Stellar Blade on PS5 has flash and fun but is mostly dull

Stellar Blade on PS5 offers flashy combat but suffers from dull early gameplay and repetitive patterns.

: Stellar Blade on PS5 impresses with its graphics and challenging combat but is criticized for its slow start and lack of engaging story or characters. The game’s combat system is rewarding yet requires patience due to initial dullness and repetitive design elements. Despite these flaws, the complex enemy encounters and combat dynamics offer some redemption later in the game.

Stellar Blade on PlayStation 5 is visually stunning and boasts a combat system that could be rewarding for players who are patient enough to endure its less appealing aspects. The game’s introduction and early parts are marred by repetitiveness and a lack of meaningful engagement, making it hard for players to connect with the protagonist, Eve, or become invested in the game’s storyline. Combat is initially too easy compared to soulslike games, which may lead to boredom, but it gradually becomes more challenging and engaging, requiring strategic thinking and skillful maneuvering.

The game’s design choices, including predictable level patterns and frustrating platforming sections, detract from the overall experience. The repeating cycle of dungeon exploring, hub world visiting, and battling in desert-themed open worlds leads to a sense of déjà vu, reducing the player’s incentive to explore. Moreover, platforming elements are often poorly executed, with imprecise mechanics making them more of a chore than an enjoyable challenge.

Despite the game’s shortcomings, there’s a turning point where combat significantly improves, offering complex and satisfying encounters with enemies that demand the player's full attention and strategical thinking. This shift enhances the gameplay experience, albeit after enduring initial dull and repetitive phases. Stellar Blade has potential and moments of brilliance in combat but is held back by its slow start, lack of compelling narrative, and design flaws. It ultimately presents a mixed bag that might only appeal to patient gamers or those willing to overlook its weaker aspects for the sake of its combat mechanics.