Our Score 6/10
Blackwind is a top-down sci-fi action game that puts you inside a prototype battle armour suit during an extraterrestrial invasion. In a last-ditch attempt to stop a planetary invasion, face off against opponents. Cut through their lines, and fight back.
James Hawkins is stuck within a military prototype Battle Frame armour. As he hurtles towards Medusa-42 after the spacecraft Pandora is shot down. As the Raknos armies assault the planet, destroying every human mining colony. James doesn’t have much time to figure out how to use the Battle Frame if he wants to survive his perilous surroundings and find his father.
What is Blackwind
The plot of Blackwind revolves around a teen named James Hawkins. Who is flying aboard a spaceship with his father. James’ father is on his way to deliver an immensely strong new battle armour that will be utilised to repel an alien invasion force. While James is wearing the battle suit, their ship is shot down, prompting it to activate. James is stranded on a strange world, and the suit’s artificial intelligence directs him on a rescue mission to save his father. The world they’re on has been overtaken by the insect-like Raknos species. Forcing James to learn how to use the combat suit’s technology to defeat his enemies.
Blackwind’s gameplay combines aspects of a melee hack and slash game with twin-stick shooting components. Energy blades in the battle armour may slash through attackers and instakill wounded enemy who flash red. The suit also comes equipped with guns and rockets for dealing with opponents from afar. Killing foes rewards the player with health orbs and experience points, the latter of which can be used to purchase upgrades at save spots. Over the course of the game, the player steadily improves the suit, unlocking gadgets that allow them to explore new places, such as a remote drone and the ability to double jump/glide. Blackwind’s gameplay loop is solid, and the frenzied fighting can be both tough and enjoyable.
When trying to change direction after moving, the platforming feels unresponsive. There are numerous collision difficulties in which the game shunts the main character off a cliff if they don’t land properly. Blackwind is also far too strict on what counts as a platform, as it’s feasible to hop on small objects like a desk, but whether the game will let the player jump again is a gamble. All of these difficulties add up to a lot of annoyance, which is worsened by the game’s platforming puzzles.
Look and Feel
There are a few significant concerns that are holding Blackwind back. The camera, which is pushed in way too close, is by far the largest. This means the player is at risk of being shot down by off-screen adversaries and running into mines while dashing. It’s frustrating to be killed by something just off the edge of the screen that dashes into view, giving the player little time to react, and the battles can get incredibly frenetic, with adversaries wielding several types of weaponry at the same time. Switching between underground bases with tunnels and rooms and wide-open spaces is also a problematic level design. The issue with both of these stage types is that everything appears to be the same, making it simple to become disoriented.
Blackwind has a decent concept but sadly it’s shortcomings hinder the experience too much. It falls short of a fun experience and ends with you feeling quite disappointed.