Wulverblade is an old school side scroller beat ’em up with a twist: instead of walking the seedy back alleys of a modern city, this game is set in 120 AD, where you play one of three characters belonging to a tribe of Northern Britons fighting off a Roman invasion.

I used to adore side scroller games like Double Dragon, even though I totally sucked at video games as a kid. As 3D gaming quickly became the norm, the 2D brawler went out of style, as expected, but there are gamers and developers out there who have a soft spot for side scrollers.

Enter Fully Illustrated and Darkwind Media, taking this genre, adding in an incredible amount of violence plus loads of historical research, and you get Wulverblade.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent a free download code for Wulverblade on the Nintendo Switch for this review. However, the opinions presented in this article are my own, and have not been influenced in any way by the free copy. #NotAnAd

So Wulverblade plays like an old school beat ’em up. You walk to the right, you are swarmed with enemies, and you need to fight your way out. You use a sword or any other weapon you can pick up, and timing your attacks can lead to combos. Aside from hoes, knives, and axes, you can also pick up dismembered body parts like hands and heads to use as weapons.

Wulverblade

And it is glorious.

Don’t let the cartoonish art style fool you. This game is bloody. Every kill spills an enormous amount of blood on the ground, splattering body parts everywhere. If that wasn’t enough, you can go into berserker mode to attack your enemies without worrying about getting damage, or you can even call on wolves once every level to add to the carnage. It’s insane and it’s great.

It’s not all mindless violence, though. Set during a very real period in the Roman occupation of Britain, Wulverblade is full of well-written and well-researched historical notes that should satisfy any history buff. Heck, I never even thought about this time period since I live on the other side of the world, and I found reading through the notes engaging.

Now if there’s anything Wulverblade needs to fix, it would be the loading times. They’re long, and if they manage to cut down the loading times, it’ll greatly improve the game.

The Roman Empire is about take control of the north of Britannia and quash the last remaining tribes – and you must stop them dead in their tracks! Play as either Caradoc, Brennus or Guinevere – members of a family originating in the northern tribe of the Caledonii. This family of warriors has been the guardian of the most northerly tribes of Britannia for generations. The Romans have invaded Britain and conquered all that lies before them… until now.

Defend the homeland from the Roman army with strength, courage and a healthy number of wolves. Unleash deadly combos and devastating finishers to turn the tide of battle as you fight through eight scenic levels. Explore a rich, historically inspired story filled with all-out mayhem, manic action, and plenty of murder in this faithful homage to classic side-scrolling beat ‘em ups.

Wulverblade brings back the glory days of Golden Axe, Sengoku, and Knights of the Round with over 8 varied levels filled with sharp blades, enemy hordes, and blood-soaked arenas. Slice through the invading Roman Legions in graphic detail on your own – or enlist a friend for the slaughter in two-player co-op!

I’ll be putting out a more in-depth review over on Girls Got Game this Friday. In the meantime, you can get Wulverblade for the Nintendo Switch here!

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