Critique of Steam Next Fest Highlighted Demo

The highlighted demo for Steam Next Fest is a game called Half Sword, a physics-based melee combat game set in a bleak, midnight world where players engage in brutal combat for possession of hats and weapons. The demo showcases the unique and somewhat absurd mechanics of the game, which include swinging weapons by jolting the cursor around or yanking the analog sticks.

The gameplay of Half Sword revolves around players engaging in combat with various objects such as hammers, stools, barrels, axes, and lengths of wood. The physics and cursor-based attacks in the game make every scuffle feel like a Monty Python blooper reel, where players struggle to land clean blows on their opponents. The controls and handling of the game do not lend themselves to swift and merciful knockouts, resulting in extended and often comical battles where combatants struggle to overpower each other.

The combat system in Half Sword is a unique take on physics-based melee combat, offering players a challenging and somewhat absurd experience. Players must navigate the awkward controls and unwieldy weapons to defeat their opponents, often resorting to unconventional methods to gain the upper hand. The game’s lack of clean blows and swift knockouts adds to the chaotic and hilarious nature of the battles, resulting in a lot of trial and error for players trying to master the combat system.

The full version of Half Sword promises to be an immersive, physically simulated medieval combat game that offers players a unique experience of becoming a commoner-turned-knight and fighting brutal tournaments in 15th-century Europe. The game will feature historically accurate arms and armor, NPCs with quests, and input from Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) practitioners and sword fencers. While the concept sounds promising, it remains to be seen how the full version of the game will expand on the demo’s mechanics and deliver a compelling and engaging gameplay experience.

The demo for Half Sword showcased a unique and challenging take on physics-based melee combat, offering players a chaotic and hilarious experience. The game’s unconventional combat system, awkward controls, and absurd mechanics make it a standout title in the genre. While the full version of Half Sword holds promise with its immersive medieval combat setting and historically accurate elements, players may have to contend with the same level of ineptness and absurdity that characterized the demo. It will be interesting to see how the developers refine and expand on the gameplay mechanics in the final release of the game.


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