Before Anna Torv was Olivia Dunham, she was Nariko, a warrior with flaming red hair and a sword destined to bring about world peace. Years after the release of Heavenly Sword, the game, a trailer has been released for the long rumored but not often heard about, Heavenly Sword movie.
Released in 2007 on PlayStation 3, Heavenly Sword quickly became a fan favorite. Characters voiced by Anna Torv and Lord of the Rings‘ Andy Serkis (who also took on the roles of writer and Dramatic Director), the game followed the story of Nariko, a woman born in the time of a prophesied warrior, but because she is a woman, is all but completely dismissed by her clan. She goes on to wield the Heavenly Sword which ultimately takes the life of all who choose to do so.
The gameplay by today’s standards was average. Incredibly entertaining, but nothing too ground breaking. It was also really short. Painfully short, which was quite the shame as the story and its characters were ones that you could easily play for much longer. However, the game itself was beautiful. The scenery and the facial animation hold up even today, six years later.
Without a doubt, the best part of Heavenly Sword is the character of Nariko. As a female gamer, it is not often that you play a female character and don’t immediately think, “was it completely necessary for her to be half naked?” With Nariko, the amount of clothing is almost an afterthought because she is such a badass that you don’t even notice what she is, or isn’t wearing. A female character whose most attractive qualities aren’t necessarily physical ones? How refreshing.
After the game debuted, relatively early in the PlayStation 3′s lifetime, there was talk of a Heavenly Sword sequel. Unfortunately that never panned out. Instead, Sony held on to the rights to the game (having partnered with game developer Ninja Theory) and in a move seen as perhaps a little odd by many, Heavenly Sword is getting the movie treatment. The trailer was finally released, check it out below.
Why a Heavenly Sword movie? In truth, it is being used more as a “hey, this can work” tool than anything else. Blockade Entertainment, which produced the film, is also behind the much larger upcoming project, Ratchet and Clank movie. So this might not have been allocated the time and resources needed to make it something that gives the game the justice it is due.
Just judging from the trailer, the animation isn’t on par. The storyline will echo that of the game, which will no doubt be disappointing to those of us who were hoping to see a new chapter. Plus Andy Serkis does not revive his role as baddie Bohan. Instead he is replaced with Alfred Molina, who certainly isn’t a shabby replacement by any means, but Serkis does bring a certain quality with him that perhaps will be missed in the film version. Also joining the movie is Thomas Jane as new character, Loki.
This will be a straight to video release, in June of 2014. Best case scenario? The film brings enough new eyes to Nariko and Heavenly Sword that fans of the game are given the sequel they’ve long waited for. Stranger things have happened.