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Stellar Blade reviews praise Shift Up’s must-play debut on PS5

The Stellar Blade reviews are in and Shift Up has managed to crack the code on PS5, with critics praising the studio’s maiden voyage.

Stellar Blade reviews: the brunette-haired Eve nex to the PlayStation logo

The Stellar Blade reviews are in, and it’s looking good for Shift Up’s maiden PS5 voyage. Putting the ‘Eve’ in ‘fever,’ the sci-fi RPG has had fans increasingly thirsting for more throughout its marketing cycle – not least because everyone’s down horrendously bad for its protagonist. However, it’s Stellar Blade‘s challenging gameplay, gorgeous environments, and varied mission content that have gotten the critics going, even though it’s lacking in some areas.

With Metacritic already reporting an average score of 82, Stellar Blade has performed about as well as I imagined. Though Eve has generated more than her fair share of controversy by simply existing over the past couple of months, this has only aided the incredible amount of hype generated for the RPG game. Fortunately, the reviews have, for the most part, proved that there is substance beyond Stellar Blade’s leading lady.

Kicking us off, VG247 praises Shift Up for understanding the assignment in its 4/5 review. “Against all odds (and perhaps even your own expectations), the Shift Up team understands how to make an exciting action game” – we’re off to the races. Between “nailing the fundamentals of a good hack ‘n’ slash” and the “audio/visual feast” the studio has plated up for us, we’re eating good in the open world game. That being said, the outlet does mark the combat down for the delay experienced when switching between melee and ranged attacks.

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Blending the combat of the best Soulslike games like Sekiro, PS5 exclusives like God of War, and classic bangers like Devil May Cry, there’s a lot going on in Stellar Blade’s own system. Screenrant’s 4.5/5 review pays special attention to this, advising you to always consider the game’s defensive mechanics – Perfect Parry and Perfect Dodge – as well as movement patterns when approaching opponents. This is sage advice, especially when squaring up against bosses – you will die very quickly if you don’t make use of every tool you have at your disposal. Doing so, the outlet says, “makes every boss fight a riveting encounter.”

Speaking of enemies, the Stellar Blade demo already showcased some of the grotesque Naytibas that Eve battles against throughout. For the final game, the trend continues, with PCMag’s 4.5/5 review noting the “impressive enemy list and excellent boss design feel like the perfect candidate for a boss rush or Bloody Palace-style gauntlet, and it’s a real shame that no such mode unlocks at the end of the game.” Shift Up, you know what to do.

Conversely, Stellar Blade isn’t without its flaws. Platforming in Stellar Blade can be inconsistent, with Inverse noting in its 8/10 review that its “floaty” controls often meant Eve would either jump too far or “would land on the platform but then run off it” before she could be stopped – an issue I’ve often run into during my playthrough.

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On top of this, the outlet notes that the story can be “a bit predictable at times,” though this didn’t detract from its overall experience. Story foibles have been noted elsewhere, too, with Techradar’s 4.5/5 review stating that it “had several questions unanswered” after the credits rolled, and that it takes a while to get going. Screenrant, meanwhile, has marked its narrative pacing as “inconsistent.”

All things considered, Stellar Blade is a huge triumph for Shift Up considering it’s the South Korean studio’s first crack at a triple-A console game. While discourse surrounding the perceived sexualization of Eve will continue to swirl post-launch, it’s clear that Kim Hyung-Tae’s vision has resonated with the critics, as well as fans.

While you won’t be seeing a scored review from me this time around, I’ve also been getting hands-on with Stellar Blade ahead of launch. You’ll be able to hear plenty of my thoughts on the game over the coming days.

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