Blade II: The Return of Evil originally launched a Korean Closed Beta version in early 2018, and now, it is getting ready for an English global launch. Last week spotted the release of an early English version of this mobile action-RPG, although this is presumably a soft launch given that there was no announcement from the developers. This is our first impression of the game. Do note that this article is purely about the English version we have available right now. Features from the Korean version will not be taken into account.

The Good

The main selling point of Blade II: The Return of Evil is undoubtedly its graphics, which were made using Unreal Engine 4. Do be careful, though, as it will turn your phone into an oven in no time.

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Blade II features impressive graphics

The character system is pretty cool. There are 4 playable characters that you can switch between at any time, your progress through the PVE dungeon is shared between all of them. For example, if you finish stage 1-10 on the Sorceress, you can switch to the Assassin and jump straight into any stage from 1-1 to 1-10. Your new character will still start at level 1, however.

The Bad                      

As mentioned, Blade II: The Return of Evil is apparently in its soft-launch stage at the moment, so there are still several things that need more polishing. Right now, the difficulty seems a bit too high, even while playing in the Normal mode. Moreover, even if you have all Tier 1 equipment at max level, you’ll probably still find that the final boss feels like an unfair challenge.

While the aforementioned character switch system is nice, it also means that the resources are shared between different characters as well. This includes stamina points (or Blade Points as they are called here). In the beginning, you only need 1 or 2 Blade Points per entry, but if you have 2 mains or more, it’ll probably be impossible to manage.  This will most likely lead to in-app purchases that provides you with more Blade Points.

A demo gameplay featuring all characters

The upgrade system for equipment is, frankly, unreasonable. You cannot unlock the next tier of items before you finish the respective chapter. For example, you must complete chapter 1 to upgrade your gear to tier 2, complete the second map to get to tier 3 gear, and so on. This restriction feels completely redundant. It might sound like a petty thing to complain about here, but when you actually get into the game, you’ll see how frustrating it is.

Even if you manage to obtain a high-tier item, you cannot equip it until you’ve cleared the required map. Basically, this system means you can’t ever get stronger through equipment. This move from the developer is likely intended to force players to rely on their skills, but in reality, all it succeeds in doing is annoying them.

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You must complete the required map before you can wear new gear

The skill points are also another issue. You gain one per level, but can actually purchase more from the shop. This means paying players will have a huge advantage over others in PvP.

Other Details

It’s a bit worrying that the Korean version of Blade II: The Return of Evil has not received any new character beyond the first 4 since its launch.  There hasn’t been any major update either, although smaller patches are still coming out on a regular basis. Right now, the game has less than 1 million downloads on the Google Play Store, while this number for iOS is unclear.

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There will surely be a gacha system

Aside from paying for skill points, a gacha gear system is also present, allowing players to roll for new gear. This signifies that there will be more pay-to-win.