Greetings SBOCateers, last weekend the team was exhibiting at Play Expo Manchester 2017 and there just so happened to be a tonne of awesome games being shown. From Indies to AAA titles, we’ve got you covered for all the gaming goodies we saw throughout the weekend. Stay Tuned!

Whilst trawling the crowded indie space at Play Expo Manchester, one hand on my overworked head and another grasping my notebook, I was instantly awoken by a phrase which I hadn’t heard for years, the name of a game in fact, Goldenaxe.

It seemed the developer, Michael Heald, was using the game as a touch stone to explain it to some passer-by gamers, this was all I needed to peak my curiosity, Goldenaxe being the game which made me never want to put down a controller again. You see, Wulverblade is an arcade brawler which lovingly incorporates elements from the genre while putting a rather impressive modern spin on proceedings. Set in 120AD Britannia under Roman rule, the game puts players into the formidable shoes of  3 warriors, each from a Northern tribe.

The game is classic side-scrolling beat-em-up bliss which throws scores of enemies at you for you to slice, shove and pound into oblivion. The combat is both weighty and quick. The addition of a shoulder barge keeps options open even when surrounded by enemies and the ability to pick up severed limbs and throw them as projectiles is positively inspired. All of this can be done with two other friends too which really took me back to the days spent hunched over my SEGA Megadrive.

There is an emphasis on aggression throughout with a rage system slowly building up until the player is ready to unleash bloody fury on the enemy. The other main theme of Wulverblade is its commitment to ground the game in real history. The developer has spent countless hours of extensive research into this era of British history and by combining this with lost British lore, the game really benefits as a result. It became apparent that the team behind this game genuinely cared about telling a story which is both entertaining and authentic.

The level I played culminated in an epic boss battle which was surprisingly and satisfyingly challenging. A towering brute of a man wielding a huge axe came at me and my teammate with terrifying aggression. We quickly made use of the game’s blocking mechanic to keep him at bay while our rage meters built up. It was then that the developer chimed in with “Oh by the way, you both have Dire Wolves at your disposal” at which point we both unleashed our furry friends on him. After defeating the boss, the demo ended and I was definitely hungry for more.

Wulverblade is currently out now on Nintendo Switch with PlayStation, Xbox and PC soon to follow. Stay tuned for our impressions on the game and more indie goodness from Play Expo Manchester 2017. Check out the trailer below!

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