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Stellar Blade


Release Date

ESRB Rating




Bob Hoose

Game Review

Stellar Blade, a new PlayStation 5 exclusive role-playing game, has the gaming community buzzing. People are talking about its punishing combat, its beautifully polished graphic presentation and, well, other things that we’ll discuss in due time.

But while gamers may rave about its innovations, Stellar Blade tells a fairly well-worn future sci-fi story.

When the game starts out, our Earth is something of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Mankind hasn’t totally disappeared from the planet’s surface, but most humans have long-since zipped off to a colony in space. And the remnants left behind are dealing with horrible, mutated monstrosities, called Naytiba, that generally look like mixed masses of limbs, muscle, sharp extremities, and grotesquely bulbous flesh. 

Gamers play as Eve, a member of the 7th Airborne Squad that’s sent down to take action against that Naytiba scourge. Most of Eve’s female warrior companions were killed during the explosive space drop, so she teams up with a tech-focused male pilot named Adam and an Airborne engineer named Lily to fulfill the planet’s needs and battle its dangers.

Along with a wide variety of quests that benefit the last human city of Xion, Eve also sets off to seek out four massive Alpha Naytibas and slash out their heart-like hypercores. These combined cores could well open the door to a resolution of the Neytiba problem. Along the way, Eve also finds out what really happened to Earth and its inhabitants: She uncovers a secret, long-ago war that no one remembers, and she discovers what created those dreadful monsters to begin with. 

There’s platforming action here combined with exploration, but Stellar Blade’s fast, dynamic, Soulslike combat is what fills up most of this 20- to 30-hour game’s playtime. And that brutal battling is pretty complicated.

This is a very defense-driven battler. Massive enemies launch long, powerful, combo-peppered attacks that can only be dealt with through perfectly timed parries and dodges. Every parry you land deducts a point from the enemy’s “balance” number. And once that balance is broken, then Eve can deliver some killing blows.

Attacks that can’t be parried come fast and furious, too. And that’s where gamers must quickly note the game’s flashes of color that telegraph which kind of unblockable attack is aimed at them, before making the proper dodge move to expose an enemy’s weak points. Then there are special attacks that Eve can layer on from there. So, the whole combat process becomes a complex series of split-second, button-mashing choices and bombastic, dance-like moves.

Stellar Blade is a single player game.And while you can technically play the game without an internet connection (if you have the hardcopy disc version of the game), it will repeatedly ask that gamers connect online for downloads and updates.


If you’re drawn to the challenge of a game filled with well-designed but punishing combat and split-second timing, Stellar Blade offers a lot of tight, daunting conflicts.

As mentioned above, this game is also very appealing graphically. The visuals are detailed and present a very AI-like sense of polish.


That said, some of the third-person, flipping and jumping female characters are also designed to grab and hold the “male gaze” throughout the game. Eve, for instance has over 70 different generally sensual outfits that players can discover or create.

The outfits range from panty-peaking schoolgirl-like attire to mini-skirt-garter-stocking-and-crop-top getups to skintight, latex-like unisuits. One suit looks nearly transparent but for a few small patches of cover. And each outfit is designed to not only showcase each female character’s curves, but also spotlight the game’s very noticeable breast-and-backside jiggle physics.

On the other end of the spectrum, the polished graphics also highlight the horrific-looking Naytibas and the bloody gore that splatters throughout battle. Eve uses blades, a gun-like drone, a laser blaster and explosions to rip away at the beasties. And the sliced-open, artery-gushing, gutted and dismembered result is consistently messy.

Game dialogue also sports uses of the s-word and words such as “d–n,” “d–mit” and “h—.” God’s name is misused.


Stellar Blade offers challenging combat and impressive graphics. But those polished plusses come packing some not-so-stellar negatives, too.

Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.