Naraka: Bladepoint review

Need to know

What is it? Martial arts battle royale with melee and ranged combat.
Expect to pay: $20/£18
Developer: 24 Entertainment
Publisher: NetEase Games Montréal
Reviewed on: Intel Core i5-9600K, 16GB RAM, Nvidia RTX 2070 Super
Multiplayer? 60-player battle royale, plus a deathmatch mode

I didn’t take Naraka: Bladepoint seriously at first, and it didn’t give me many reasons to. In its tutorial, the melee-focused battle royale game teaches you to combo by clicking repeatedly—no problem, I love clicking—and then introduces its weird countering system without really explaining it. After that, it sneakily matches you against bots for your first game. The bots behave like mosquitos whose brains were recently transplanted into human bodies, and even with our Australian player glued to the ground by lag, we won our first trios match easily.

A few games later, however, the true nature of 60-player martial arts battle royale showed itself. One moment you’re Donnie Yen, and the next you’re scrambling to find the ‘pick up’ prompt for the longsword that just flew out of your hands in a whirl of particle effects. It’s too late, though. As Fist of the North Star badass Kenshiro would say: “You are already dead.”

Humble beginnings