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Stray Blade - What We Know So Far

Several games took the spotlight at this year's Gamescom. Among these, "Stray Blade" caught the attention of several viewers as one of the few new titles not part of an existing series. A trailer and gameplay footage accompanied the segment, showcasing what appears to be a brutal, combat driven action RPG set in a vibrant fantasy world.

"In 'Stray Blade' you discover the mystical lost valley of Acrea," the Gamescom host said as he introduced the game, "a world which ranges from overgrown temple ruins to frozen caves and winding canyons; a game world that changes based on your victories and plenty of dudes to stab in blade to blade combat. If that weren't enough. You even get a fuzzy little pal to help you out."

That introduction makes it seem like developer Point Blank Games has put a massive amount effort into this project. This is exciting news as gamers haven't seen much in the combat ARPG sphere since FromSoftware's critically acclaimed "Demon Souls" remake last year. Fans are eager for a new title to fill that void. Could "Stray Blade" be the one to do it? Here's everything we know so far.

When will Stray Blade release?

Publisher 505 Games has not shared specifics about when "Stray Blade" will come out. It seems it hasn't zeroed in on a set date, but the screen near the end of the Gamescom trailer says "coming 2022." The official website confirms this, in addition to listing the platforms the game will be available on.

"Stray Blade" will launch for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, the Epic Games Store, and Steam. There is no mention of the Nintendo Switch or previous console generations, suggesting that it will be exclusive to PC and current gen console owners. This seems like an unusual move since many gamers still can't get their hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S due to manufacturing complications and it's still unclear when exactly they will be available en masse. Perhaps 505 Games hopes that newer consoles will be more accessible by the 2022 release. PC gamers can already add "Stray Blade" to their Steam wishlist now.

Is there a Stray Blade trailer?

505 Games has released two trailers for "Stray Blade." You can view the original Announcement Teaser from 2019, as well as the Reveal Trailer from this year. Both videos showcase the game's brutal combat system, but each contains unique, notable details.

The Announcement Teaser opens with a map of an island with color coded lines drawn between various regions and matching color coded flags which appear to be claims to various sub-regions. There are also markers for three men who seem to be the leaders of those areas. This might indicate that there will be a battle for territory which your character can influence.

The clip presents a wilderness full of magic, complete with medieval castles and camps. The color palette and general aesthetic are similar to what you'd find in the "Torchlight" series, but the gameplay appears more action forward. The only enemies shown are other armor clad humans.

The Reveal Trailer doesn't add a lot of new information, but it does show off a couple of non-human enemies. The first is a troll-like creature covered in glowing cracks and sharp spikes and the second is a large mythological stag whose horns float in pieces before flying together and locking onto its head like all the bits of Iron Man's suit. These are most likely reserved as boss battles.

What is the gameplay like in Stray Blade?

The combat in "Stray Blade" seems very Souls-like. Both trailers showcase armor-clad protagonists battling in the slower, more methodical combat style made popular by FromSoftware. "To achieve [the high numen of skill-based melee weapon combat], we put our hearts into creating fluent, well-readable animations and epic cinematic finishers," said game director Leonad Kausch during the Gamescom showcase. "And of course, get ready for epic boss fights." 

The team has certainly taken a page out of FromSoftware's book, but that doesn't mean Point Blank Games hasn't found ways to make the combat its own. "Stray Blade" has a real-time mechanic that seems fairly unique. "When you die, time keeps moving forward," said Kausch. "Enemies stay dead. New foes invade camps that you have weakened and when Boji revives you, only one thing is certain, the change you brought shapes what now awaits you." It's unclear what kind of changes players can expect, but it will be interesting to see how this mechanic plays out at release.

There appear to be classes to choose from as well. The trailers show faster, more rogue-like characters completing acrobatic attacks with smaller weapons, as well as heavy armor wearing warriors slowly swinging massive hammers and everything in between. The only option missing appears to be a magic class. It could be that simply wasn't included in the trailer, but it seems more likely that your companion, Boji, will fill that role in a support capacity. A 40 minute gameplay video posted by Kaizad Sheshbaradaran shows your fuzzy little companion reviving your character after they fall in battle.