Blade and Sorcery 1.0 is a Revolutionary Finale to VR’s Greatest Game

Man with a sword and red eyes in front of the temple door in Blade and Sorcery 1.0 key art
Credit: Warpfrog

Man with a sword and red eyes in front of the temple door in Blade and Sorcery 1.0 key art
Credit: Warpfrog

Despite being almost six years old, Blade and Sorcery’s legacy as one of the most exciting VR titles hasn’t changed. The sandbox sword-fighting game is a must-have for new and old players using the best VR headsets, granting virtual combatants with a wide range of weapons and spells to use against enemies in a variety of levels.

However, with the game finally releasing with a 1.0 update, Blade and Sorcery has seen its biggest changes yet. Even if you’ve poured hundreds of hours into the experience during early access, you’ll likely find yourself playing the game as if it's a completely new title, due to the slew of new additions and general updates that have arrived. Despite the changes, Blade and Sorcery’s latest update cements it as one of the best PCVR games on the market, and is still the must-play VR game for everyone.

The main appeal of the latest update is the Crystal Hunt game mode. Previously, players were limited to the sandbox-style levels and arenas, facing endless waves of soldiers and mages that would soon become part of your genocide. However, Crystal Hunt gives you somewhat of a progression mode, seeing you almost powerless and weak as you discover a new take on Warpfrog’s beloved game.

Blade and Sorcery’s new “story” isn’t a cinematic RPG experience. Much of the game’s shenanigans of clashing swords and spellcasting remains the major part of Crystal Hunt as it does in sandbox. However, you’ll find hints of lore throughout the game, as well as plot moments that give your character a reason to keep fighting, as you attempt to discover the secrets behind the Dalgarian Tower, and the mystical storm that surrounds it.

A large stone illuminating a room from a central point, with three rings around it that are green, blue, and purple in Blade and Sorcery
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Credit: StealthOptional

As a budding adventurer in a world where magic is outlawed, you’ll find yourself playing through a variety of levels as you gain currency to purchase stronger weapons, as well as finding crystals. Unlike the game’s more Freeform sandbox mode, you’ll need to find a variety of powerful crystals that enable you to unlock spells or spell sets, allowing you to unleash chaos on your enemies, and making your adventure a lot easier.

Many of the abilities you’ll use in the game are completely new for 1.0, and while the new skills are available in sandbox as well, your Crystal Hunt character will slowly become stronger than any pre-1.0 characters. As a nice touch, Warpfrog gives you a cheat menu that lets you become invulnerable and unlock all skills, but it does ruin the experience. Use at your own discretion.

However, while the wide range of spells and powers that you can acquire make for an excellent goal in a very basic story mode, the combat still remains Blade and Sorcery’s most exciting feature. Warpfrog provides you with lots of freedom in how you interact with Blade and Sorcery’s physics-based world, and if you can think of a way to deal with a group of enemies, chances are you can do it.

Want to stab someone in the neck and take it out to throw at an enemy? That’s possible. Hoping to use a longsword imbued with fire to turn multiple enemies into a shish kebab? Go ahead. How about stabbing someone with a dagger and then digging the blade into their body deeper with the smack of your fist? You get the picture, Blade and Sorcery’s biggest feature is undoubtedly the sheer amount of choice you get on dealing with enemies, as your potential fight is limited only by your creativity.

POV of a character in blade and sorcery holding a purple axe imbued with gravity as Hector the Golem stands up to fight
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Credit: StealthOptional
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Combining that with all of the new spells, such as one that turns two lightning weapons into an electric blade that slices through any limb, or creating black holes with your bare hands, makes for some of the most terrifyingly fun moments in a VR title. I audibly gasped multiple times as I found new ways of dicing up my foes, and despite years of playing Warpfrog’s debut title, I found myself falling in love again as if I never played it in the first place.

While Crystal Hunt is clearly the best starting point for new players, old players will be familiar with sandbox - the default and only mode in the pre-1.0 version. Sandbox gives you everything in Crystal Hunt and allows you to go to town however you want. Whether you decide to forcefully limit yourself to make it a challenge, or give yourself invincibility and every ability in the game, the choice is yours.

Crystal Hunt may be the most exciting feature for many fans, but sandbox is still the ultimate Blade and Sorcery experience. Using all of the tools at your disposal, with the chaos of varying waves in different locations keeps the game exciting hours after you’ve completed the progression mode, and it's still the main reason why I keep coming back to Blade and Sorcery, time and time again.

This also gives us the ability to play and use the best Blade and Sorcery mods, which should get even better with all of the additions that Warpfrog have made with 1.0. As you grow tired of the vanilla game, mods will let you do wild things like play as Kratos in the game or enjoy maps based on titles like Infinity Blade, Game of Thrones, and more. When it comes to mods, Blade and Sorcery easily offers one of the most expansive libraries of any title, something I don’t foresee ending with the 1.0 release.

The only unfortunate thing that I’ve found with the final update is the fact that the sandbox waves have changed. While Warpfrog has made it more accessible to launch new waves of enemies from the book, it has also taken out some of my favorite waves. Relentless, which sees you fighting infinite amounts of enemies, is gone, and the Warzone mode that sees two enemy factions fight each other with you in the middle is also disappointingly missing. I hope this is a minor mistake, or that it can be easily modded back, as these are some of my favorite waves in the game.

It’s a bittersweet moment for Blade and Sorcery. The 1.0 update is the final major expansion of content that the game will likely get, but the final update cements it as one of the best VR games ever made. The sheer amount of content, which can be further expanded by mods, will give any player hours and hours of moments to enjoy, and while the development of new content may be ending here, it’s far from the end of Blade and Sorcery’s legacy.

Blade and Sorcery review
Blade and Sorcery’s final update secures its rightful throne as the best VR game, giving you a fantastic new progression mode as well as a completely overhauled set of abilities and spells to enjoy. With the remaining sandbox mode, as well as the very mod-friendly engine, Blade and Sorcery will give you hundreds of hours of fun, and at a great price too.
PC
9 out of 10


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