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(Pocket-lint) - Heavenly Sword is swimming on a tide of hype and touted as one of the best games for showing what the PS3 is really all about. Does is match the hype? We strap on the sword and find out.

You play mostly as Nariko, occasionally as Kai, in this fantasy adventure combat game. Nariko, as you’ll be glad to hear, is a sufficiently attractive heroine, complete with the pout and an outfit that leaves little to the imagination. She also happens to be an exquisite fighter with acrobatic skills to rival Lara Croft. Heavenly Sword, as the names suggests, is a game about a sword, luckily, you get to meet the sword early on, and the story unfolds as you progress.

The storyline is original and prevalent throughout, but make no mistake, this is a game about the fighting and the majority of your time is spent mastering the Heavenly Sword and laying waste to hundreds of enemy. However, it’s not just about the sword fighting. Early on you are introduced to Kai with her crossbow, to introduce the important projectile control Aftertouch. Using the SIXAXIS controller, you can tilt your projectiles after firing them to guide them onto your target – this isn’t a gimmick, you can’t perform miracles, but it does add an element of variety to the game. Also, as these sections take some time, if you mess it up, you have to repeat the whole thing again.

Talking of variety, I mentioned some puzzles earlier. These mostly revolve around opening doors and such, and they’re not hidden, but you do need to pay attention, for example: throwing an object to hit a gong to open a gate. At times controls will flash onto the screen and you’ll need to react quickly, for example, to continue the fight across the walls, or overcome a particular challenge. Again, it’s a relatively innovative approach, adds variety and works well enough. However, miss your cue and you’ll be doing the whole thing again.

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So what of the all important graphics? Well, we mentioned that Nariko is generously crafted and in glorious HD, all the characters look fantastic. The in-game action plays out beautifully, it is fast and it looks great. The backgrounds look great, especially on a larger HDTV. However, there are some instances in the cutscenes where things don’t quite work. In one instance Nariko has some additional fuzz around her hairline and again in the shadow under her nose – this may be something to do with the review game we were sent, or perhaps something in the minor settings on our system. Perhaps it will be in the final version…

To recap

Addictive and highly playable, easy to get into, but once you are finished, there is no reason to come back. Still, a great jaunt in PS3 land

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Writing by Chris Hall.