Can Brazen Blade Bring Esports to VR?
Virtual reality (VR) has yet to make a significant impact on the world of esports. However, a new game called Brazen Blade developed by MyDearest aims to change that. This unique VR brawler combines elements of popular games Overwatch and Super Smash Bros, creating a high-flying and fast-paced multiplayer experience set in a compact and destructible map.
MyDearest, known for their solo, story-driven adventures, has taken a major shift in focus with Brazen Blade. Despite venturing into multiplayer action, the team hasn’t abandoned their commitment to worldbuilding and storytelling. They have even enlisted the help of Warren Ellis, the creator of the Castlevania Netflix series, as a creative consultant. The game is set in an anarcho-capitalist world where highly-competitive international tournaments determine the president of the world. Each character in Brazen Blade has a unique backstory, adding depth and immersion to the gameplay.
While Brazen Blade values worldbuilding and storytelling, the real emphasis is on fast-paced and enjoyable multiplayer action. The game is designed to be easy to learn but difficult to master, providing a challenging and exciting experience for players.
A Unique Control Scheme
During a visit to the MyDearest offices in Tokyo, we had the opportunity to try Brazen Blade ahead of its closed Alpha test. The game’s intricate-yet-intuitive control scheme immediately caught our attention. Movement is the key to victory in combat, requiring players to master the verticality and layout of each stage to gain an advantage over opponents.
Dashing plays a crucial role in maneuvering around the environment. The left and right triggers are mapped to vertical and horizontal dashes, respectively. By pointing in a direction and using a dash, players can shoot their character forward, allowing for offensive and defensive maneuvers. Shooting involves grabbing a sub weapon from the waist using the grip button, and players can also lock onto opponents to make aiming easier.
In addition to the basic punch attack, each character in Brazen Blade possesses unique abilities. For example, Skybolt, an all-rounder, offers a balance between speed and damage output, while Legacy, the tank, has greater durability but slower speed. The game’s world is entirely destructible, allowing players to utilize their punch attacks to not only defeat opponents but also destroy buildings and vehicles strategically.
Furthermore, characters can activate additional skills by holding up their palms. These skills range from health regeneration to powerful ultimate attacks that can turn the tide of battle. Mastering these abilities and utilizing them in a strategic manner is crucial for success in Brazen Blade.
A Promising Future for Brazen Blade
Although the Alpha build we experienced showcased only three characters, MyDearest has plans to release six characters with the game’s initial launch next year. The development team is also experimenting with new stages, weapons, characters, and modes, which will be added in regular seasons post-release. If the title proves successful, MyDearest hopes to transform Brazen Blade into VR’s first competitive esport. To achieve this, they have enlisted the help of shoutcaster Taiga Kishi to guide the game’s development from a competitive standpoint.
Despite its current alpha stage, Brazen Blade already demonstrates the potential to become an essential multiplayer VR experience. The controls feel intuitive and accessible, even for VR newcomers. It’s a game that welcomes players of all skill levels, offering the opportunity to master its mechanics and become a formidable competitor.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Brazen Blade is the joy it brings, even in defeat. Each round concludes with a finishing move, akin to those found in Mortal Kombat, adding an extra layer of excitement and satisfaction to the gameplay. Whether you’re delivering the final blow or on the receiving end, the finishing moves are engaging and rewarding.
Brazen Blade is set to release on Steam VR and Meta Quest, with a closed Alpha scheduled for early this month.