Blade II: The Return of Evil – Quick look at starting gameplay of English version

Having first started the Korean Closed Beta in early 2018, Blade II: The Return of Evil is finally on the verge of its English global launch. Developed by Action Square and published by 4:33 Creative Lab, an early English version of the mobile action RPG appeared last week. I am presuming it is the soft-launch phase, hence there were no announcements made. Although I have tried the Korean server, I thought it would be best to give some comments purely based on the current English version. Hopefully the game will get better!

The Good

• Blade II: The Return of Evil’s main selling point is definitely the game graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4. If you need a game to test out how fast your phone becomes an oven, look no further than this title.

• I love the character system in Blade II: The Return of Evil. Basically, you can switch characters anytime and the PVE dungeon progress will be the same for all 4 playable characters. For example, if I use the Assassin as my main and complete map 1-10, I can switch to my level 1 Sorceress and start on any map before 1-10. Since I have already completed each map once with 3-stars, the automated function is available! This is great if you are bored of playing your main and would like to try out something new.

The Bad

• Blade II: The Return of Evil should be in the soft-launch phase right now, which means it is testing some stuff. In my opinion, the difficulty level is too tough even at Normal mode for mobile gamers. Even with all equipment at Tier 1 max level, the final boss can be quite an unfair challenge for those who are used to the automated function in other mobile online games. This is a big curve leap, and hopefully the development team tones it down.

• While it is great to have the character switch system as mentioned above, all characters in the same account share the same resources, including stamina points (known as Blade Points). While only 1 to 2 blades are needed per entry when starting out in the game, this will most likely be unmanageable if a players has 2 or more main characters. Of course, this will most probably lead to the purchase of more Blade Points in the cash shop.

• The equipment upgrade system is really dumb. When a players upgrades all their Tier 1 equipment to max level, they cannot advance to Tier 2 unless the first chapter is complete. To unlock Tier 3 advancement, the 2nd map has to be completed, and so on. This is an unnecessary gated system and perhaps the first time I have seen one. It might seem like a small deal reading here, but it definitely is frustrating when you are playing.

• Players who have obtained higher tier equipment cannot use them as well unless the required map has been cleared. This is a silly system which prevents players from getting stronger via equipment, most likely in an attempt to show that the game is mostly based on “player skills and controls”, rather than pure brute power. Dumb move, Action Square!

• Skill points. Players can actually buy skill points using cash while you only gain 1 per character level. There are so many skills to add, and this will definitely give paying players a huge advantage in PVP.

Other Details

• As you can see, I have only played map 1 of the game. There are still many features which have yet to be unlocked, such as wings, co-op PVE and PVP, guilds and more.

• Since launched, the Korean server of Blade II: The Return of Evil has yet to add any new characters to the original 4, and it is certainly worrying. I haven’t really read about any major updates as well, though the game is still regularly patched. The game has less than 1 million downloads on Google Play, although the number is unknown for IOS.

• There are currently 3 kinds of shops in The Return of Evil. The most eye-catching one is no doubt the gear gacha system, where players roll for new equipment.