Heart&Slash is a fast paced, 3D brawler where you take charge of a a cute robot called Heart (or HRT-1), who is embroiled in a battle of fighting for its identity against the minions of standardisation. Sounds complicated, but really you’re out there to kick ass (or whatever the robot/machine equivalent to ass is). But even that is not as simple as it seems…
Colours and environments are all so colourful, bright and lovely that you could think you’re in for an easy ride here. Nope. As brawlers with rogue like elements go, Heart&Slash is very difficult. Brutal at times. The fact that you have borderline cheery music makes it even more of a juxtaposition. But it’s also so inherently charming that you can’t help for but root for it, even if you are tempted to throw your Xbox controller across your living room at times. Enemies are big, mean, sporadic and overwhelming – so it means strategy is hugely important. You can’t just hack away and hope for the best. You’ll be malfunctioning quicker than you can say Johnny 5. Throw in the fact that you have randomly generated levels and it seriously ramps up the unpredictability. Obviously ability is a huge factor – you’ll need to master dodging, slashing when the time is right, and sometimes just bloody running away. But under the eye of Quality Assurance System this can only get you so far. This is where your upgrades come in. By collecting nuts and bolts, you can upgrade your health, your weapons and so on. And there are stacks and stacks of weapons. 75 different weapons in fact, and 60 different body parts. You can also teleport, stop time, fly with a jetpack, wall-jump, discover enemy weaknesses, and more.
Now I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to die. Like, all the time. But, and this is a big but, you can carry your nuts (ahem..) over to other playthroughs. So you can concentrate on getting a load, upgrade, and then be in a stronger position later on. This is a big help if you are struggling like I was. And just like that, before you know it, you’ll realise you’re having a great time grabbing your nuts and kicking ass. Throw in a load of achievements to go for (20 in total) and Heart&Slash is certainly worth laying down your money for.
Heart&Slash is not for the faint hearted but bear with its difficulty and you’ll find a 3D brawler that is really rewarding.