For the erstwhile reviewer, sitting on the fence is one of the great cardinal sins - and nowhere more so than on this fine website. After all, you don't come to TrustedReviews for some roundabout discussion of a game's weaknesses and merits followed by a verdict along the lines of "it's decent enough" or "if you like this sort of thing you'll like this." You come because you want us to tell you whether the thing is worth splashing your hard earned cash out on or not. You might want to know the reasons and the criteria, but at the end of the day you want a definite judgement. Is this game worth your time and your money?
A game like Heavenly Sword can make this very difficult indeed.
As a showcase for the PS3's graphics power, it's very impressive indeed. As a standard-bearer for the cinematic future of the action game, it does a staggering job. As an experience, it's frequently mind-blowing. Start getting into the nitty-gritty of game mechanics and the pace and flow of the actual gameplay, however, and it's a game that often falls short. Not as short, it must be said, as some of the game's harshest critics might make out, but certainly short of the masterpiece status that, on visuals alone, it might be judged worthy. In the end, it's a game that a lot of casual gamers are going to love. What's more, if you're the sort of person who occasionally buys a movie just because it's going to look fantastic on your giant LCD or plasma screen and sound awesome on your sound system, then you'll find Heavenly Sword an essential addition to your collection. Don't worry, you're amongst friends here…
But if you're going to judge Heavenly Sword against the current giants of the hack-and-slash action genre, then you may go away disappointed. If you can complete Ninja Gaiden with a blindfold on and one hand tied behind your back, or if you've cut a bloody swathe through both God of War 1 and 2, then you may come away shouting loudly not only that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes, but that he's not as generously endowed as he's been making out for the last two years.