Naraka: Bladepoint, a new battle royale melee-combat hybrid game from Chinese developer A24 Entertainment, is finally out for real. It's basically Sekiro meets hero shooter meets battle royale, and I can almost guarantee you've never played anything like it. I'm having fun so far, and a lot of that has come from experimenting with Naraka's weapon options.
I'm still wrapping my head around Naraka's acrobatic movement system and how hero abilities interact with combat, but early on what seems most important is getting the gist of weapons. There's a decent pool of blades and guns that behave differently and all have different rarities, so it's worth knowing what each one is about before hopping blindly into a match. Here are the weapons we're liking the best so far.
The best Naraka: Bladepoint melee weapons
Based on our short time with Naraka, you can't go wrong with the spear. It's easy to use, surprisingly fast, and the extra range provided by its focus attacks is a big help when an enemy is trying to run away for a heal.
Another accessible choice, the longsword strikes a middle ground between speed and damage. Its standard attacks are pretty standard, but focus attacks are where it really shines. A horizontal or vertical focus strike will send out a ranged shockwave that can catch a target off-guard or interrupt an escape. Just be careful: The shockwave can be parried and reflected back at the player.
The katana is a neat slice 'n dice alternative to the longsword with bigger speed and lower range. Charging a focus attack will trigger an instant barrage of slices in front of the player that can be devastating if not parried. Great for sudden grapple hook ambush attacks from trees, but trickier to overwhelm targets in a straight-up fight.
I haven't played much with the dagger so far, but it's clear that its moveset is a bit more specialized. Charging a horizontal or vertical attack can quickly close the distance on your target (provided you're not parried). Up close, light attacks combo into a focus attack that kicks the target away and knocks them down, leaving them open to another long-distance strike.
The greatsword can kill faster than most weapons on this list, but it has a pretty clear speed drawback. Its attacks are slow and easily readable, so players with a grasp on dodging and parrying won't have much trouble keeping their distance. You can bring anyone down quick if any hits connect, but so far I'm more likely to get disarmed by a parry.
The best Naraka: Bladepoint ranged weapons
Like the longsword, the bow has so far proven to be an accessible early choice for ranged combat. Arrows fly a bit slower than you'll be used to from most videogames, but they're quick enough to work with and can be charged for big damage that can give you a major advantage in a subsequent melee fight. Stealth is also a huge bonus. The bow is the premium choice for those hiding in trees.
Forget pistols and muskets, the repeating crossbow is Naraka's only proper gun. In fact, it's more like a machine gun that fires bolts super fast. You'll need to charge up a barrage beforehand, but once you let loose the bolts are accurate and fast. Land at least half of your shots and you'll deal significant chip damage to your target before moving in for the kill.
Despite its name, the pistol is best thought of as a close-range shotgun. The standard left-click fire mode is fine, but you'll get more value from charging up a right-click to fire a bunch of shots at once. This is a little risky since you have to get pretty close to get the full effect. At some point you're better off just switching to your melee slot, so don't waste time charging up multiple shotgun blasts.
The greatsword of the ranged world. The cannon can deal major splash damage to whatever lands in its path, but it can be pretty hard to land those shots on an enemy that knows you're shooting at them. It turns out wallrunning, double jumping, and grapple hooking is a pretty effective method to avoid slow-moving cannonballs.
Forget everything you know about guns in other games before trying to fire this musket. Bullets travel extremely slow, but they're pretty deadly in a sequence. A well-aimed shot makes for a good opening volley before entering melee range, but you'll probably find more success with a bow in a proper ambush.
There are a few other weapons in Naraka that are new to the launch version. I haven't encountered them yet in a normal match, which maybe suggests they're rare. I have tried them out in the training mode and can confirm that shooting a barrage of rockets with the Swarm is pretty sweet. We'll have more to say about these once we've used them more in PvP.