Xuan Yuan Sword 7 – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: DOMO Studio, SOFTSTAR, DOMO Production
Publisher: SOFTSTAR, Yooreka Studio, EastAsiaSoft
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Xuan Yuan Sword 7 – Review

Site Score
Good: Interesting worldbuilding, Gradually gets harder
Bad: Shallow fighting mechanic, Some annoying visual glitches
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

With seven games in the main series, a good dozen spin-off titles, and a handful of different adaptations it suffices to say Xuan Yuan Sword has been doing well as a video game franchise. Yet these Taiwanese role-playing games hadn’t found their way to our part of the world until very recently. Just last month, Xuan Yuan Sword 7 made its western debut on PC and various consoles. As this particular game has a stand-alone plot and drastically different game mechanics from its predecessors, it seems the perfect entry point for new fans. On the other hand, all the changes might have done more harm than good.


Xuan Yuan Sword 7 takes place in the Chinese Han Dynasty, a good 2000 years ago. A playable flashback at the start of the game introduces us to Taishi Zhao who is the son of an imperial general. On his little sister’s first birthday, their household welcomes special guests from the imperial city, but things escalate when violence breaks out. With the help of his parents and uncle, Zhao barely manages to escape, carrying his baby sister and a mysterious bamboo scroll away, forced to watch helplessly as his family is murdered and their estate burned to the ground. Ten years later the two siblings live a secluded life on a mountain that is said to be roaming with monsters, but their past is not easy to outrun. Ultimately, to save his sister, Zhao needs to set out to discover what the scroll’s significance is.

As mentioned above, the plot of Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is separated from its prequels, making it an easy entry point. Most of the story gets relayed through lengthy cutscenes that are quite nice, though they do force the pacing of the game to a grinding halt at times.


Visually, Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is hard to pin down as either good or bad. The game looks stunning on a surface level due to its beautiful 3D graphics and the immense amount of detail the developers obviously put into the authentic feel of the game world which represents the Chinese culture and mythology. The character designs and the monsters both brim with details. Outside of the cutscenes, you won’t notice anything wrong. It’s up-close when things start moving that the models can act a bit weird and glitchy, with flowing parts like hair and skirts often clipping through solid objects, and facial expressions feeling more stilted than not. Thankfully this only happens during certain parts of the game.


Just like the graphics, you can tell from the music in Xuan Yuan Sword 7 that the people who worked on this game have a passion for the culture they’re portraying. We have a beautiful soundtrack full of great music that sounds era-appropriate as well. Wind chimes, ancient Chinese string instruments, the whole shebang, it’s all present. The voice acting too – which is currently only available in Chinese, though that might change in the future – is really great.


Xuan Yuan Sword 7 ditches the typical turn-based JRPG gameplay the previous games in this series used, in favor of playing more as an action RPG would. The fights are easy and straightforward, only requiring you to use three forms of attacks. The typical light attacks – quick but not as powerful – can be exchanged with heavy attacks – which do more damage but are slower. On top of that, there are two magic attacks. The first one allows you to slow time, while the second one is a bit more tricky and consists of a circle summoned on the ground. If you can lure the enemy monster into this circle, you can absorb their soul.

Souls are handy as a crafting material, being used to upgrade your and your companions’ weapons, armor, and accessories. You don’t have to worry about changing them with different gear either, since that’s not a thing in this game. As in most RPGs, leveling up is a thing and it allows you to unlock better stats, but even that is kept relatively simple with not as many options to choose from. This seems to be the main thread through all of Xuan Yuan Sword 7: the gameplay doesn’t really change or add new mechanics, it just ramps up the difficulty with time.

Combine that with save points being far and few between, no proper side-quests, and every level being extremely linear with no incentive to explore, and we soon discover this is the type of game that has a lot of initial flair but not as much to actually show for it. As a whole, it remains a decent action RPG, but from such a well-known franchise it’s a bit of a letdown when fights start to feel repetitive and you can easily stun-lock your enemies to defeat them.


Overall, Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is a mediocre game that hardcore fans of the genre might enjoy more than the casual passerby. There are some good elements here, and the worldbuilding feels like it could lead somewhere interesting, but with a lack of a proper incentive to keep pushing through, the most this game does is makes us wish the other titles came out in the west as well.

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