Heavenly Sword follows the story of a young girl named Nariko (voiced by Anna Torv) who is part of a clan destined to guard the Heavenly Sword; a sword of unimaginable and wicked power. Nariko is, however, disliked by her clan, because of a prophecy that was made about her birth had not come true. Nariko was to be born a boy an to wield the Heavenly Sword to fight against King Bohan and his evil army who wished to possess the sword for evil. Unfortunately and unluckily Nariko was born a girl which shattered all the hope that had been slowly growing in the biding time by her clan. However when King Bohan can wait no more and attacks the clan, Nariko does the unimaginable and wields the Heavenly Sword against him. Now her fight has begun not only against a massive army, but against the sword itself which is slowly draining her life away.
There are a total of five episodes that explain the backstory of Heavenly Sword that you can view here.
Nariko wields the Heavenly Sword which can be used in three ways. It is in its standard form two blades which can be used to attack with a medium amount of speed and power, a chained blade which is fast yet weak, or a giant sword which very powerful but very slow. Occasionally you can take control of Kai, Nariko's adopted sister and only friend, in which case the game becomes a shooting game where Kai uses her crossbow to attack foes in slow motion. The game takes advantage of the PS3's SIXAXIS controls by allowing you to manipulate a missile's path in the air.
Nariko is the main character of the game. She's 23 years old at the beginning of the game. A fierce, talented, and beautiful young warrior who belongs to a clan headed by her father, Shen. A prophecy once foretold that a son would be born who would act as a savior to the clan; with the birth of Nariko, a daughter, the clan have come to shun her, and even go so far as to blame their misfortunes on her. Despite the loneliness and resentment felt towards the people of her clan, Nariko willingly protects them with her life. A strong-willed individual, Nariko is a deadly fighter who displays unprecedented skill in combat. After King Bohan launches his destructive tirade to find the Heavenly Sword that the clan protect, Nariko bares the burden of wielding the cursed sword, trading her life to save her people from the grip of the genocidal King and to avenge the people who died protecting it.
Kai is the adopted sister of Nariko, and a member of the clan which protects the Heavenly Sword. She is an innocent character with child-like and impish behavior, but is highly skilled in the use of her deadly crossbow, a "game" which she names "twing twang". Previously belonging to a once-great clan, Kai is the last survivor; her mother was murdered by one of Bohan's generals, Flying Fox right in front of her which caused severe trauma. Kai was eventually found by Nariko and her clan. She is extremely attached to Nariko and will often disobey orders from Shen or other clan members to assist her.
Shen is both the father of Nariko and the leader of the clan that protects the Heavenly Sword. He acts as Nariko's mentor first and father second. Despite the failed prophecy that was foretold, Shen spared his daughter's life and instead crafted her into a fierce and loyal warrior. For ages he has protected the sword from the forces of evil and corruption. He was once a fellow student with King Bohan before they became the leaders of a separate clan and kingdom, respectively.
King Bohan is the main villain in Heavenly Sword. Bohan is a power crazed king, utterly obsessed with otherworldly treasures and getting his hands on the Heavenly Sword. He leads his army in a search to obtain it, attacking Nariko's clan in the process. He believes himself to be a messiah, and believes that capturing the Heavenly Sword will symbolize his dominance over the land. He obeys and worships a raven which has a gold face plate covering its face.
Heavenly Sword is a video game developed by Ninja Theory exclusively for the PlayStation 3 console and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. The game was released September 12, 2007 in North America, September 14, 2007 in the United Kingdom, September 19, 2007 in Europe and September 20, 2007 in Australia. Heavenly Sword started development on PC with a view to moving onto next generation platforms such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The title was in development since 2003 with footage of the original PC version published on TeamXbox.com in 2004. It had, at one time, been up and running on an early Xbox 360 prototype, but this was abandoned in favor of the PlayStation 3 when the title was picked up by SCEE. The game was developed using Havok Complete, a combination of Havok Physics and Havok Animation.
Actor Andy Serkis, who is best known for his motion capture and voice work for the character Gollum in the The Lord of the Rings movies, performs as the voice and motion capture actor for King Bohan, one of the major characters in Heavenly Sword; he also acts as Dramatic Director for the game and is one of the writers of the story of the game. A demo was released to the PlayStation Store on July 26, 2007 featuring a short, cinematic clip at the beginning and two brief enemy battles, lasting approximately five to ten minutes.
DualShock 3 Glitch
This glitch can only occur while playing the game with a DualShock 3 controller with both vibration and motion control combat turned on. When an enemy knocks Nariko off of her feet you are given a short window to quickly move the SIXAXIS (or in this case the DualShock 3) upwards to obtain what is called a KO Recovery. However, when the DualShock 3 is being used, the vibration from the controller automatically triggers a KO Recovery. The game thinks that the vibration from the controller is the player motioning the SIXAXIS upwards, so as a result, while playing with the DualShock 3 controller KO Recoveries are almost always achieved without ever motioning at all, making combat easier.
Heavenly Sword appeared in an episode of the hit TV show Heroes, showing a child playing a demo of the game.