiration overall? Or are we merely trying to put chocolate into a stir fry just to surprise our guests at the table for shock value? Let’s slice through and find out! 

So-So Story

Stellar Blade Capture

Even after playing Stellar Blade for several hours, I needed to google the details and world to fully immerse myself in the narrative. This told me that story is not primary the reason Shift Up wants gamers to Suit Up and play Stellar Blade. The game starts off with a massive war. Pieces of ships are breaking down and falling through atmosphere and it’s clear humans are not winning this battle. Enter Eve, the main protagonist that players play as, entering the frey of battle to reclaim earth from the Naytibas. The Naytibas are very frightening creatures and warriors. The major kudos here is to the original characters and designs. There are so many remakes/sequels in the industry that it is really nice to see an original big budget idea come to fruition. 

The cutscenes are stylistic and detailed keeping players entertained as any action game should, but I found myself confused at the narrative and not caring enough about the characters journeys. Earth needs saving. You must save it with your really cool customizable length ponytail and skin tight, definitely not always practical for war battling aliens costumes. 

Galactic Gameplay

Stellar Blade Capture

Gameplay features sharp blade cutting acrobatic moves. The combat system takes some getting used to at first and isn’t as flashy as I thought it would be off the top. It takes some getting used to and follows a slash, block, and party mechanic very familiar to souls like games. If you’re looking for a game with intricate combat than this is for you. The combat system itself has clearly been one of the top priorities of the game. 

When fighting enemies, big or small, different colours are clearly presented to the player to tell when to block or dodge. I played in easy mode and still found this to be quite a challenge. (Side note: I have started to realize I’m just not good at souls like, combat and parry based games). The Naytiba do not feel repetitive though, which is a pretty standard frustration I find when playing games like Stellar Blade. Enemy variety feels fresh at every turn, and it was fun to discover a new enemy to slash at everywhere.

Stellar Blade didn’t start off all that complex but throughout the game players are given brand new abilities at an incremental rate. This keeps the game feeling new to players even at deeper hours. It also makes players take new approaches after unlocking new attacks and combat techniques.

I didn’t take many side quests at all in the game due to the fact that I never seemed to feel like I needed to. Looking up what the reward would be for the backtracking journey never felt like it was worth while. 

Pumped Up Presentation

Stellar Blade Capture

Shift Ups presentation is a massive high point of the game. The level design, environments, soundtrack and detailed cosmetic additions made Steller Blade feel like a true AAA title. A lot care was put into the presentation, and if Eve’s character design and sense of style is a draw than players will be very happy with customizing the characters look.

This being said, Eve and the whole Stellar Blade gang are pretty much what you see is what you get. The depth level of character development is the lowest selling point here. Characters don’t seem to change in experiences throughout the narrative. This is an original title which is great, but it needs more substance.

There are glimmers of personality though, especially when the game features moments and set pieces reminiscent of classic games of the past. Devil May Cry and Uncharted moments are present which was enough to keep me coming back for more and wondering what other inspirations may come next.

The music also keeps players engaged with the action and exploration. The soundtrack is varied and action packed throughout. Playing also felt smooth overall, with no game breaking bugs or frame problems to hurt the overall experience. 

Convoluted Conclusion

Stellar Blade Menu Capture

Stellar Blade may not be a master recipe for a video game for everyone. If players are looking for a high budget action game with a masterful combat system, than this is for them. The problem here is that it’s so close to doing it all… but ultimately doesn’t succeed at making players want to come back for more with a predictable narrative and hollow protagonist. Stellar Blade’s Eve is definitely a cool looking hero, there just isn’t much to care about beyond the surface. The inspirations of video games of the past, as well as the outstanding variety of enemies players get to slash through are high points, but at this point I want to see these gameplay elements implemented into more games with deeper heroes of time, tombs, and treasure hunting. 

Stellar Blade Review


Fun Factor


While its combat system and presentation are well crafted, ultimately Stellar Blade is marred by a predictable narrative and hollow protagonist. Stellar Blade’s Eve is definitely a cool looking hero, there just isn’t much to care about beyond the surface.



Joe Rino

My Name is Joe Rino and I’m a Drama Teacher Gamer. I love a good video game that also helps me learn and grow with the characters. Storytelling, Gameplay, Action, and good times with friends are super important to me from a video game and life perspective! Let’s play!

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