We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Every move means death in this new 1v1 sword filled fighting game

Die by the Blade is a fighting game that sees you square off against your foe in deadly combat, think For Honor with blasts of neon.

Every move means death in this new 1v1 sword filled fighter: A man wielding a katana prepares to swing it at the viewer, while neon yellow lights bloom behind him..

The rain carves rivulets into your face as you hold your sword out in front of you under flickering neon lights. Your opponent does the same, both of you locked into a deadly dance of death that has yet to begin. Then, like lightning, you lash out, lunging with perfect intention into the heart of your foe. That’s what it feels like to play Die by the Blade, a brand new 1v1 weapon-based fighting game, and we got to give it a try at WASD Live.

It’s fair to say that Die by the Blade wears its influences clearly visible on its samuraipunk scabbard. For Honor looms large in the rear view mirror when you dive into this upcoming fighting game, as it would be with anything where two combatants face off against each other with deadly intent. Here in Die by the Blade that comparison runs a little deeper.

“The stance mechanics are really similar to For Honor’s,” developer Triple Hill Interactive tells us at WASD Live. As you stare down your foe you’ll be able to shift stances, when they match your opponent it’ll act as a guard against their attacks. This means combat becomes a violent game of rock, paper, scissors as you try to mind-game your way into not only guessing what stance they’ll be using, but acting to fool them into slipping into the wrong one so you can attack. There are also evasion mechanics and an energy system, allowing you to dodge or perform different kinds of attacks like horizontal or vertical strikes.

In a wide open field in Die by the Blade, one man brutally stabs another, with a set of urban ruins visible behind.

Where Die by the Blade sets itself apart, however, is in how it makes combat sudden and brutally deadly. “There’s no health bar because it’s a one-hit kill system,” the developer says, though you will have several lives that last the entire match so your duel isn’t over in seconds. That said, the combat is extremely violent, with a dismemberment system that really separates the game from its competitors. Violently.

When you play a game of Die by the Blade you’ll not only pick your character who’ll have certain strengths and weaknesses; you’ll also pick your weapon. It’s your weapons that form the core of the game, with each one determining your style of combat and how you’ll approach each duel. “You need to find the balance between the character and the weapon that suits your playstyle,” the developer explains. “The katana is in the middle and is the basic weapon, then you’ve got the chokutō which is a one-handed weapon, and the wakizashi which will be a double wielded.” With different styles of blades to choose from and seven characters to pick right now, there’s definitely scope for some serious build-crafting and optimization.

YouTube Thumbnail

Die by the Blade will launch on Thursday, May 16, and you can head over to Steam to add it to your wishlists now.

If you’d like to check out more works from smaller teams, our guide to the best indie games will help you find something you love, or if Die by the Blade’s samuraipunk aesthetic has you craving the future, our best cyberpunk games guide will see you satisfied.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.

Additional reporting by Nat Smith at WASD for PCGamesN.