Under a new Dynasty
The Han Western Dynasty has several titles to cover it, a side story seems to unfold. Taishi Zhao, a calm and cunning young man attempts to save his sister from death itself. Zhao plays a part in a bigger story, while his journey continues. Pulling in Chinese mythology, huge monsters, and defensive means, Xuan Yuan Sword 7 comes out of the woodwork to the Western consoles.
The models that Yuan Sword sports are beautiful at times. Humans at the very least felt as though they’d been given love and care. Each person that Taishi interacts with is fully voiced with actions to boot. The backgrounds seems to have a bit more of Shenmue 3’s depth. The menu takes a bit of getting used to in terms of UI. Most of the game’s cinematics are in-game while at times, there is a moving stills animation to tell other parts of Taishi’s tale.
Taishi Zhao is the only controllable character here. Zhao has martial arts moves to assist with his sword swings and magic. Zhao does have executions, and paths to enhance his attacks. Zhao steals souls to get more moves and the crafting system is present, also. As much as we’ve seen this sort of foray before, Yuan Sword 7 attempts to keep things solid from wolves to hired men as enemies. The accessibility point even has skippable puzzles. Whether this was intentional or not, it feels like a welcomed change that doesn’t detract from the experience.
A fantastical reimagining of ancient China
Xuan Yuan Sword 7’s blade seems to be dull in some aspects. The dialogue is ONLY in Chinese. It was very hard to keep things together when there is no option to switch the language. Conversations between Taishi and his sister happen even when Taishi is fighting and his sister disappears. It feels a bit jarring to come across. It’s an issue that many RPGs, with the human aspect of travel have. It’s as if the producers don’t know whether to turn this off or keep going to not lose the train of thought.
Personally, I’d want this off or just cut it. Dragon Age: Inquisition had this issue for me, too. The story takes on two different paths, but not completely closing where it needs to. I’d have to ask why disjointed elements were added. Some boss battles did have a sense of potion endurance while the camera work left a bit to be desired. One particular boss fight, while nearly difficult to blaze through, left a harder amount of work getting the boss in sight more times than hitting him. While it was entertaining, the battle itself did get to harder points of difficulty because of the lack of accessibility between it. The camera attempted to keep up, yet there was a loss of both Taishi and his foe.
While Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is different from the many views of Chinese history, from Dynasty Warriors to others, its charm is periodical to a more golden age time. Sword 7 blazes its own path with its debut on the mainstream, but weary gamers of the action RPG frantic fighting genre can give this a whirl while compromising some expectations.
Review code provided
Platform: Xbox, PlayStation
Release Date: 30/09/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action & adventure
Developer: Softstar Entertainment Inc., DOMO Studio
Publisher: Eastasiasoft Limited
Download link: Microsoft Store