Jesse Woo
PAX Prime 2015: Blade: Sword of Elysion Hands-On
Wesley Snipes not included.
09.07.15 - 5:36 PM

Korean developer 4:33 Creative Lab is bringing its wildly successful action-RPG Blade: Sword of Elysion stateside from South Korea, and I got to sit down with mobile title at PAX Prime. It is a well-made, free-to-play action-RPG with all the usual trappings of that model on mobile. Game sessions are split into short stages that you can complete in a few minutes, and the freemium pricing model is apparent. The game looks gorgeous even on a little handheld screen thanks to the Unreal 3 engine, and the touch controls are tight and responsive.

I did not get much exposure to the game's story, but that doesn't really matter because the story is basically "kill waves of undead and other monsters." This RPG is all about the action. Players can choose between warrior, mage, or rogue class characters, but I only got to drive a very buffed up warrior for the demo. Combat revolves around stringing together fluid combos of attacks, skills, and counters to defeat the throngs of bad guys. In addition to leveling up and improving your skills you can greatly enhance your combat effectiveness by buffing your equipment with loot drops.

Getting the strongest equipment is a must if you want to succeed in the game's robustly competitive PvP mode. Brave fighters can duke it out over the internet for top spots on the leaderboards, and this feature has become quite popular in South Korea. So popular that it apparently contributed to Blade: Sword of Elysion winning Game of the Year in Korea, a first for a mobile title. The game also has an arena mode where you can farm experience and items against waves of enemies. This mode also has an auto-play mode that will let you farm efficiently while multi-tasking. Apparently this is a common feature in Asian games.

If you need a diversion on your mobile device or are itching for some PvP action, Blade: Sword of Elysion comes out in North America later this year on iOS and Android.