The best games of 2013 – every 8/10+ in Official PlayStation Magazine UK so far this year


Strength Of The Sword 3 (PSN)

8/10, issue 86, p94

Warning: if you hate hard games, don’t play this. Strength Of The Sword 3 is full of ‘better than a trophy’ anecdotes of overcoming the last enemy in three gruelling rounds, with a millimetre of health to spare. The progression from chopping board to elite ninja knight is through skill improvement – not thicker armour and sharper swords – and the whole game feels like a series of boss fights. But this only makes each victory feel sweet as apple sauce. Button-mashers beware: this requires a think ’n’ slash approach of watching attack patterns. Each enemy has his own quirks and it takes a number of deaths (your own) to grasp how to fell them. Unlocked equipment can feel cheaty – as you hide in a corner lobbing sharp or explosive things – but never to the point of overkill. And technically the game is near flawless, bar a sometimes dodgy camera. It’s dark-Disney pretty, and the swordplay is up there with the best. And when you consider the fact that two Bulgarians spent five years developing it the four or five-hour playtime is entirely forgivable, too. For £7.99, lock up the breakables and brace yourself for a fight to remember.