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ℹ️ - Stellar Blade Needs a Photo Mode

Developer: Shift Up

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Platform: PS5

Initial Release: 26th April 2024

Digital copy on PS5 provided for review by SIE


When I received a review copy of Stellar Blade, I wasn't quite sure whether to cover the game or not. It has no photo mode after all and, as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, there is no chance of any third-party camera tools to photograph it either.

Still, I found that it had something of a strange alure – no, not that – and thought I should at least try it out. With people reportedly spending over 50 hours on the demo alone, I'm clearly not the only one interested.

Stellar Blade Needs A Photo Mode
"Voluptuous female warriors are often scantily clad in suffocatingly tight Nano Suits..."

It certainly doesn't take long to make an impression; the game is extremely stylish and a lot of fun right from the start with combat centred around perfect parries, dodges, and combos that feel surprisingly natural to pull off. Without too steep a learning curve, you'll soon be enjoying fluid action that deepens as you progress and work through the multiple skill trees.

Stellar Blade Needs a Photo Mode

That old school playability comes with some really good-looking visuals too – stop it! – and while the post-apocalyptic earth may not be all that original, but it is beautifully crafted. Enemies are intricate and often grotesque in their detail, while human characters are made with very high-quality models to give an interesting mix of horror and beauty.

There is no denying that Stellar Blade takes an overtly sexualised approach to those character visuals though. The rather voluptuous female warriors are often scantily clad in suffocatingly tight Nano Suits and bring enough sway and jiggle to look like they could be auditioning for the next Dead or Alive.

Of course, you can unlock also other types of outfits like, erm, school uniform and bunny girl and, oh, for goodness sake. Yeah, there's also a 'Skin Suit', thinly veiled as a difficulty challenge with no shield and definitely not just to look nude!

Stellar Blade Needs a Photo Mode

It's not exactly subtle, perhaps verging on fetish at times, but I don't think it is meant to be taken too seriously. While almost becoming a parody of itself, the game manages to achieve a memorable sense of artistic style.

Cinematic sequences fizz with an anime-like coolness about them, Eve's immensely long ponytail is an impressive technical achievement all on its own, and I love some of the little touches. The casual way she kicks open loot crates; the Bossa Nova soundtrack on the record player at camp sites; it just makes me enjoy being in the game.

That's exactly the kind of inspiring hook that can be a great motivator to take shots in a game, to really get involved in it and explore the art style. The game is already a delight for action-based game capture, but sadly offers nothing really for still photography.

When asked if there were any plans to change that by adding a photo mode in a recent interview, game director Kim Hyun-tae admitted that there were currently none but also that it could be a possibility if enough people requested one. You know what to do then...

Stellar Blade Needs a Photo Mode

Would adding a photo mode to Stellar Blade just result in lots of shots of boobs and bums? Maybe. I've no doubt that some people would do that and, I dare say that Kim might even enjoy some of those shots too, but there is easily enough here in the game's art style to do much more.

I'd at least like to see people given the chance to try...

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