Developer: Drakkar Dev
Publisher: BlowFish Studios
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 20/01/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
The story in Blackwind is a sci-fi cliche that will not inspire or surprise you at all. And it is well… forgettable.
On the way to Medusa-42, a supposedly peaceful world. We are introduced to James Hawkins (you will come to loath that surname) and his father, who is a fantastic scientist. The reason the duo is on route to Medusa-42 is to deliver a one of a kind all in one mech suit, to help the workers.
However, not everything goes as planned (you can see where it’s going).
James’ ship is shot down. James’ dad gets him in to the suit and locks him in under an emergency protection protocol. The only way to unlock the suit is his father’s voice. After falling to the ground, you are left alone, luckily the suit has an AI that will guide you. Now, off to find your dad and kill everything you find.
Blackwind is an isometric twin stick shooter with melee combat here and there. The controls are simple L stick to move, R stick to aim, shoot, dodge, block, dash, jump, special attack, light attack and heavy attacks. However, some controls are there? Dash I used mainly to speed up exploration and block is well there, at least, not much use for it. Also, it is never explained that you have it.
As the game progressed, the melee becomes obsolete except the ground pound ability. Light attacks are fast and do a little damage, while heavy attacks add little extra damage and take WAY too long to pull off. The special attack is interesting. It slows down time and increases damage. But like the story, there is nothing new or innovative about Blackwind.
Blackwind has an RPG element to it, with collecting blue orbs to upgrade the suit. From damage increases, increase the amount of projectile per shot and so on. These are nice additions, but once a new ability is gained, there is an enemy time introduced that will almost negate the upgrade.
OH GOD! Please Stop
Blackwind will have you hooked for the first two hours or so. Then the problems glare at you and you are thinking it’s only five more hours, four more, three more, two more, last hour. Credits role in side you are crying.
There is little in the way in the way of variation in the way each level plays out. On top of that, combat becomes a drag for a couple of reasons. The levels comprises small skirmish like fights in a corridor, then a wave based battle in a room. Collecting keys and passwords to unlock doors, to unlock more door and more after that, than in to a room with a simple puzzle to solve to do it all again. Let us not forget the backtracking that will be needed done and the drone flying and shooting. And the odd occasional boss fight.
With this back and forth, there are crazy difficulty spikes that if you are not careful, you will be dead in a matter of seconds. Because of the stun-lock that will get you repeatedly from rockets are some melee attacks. If this happens, just hope you are far away that you won’t get pummeled to death or that before the next volley hits, you can get a dash in and move.
What Went Wrong
Blackwind has a few other problems that I must address. The bugs are mental, getting stuck in assets constantly even if it looks like you should be able to get by. If you jump, there are way too many places. You will get stuck in the air or on top of an enemy, unable to move., until you slide off.
The brutal kills…? I missed them. We can activate these kills when the enemy flashes red, the circle prompt will appear over them. I was expecting so Mortal Kombat/DOOM kills. Instead, we get these. They are not bad James will pull of arms and so on. The problem comes with how long they last; it feels too long, more so when you can string these together. Also, James’ lines, he says as he kills the enemy.
Blackwind feels like I used car salesperson who promises loads, and to start with seems to be true. Until the car is used for a while and it all goes to pot. I so wanted to like Blackwind, but it feels unpolished and rushed. As of now, wait for patches and a sale.