In Darkwind Media’s homage to arcade brawlers, an occupying force won’t know what hit it. Wulverblade puts players in the fur-lined boots of Caradoc, a resident of northern Britannia that’s been claimed by the Romans. He’s not going to sit around and idly gnash his sharpened teeth. Instead, he springs to action, slashing his sword through anyone foolish enough to set foot on his beloved land.

The demo highlights the bold cartoon presentation, with Caradoc filling a fair amount of the screen. Darkwind’s Brian Johnstone told me that the team will be zooming in and out on the character as gameplay dictates; you’ll need to see more of his surroundings during boss encounters, for example. In the wooded section I played, however, it was great to see a character so large and well animated. 

His moveset wasn’t full when I played, but Carodoc was able to do a variety of shield bashes, slashes, and rising sword attacks, complete with showers of animated blood. Darkwind says he’ll be able to employ his rage in the battlefield, but I didn’t get to see what that translates to. Things are still being tuned and finalized, but Johnstone says the game’s designer is a hardcore fan of classic games, and they’re leaning toward keeping things in line with the Streets of Rage era gameplay. In other words, don’t expect a huge skill tree of unlockables. Caradoc seems like the kind of warrior who’d rather snap bones than fiddle with attribute points, any day.