Prepare your blade for a realistic physics-based sword duel, 17th-century style! Hellish Quart aims to be the most realistic sword fighting game ever.

Recently released on Steam Early Access, Hellish Quart is a one-on-one sword fighting game that trades the usual hack-and-slash style for a more realistic take on bladed combat. Developed and published by the one man known as Kubold, Hellish Quart brings realistic physics to its sword fighting, aiming to be the most realistic sword dueling game that players can experience.

At first glance, Hellish Quart may seem to be a homage to the 1997 Playstation cult-classic Bushido Blade, a samurai-themed dueling game featuring open areas and one-hit kills, but Hellish Quart aims to be even more realistic. Combatants in Hellish Quart are locked into real-world physics. Swords clash off each other, positioning and timing are key and one single strike can mean death. Hellish Quart is a mixture of the one-hit kills of Bushido Blade and the quick movement positioning style of fellow dueling game Nidhogg, but with those aforementioned physics systems at the front of every part of the gameplay.

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Hellish Quart is exhilarating to play. Players are placed into an arena-style level, and each player must lunge, slash, parry and block effectively and swiftly to not only achieve victory, but stay alive. One wrong move can mean the end, raising the stakes considerably from similar games that feature life bars or hit points. Matches are scored with a first-to-three point system, and players can chop off limbs, slash legs or simply run their opponent through to score a victory. Hellish Quart is a game that, with time, will probably be just as fun to watch as it is to play, as a duel between skilled players could be an exercise in determination and a showcase of willpower.

Hellish Quart is set during the 17th century, an era not heavily represented in the world of video games. The character models are all clothed in the unique fashions of the day. Feathered hats, long cloaks and buckled shoes are ample, along with ridiculous facial hair. The clothing animates and flows just as impressively as the characters themselves, making Hellish Quart just as enjoyable to look at as it is to play.

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These impressively dressed combatants also have an equally impressive arsenal available to skewer the opposition with. Players can choose from saber, rapier, broadsword, longsword and more. No word on any Final Fantasy VII buster swords or lightsabers yet, but given the focus on realism, it isn’t going to happen. There are, however, a variety of fighting styles that can be paired with a preferred weapon for a new strategy and unique method of attack. Not much feels better than slicing off an opponent’s hand with a saber whilst wearing a giant feathered floppy hat.

Despite being developed by one person, Hellish Quart has a full suite of features planned to be implemented throughout its stint on Early Access. At full release, developer Kubold has stated that the game will feature 12 fighting arenas, 12 different fighting styles, a full story mode with cutscenes, training mode and online multiplayer. There’s more than enough here to warrant fighting game fans getting in early, as the game seems poised to be a success if it can create a community dedicated to the art of the blade. Now is the perfect time to sharpen the skills required to best challengers for years to come.

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