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Blade & Sorcery Finally Hits Version 1.0 With Excellent Results (Review)

With Blade & Sorcery reaching Version 1.0, is it the definitive VR experience?

Even if you’ve never picked up a VR headset, there’s a chance you’ve heard of or seen gameplay of Blade & Sorcery. Whether it’s highly modded gameplay that completely changes the vibe into something you couldn’t have imagined in your wildest dreams, or just vanilla gameplay of the gory arena offerings, Blade & Sorcery is what I would consider a quintessential VR experience. With the release of its 1.0 version, all major content updates have been completed — but does the new Story Mode elevate Blade & Sorcery even higher up the mountain of essential VR experiences?

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Blade & Sorcery has been on the market since 2018, receiving a steady supply of content updates throughout its development. With the final version 1.0 release, a bevy of new options have been added to the game, but the biggest new feature has to be the included story mode. It’s a great introduction but plays it rather safe with a variety of fantasy tropes that lead to an exciting yet not very memorable experience. However, that’s not to say this isn’t a fun new addition — I was always excited to engage a variety of foes with the fantastical weapons that I could scrounge up near me and find unique ways to bring their life to an end. It essentially serves as a tutorial for the main package through and through, with other modes taking the limelight.

I was given a massive sandbox to explore, and following along with notes scattered throughout the world, I slowly learned the ropes of what makes Blade & Sorcery one of the most interesting packages on the market.

I was given a massive sandbox to explore, and following along with notes scattered throughout the world, I slowly learned the ropes of what makes Blade & Sorcery one of the most interesting packages on the market. Within the first few minutes of setting down in this new land, I was engaging in combat, swimming, jumping, climbing — the whole nine yards. As my first time experiencing what this physics-based combat simulator had to offer, I was immediately impressed. Silly ragdolls combined with brutal combat, with the occasional bit of platforming mixed in for good measure? Sign me up. As I progressed and began learning new skills, and even putting my physical body into new predicaments while getting more engrossed in what was happening around me, I kept falling deeper and deeper in love with the experience.

The main story takes roughly 7 hours to get through, give or take some depending on how much exploration happens in between story beats. While I had immediate access to the Sandbox mode, I decided to play through the main story first. However, the Sandbox mode is where everything clicked for me and made Blade & Sorcery all the more interesting.

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Much like its Early Access counterpart, the main attraction here is the ways you can tweak and mess about with everything, creating the ultimate Sandbox that has kept me occupied for hours on end. Not only do you have complete access to the main story map, which prompts a recommendation to play through the story mode to avoid any spoilers, but you also have complete access to a variety of locations in which you can cause chaos.

Bringing up the Spawn Map is as easy as a single button press, giving complete control of the world around you. I was able to spawn dummies or enemies, change how the world around me reacted, and tweak nearly every part of the experience to my specifications. The unparalleled freedom of fun can only be improved upon with the plethora of mod support that Blade & Sorcery offers. Over the years, I have seen a variety of videos about this particular game, with players tweaking the game into something otherwise unrecognizable.

That’s where the main appeal of Balde & Sorcery lies, and I know I’m not alone in that thought. Over the years since its Early Access release, the appeal of the game has continued along the same path — not only give the player unrivaled access to pure hand-to-hand combat and let them feel like an unstoppable warrior but also give them the tools they need to continue having fun and make it into a community.

Thankfully for those worried that Version 1.0 would suddenly outgrow its roots, the modding category is still prominently featured on the main screen, giving immediate access to its abundance of modding tools. There is no pressure to jump into the story mode or any other mode — I could create the ultimate Star Wars game of my dreams from the start. A loving message from developer WarpFrog even states that the game wouldn’t be what it is today without the love from the modding community, and it just shows how much it means to them.

Virtual Reality Isn’t Without It’s Faults

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While Blade & Sorcery is easily one of the quintessential Virtual Reality experiences I can’t recommend enough, it doesn’t come without its flaws. While VR has advanced plenty over the years, there is bound to be some jank here and there. No matter if it’s the somewhat iffy detection when trying to climb up the side of a cliff face or watching your weapon bend the head of an opponent in unnatural ways, some may initially be put off by these types of events.

Myself, I love it. The impressive physics-based nature of the adventure laid out before me felt like nothing else on the market, and no competitor could naturally touch it. Sure, during my initial hours, I may have been groaning when I would miss a step while climbing, but I adapted and slowly became the champion the game knew I could be. There was a steep learning curve to get used to how everything reacted to me because it was just a little off from how it would be in real life. But, once I learned the ropes — both literally and figuratively — it felt like second nature. I was slowly becoming the “Ye Olde Johnathan Wick” that Blade & Sorcery knew I could be all along.

That being said, there are some slight issues that I encountered during my playtime, the first being the Spawn Book. Some of the fonts are rather small, making it slightly difficult to pick things such as origins for characters. It feels nitpicky, but when the pros outweigh the cons by this much, you need to have a few bones to pick here and there. The only other main gripe I had during my playthrough was learning the initial navigation, but that slowly came with time. While letting players have access to Sandbox mode straight away is a great option, maybe a list of available game modes at the start could make things a little more user-friendly.

Overall, if you’ve purchased a VR headset and haven’t gotten your hands on Blade & Sorcery, make sure that you add it to your wishlist straight away. It’s an incredible experience and can provide years of entertainment without nickel-and-diming you the way many other experiences will. It’s pure, unadulterated fun and easily one of the most impressive VR titles ever made.

Blade & Sorcery is available now on Steam & Meta Store. A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for the sake of review. Reviewed on PC VR via the Meta Quest Store. Blade & Sorcery: Nomad is available directly on the Meta Quest Store and will be receiving a Version 1.0 patch at an undisclosed time in the future.

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Image of Shaun Cichacki
Shaun Cichacki
As a fan of RPGs, Action & Retro titles, Shaun has been gaming since he was a young boy. With an overwhelming obsession involving Metal Gear Solid and Pizza Tower, you know you're in for a wild ride when it comes to things he's writing about.