Blackwind is a hack-and-slash shooter platformer sci-fi action game made by Drakkar Dev and published by Blowfish Studios that pits you against hordes of enemies and frantic battles in a desperate attempt to avert a planetary invasion.
The Raknos hordes are wreaking havoc on the planet Medusa-42, which is home to a small human mining colony. You play as James Hawkins who is trapped inside a military Battle Frame prototype after the starship “Pandora” is shot down with your father in it who invented the Battle Frame and the A.I. who guides you.
The story of Blackwind is far superior to what I had anticipated. Knowing I’d be controlling a mech, my first thought was that this game would be primarily about combat. And, while combat is a major focus, I was given a story that made me care. What is the purpose of our presence on this planet? Why are we at odds with these intruders? And what became of Professor Hawkins? All of these questions are answered in a way that makes you pay attention to the story rather than just killing every enemy you see. Without giving anything away, there was a pretty good plot twist that, at least for me, caused me to jump out of my seat and wonder, “Wait a minute!”
Another interesting aspect of this game is watching the A.I. develop. From being just a cog in the machine doing what it was designed to do, to understanding key human emotions and making decisions based on feeling instead of calculations and programming.
The gameplay is where the majority of the fun in this game is found. While you start with some fairly basic attacks, as you progress through the game, more will become available to you. Going from basic attack patterns to unlocking more combinations greatly expands your playing options. Along with your hack and slash abilities, you can unlock special moves like a rocket launcher, a shield that reduces damage taken, the ability to heal yourself, and a very powerful radius bomb that wipes out multiple enemies. The ground pound ability was my favorite and most frequently used ability. It’s a quick way to clear out the enemies in the area.
The most powerful ability in my opinion comes when you are able to use your black form and take on enemies at a pace they can not keep up with. You will have the ability to attack and kill enemies at a very fast speed which in real-time seems as if they are moving in slow motion. My biggest gripe with this ability is that it can not be turned off once activated. You have to use the entire meter and let it refill before using it again.
When an enemy’s health is low, the mech can perform a finishing move by pressing B; other enemies are unable to attack you during this time. This is an excellent opportunity to take a break from the hordes and recoup some health. Each type of enemy has a unique finishing move. While most are extremely satisfying to perform, they do become stale after a while.
This game does support co-op, but I was unable to test it because I lacked a player 2.
Graphically, Blackwind isn’t going to catch anyone’s attention. There’s also not much to say about the surrounding foliage because the world is dead. Even so, it’s not a deal-breaker, and it’s not the game’s primary focus. There are some high points, such as the appearance of the prototype mech you control. It actually looks pretty cool and can be customized with various skins. My favorites, of course, are the green and purple skins, as well as the yellow bumble skin, which unlocks an achievement when you put on that skin.
Players may notice that the frames per second occasionally drop. This is primarily due to the fast-paced, high-intensity action that can occur on-screen during certain encounters. Though it didn’t happen very often, when it did, it was quite noticeable
Overall, Blackwind is a game that I would recommend to gamers. It’s not a long game, with most people finishing it in under 6 hours unless they search every corner for all the mech skins. For $24.99, this is a good game to pick up and play. Players will not be disappointed by the game’s decent story and frantic combat.
Lv1 gaming was provided a key by the publisher for purpose of this review. This title was reviewed on an Xbox Series X.
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- enemy variety
- multitude of different abilities
- ending is unnecessarily prolonged
- lack of interactable mini map
- Some puzzles are a bit 'off'