Broken Edge Review – Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

Broken Edge is primarily an online multiplayer game, but does offer minimal options for offline solo play. In terms of format, facing online opponents requires beating your foe across three rounds. You can create rooms and invite a friend, or you can jump into one ranked online mode with random players. For offline solo play, each class is given a five stage mini-campaign to complete. After facing every other class, each mini-campaign culminates in a long fight with Tyrant. Unlike online matches, victory requires winning an increasing number of rounds as you progress. Your third and fourth challengers must be defeated three times before advancing, while Tyrant needs four. Yet, the AI only needs to win once, and defeat forces a restart. It isn’t a significant problem, but it doesn’t feel fair.

Once a round in Broken Edge begins, your enemy automatically moves closer. I’d describe what follows as a unique interpretation of “live by the sword, die by the sword.” That’s because primary weapons grant both fighters a protective barrier; you can’t land a hit until it’s broken. Landing carefully placed strikes on an opponent’s weapon is the key. Blades regenerate after each strike until your meter’s depleted, and if that happens, you become vulnerable.

However, both weapons take damage in a strike, determined by where they collide. Landing hits closer to the hilt deals more damage, and the reverse is true for the weapon’s tip. Swinging blindly is a quick ticket to defeat, as fights require finesse and well-timed hits. Secondary weapons can inflict damage without depleting your meter, the trade-off being that it gets destroyed on impact. 

Each class can use a blade awakening technique for increased power, though the activation method varies. Samurai awakens their blade by striking different poses, while Duelist must point directly at their enemy. Once awakened, a blade can kill an opponent that still has energy left in their meter. By taking this approach, Trebuchet’s replicates traditional stances for each fighter well, but it doesn’t stop there. 

Where Broken Edge gets interesting is in the differences between each of the classes. While I’d be here forever detailing these finer intricacies, they reveal surprising depth. For example, Knight can deflect attacks with a shield, which gradually whittles away after several hits, while Barbarian’s longsword is great for closing distance. Each class has its advantages, so it’s worth spending time with them all before settling into one character. Their differences force you to think strategically, it gets tough, but securing wins after a challenging fight felt incredibly satisfying.

The game’s initial tutorial covers the basics, which is fine against AI, but against online foes? Perhaps not. I recommend hitting up the training dojo, where you can learn advanced techniques shared between classes. Between Edge Breaker for increased damage, Ward to shield yourself, and Second Wind to replenish your sword, these abilities can provide a significant advantage. They’re only available once per round though, so use them wisely. You’ll also have to commit them to memory, as Broken Edge won’t provide reminders during combat.

Broken Edge Review – Comfort

Broken Edge recommends standing up during gameplay, and while you could get away with seated play, there’s no specific option for it. You’ll need to hold your hands out by your side every time you load up Broken Edge for calibration, so that the game can judge your height and arm length. Because enemies move directly towards your position, you remain standing in one place during fights, so there’s no artificial locomotion or camera settings to consider.