Blade Symphony is a third person sword fighting game currently in development for PC, available through Steam's Early Access program for $14.99
Gameplay Modes & Map Types
There are two map types in Blade Symphony, Duel maps and Free For All maps, and each map is split into 3 different Arenas for players to fight in. All fights are best 2 out of 3, and use the standard health bars popular in most fighting games. There are currently 4 Duel maps and 3 FFA maps.
On Duel maps, you select an arena to fight in by bringing up the scoreboard and choosing an arena to spectate. Once you've set up your character and are ready to fight, you press R to join the queue for that arena. Duel arenas can be set to 1v1, 2v2, or even 2v1 modes by way of players voting. Each arena can be running a different duel type with it's own player queue and spectators.
On Free For All maps, players can still change arenas, but they are all just walking around on the map at once. You can then challenge someone to a 1v1 duel by looking at them and pressing R, and they accept by doing the same to you. You're still able to see the ghosts/outlines of other players sharing the arena with you, but you can only interact with your duel partner until the duel is finished.
There are currently 3 characters in Blade Symphony, each with their own unique fighting style, and each with 3 different fighting stances with their own attack animations, damage amounts, and attack speeds. Each character has different combo points per stance, represented by the string counter in the lower left corner of the screen. Stances can be changed mid-combo and continued as long as points remain in the stance you've switched to. Each character has 3 skins to choose from, and 2 alternate masks to unlock by playing.
Judgement is the "knight" style character, he is slightly slower and has more basic combos, but he's sturdy and his attacks are powerful.
In each stance, Judgement has 3 combo points.
Phalanx is a "fencer" style character, he's quick at closing distances, and his attacks consist of thrusts and quick swipes.
In Fast stance, Phalanx has 4 combo points, in Balanced stance he has 2, and in heavy stance he has 1.
Ryoku is a "breakdancer" style character, he's extremely quick and aggressive, focused on scoring multi-hit combos.
In Fast stance, Ryoku has 6 combo points, in Balanced stance he has 3, and in Heavy stance he has 1. He is also the only character with 2 points in the aerial attack stance.
Pure is a "wushu" style character, she is currently in development and not yet implemented in the game.
There are currently five different sword types to choose from, each with it's own offensive and defensive properties. On the same character, swords won't play drastically differently from each other, but will provide small bonuses that may suit your playstyle or the character's strengths better over a different type of sword. Each sword has multiple cosmetic skins to unlock by playing.
Longswords have low base damage, and lower damage from Fast and Air stances, but they will do double damage after a successful parry. Their defense type is a feint, allowing players to fake an attack to bait a counter-hit from their opponent and punish them with a counter of their own, taking advantage of the longsword's parry bonus.
Katanas are the "starter" sword type, good all around damage and hit rate, they do slightly more damage when attacking from the side. The katana's defense type is a block, you can't move while blocking and will still take chip damage, and tier 3 attacks can break your block. Blocking also does nothing vs grabs.
Jians recover from attacking faster than other sword types, and get a bonus to knockback attacks and more damage on aerial hits. Their defense type is an intercept, allowing them to nullify an opponent's attack if timed correctly, or leaving them open to punishment if not.
Foils are a low base damage sword that gets big bonuses from doing stabbing and thrusting attacks, it's also great for parrying, as it will turn your opponent, and recover faster after parrying. Their defense type is a guard, a weaker version of block that allows you to move while defending.
Scimitars are weak swords made for scoring multiple hits. Their attacks charge faster, but their tier 3 charged attacks can't break block or knockdown like other swords. Scimitars have the same defense type as katanas.
Combat is very movement and positioning focused, what direction you're pressing when you start your attack will determine what kind of attack you will do when you swing your sword. Strafing left or right will execute a side swing in that direction, while moving forward or backward will perform the normal attack for where you are in the string counter for that stance. Jumping will put you into air stance, which you can then perform an aerial attack from, or just use it to reposition yourself.
Every attack can be charged by holding down the attack button, and has 3 tiers of charge. All basic attacks done by tapping are tier 1, charging an attack until your character flashes will perform a tier 2, and holding the charge all the way until the character attacks on their own is a tier 3 attack. Tier 3 attacks will commonly knock down or break an opponent's block/guard.
While moving, double tapping any direction will perform a "shuffle" or short dash in that direction. There is also a dedicated dash button, which will just dash you forward, or turn into a roll while strafing, or a wall run if facing a wall and dashing forward. This will make you run up the wall and perform a backflip, which can be good for getting out of a corner.
If two players attack at the same time and their swords collide, their attacks will cancel each other out in a parry. Whoever is using the heavier stance will come out of the parry with an advantage, so if your opponent is in fast stance, and you are in balanced stance, you will have the advantage, and might be able to score a counter-hit on them. Certain sword types re better at parrying than others, typically by speeding up recovery and turning your opponent on parry.
If you attack and defend at the same time, you will perform a grab, which will bypass any form of defense your opponent might have, and leave them in a downed state like a knockdown attack would. There is also a shuriken throw attack that will let you attack at range, but it needs to be charged up before it will fire, so be careful your enemy doesn't close in and attack you before it goes off.