Hands On: Stellar Blade Does PS5 New Game + the Right Way 1
Image: Push Square

Stellar Blade is a fantastic game that deserves your attention – but it actually got better after the review embargo lifted with the addition of New Game +. One of the only minor criticisms we had of the Shift Up title in our Stellar Blade PS5 review was that it felt like a game that deserved to be replayed, but during the pre-launch period, this author was forced to restart from scratch.

Fortunately, none of you will have experienced that issue, as the title was updated in hours prior to launch with the addition of New Game +. And it should be noted, this is a fantastic New Game + mode overall. As you’d expect, all of your abilities and unlocks carry forward, but the Korean developer has gone the extra mile by extending Eve’s skill tree with new abilities.

While these new abilities don’t necessarily change the game, they do add some new tools to your arsenal, which keeps the gameplay feeling fresh. Pair this with some subtle enemy location changes, and you’re effectively guaranteed a fun second run. What’s more, all of the Exospines and Gear you unlock in New Game + is upgraded, allowing you to create even more potent builds for Eve.

Hands On: Stellar Blade Does PS5 New Game + the Right Way 2
Image: Push Square

And, last but not least, the number of outfits is doubled as well. While most of the skins are simple palette swaps, many have unique custom details, which makes unlocking them all for a second time a ton of fun. We’re documenting all outfits and how to unlock them in our guide, so if you haven’t reached New Game + just yet, you can have a look what’s on the horizon through the link.

The only criticism we’d level at the mode is that the difficulty doesn’t scale as well as it could, and you’re probably going to find yourself seriously OP, even on Hard mode. There’s a satisfaction to feeling so powerful, of course, but personally we’d like to see Shift Up expand on the ideas here and introduce even more difficulty levels for New Game + just to extend on the replayability.

In fact, while the developer’s at it, perhaps we could get some other modes to encourage more playthroughs – a Speed Run option would be fun, perhaps? It’s rare that a campaign feels as tight and replayable as Stellar Blade, but Shift Up has made something special here, and we’d love to see more reasons to return added as the release matures.

Hands On: Stellar Blade Does PS5 New Game + the Right Way 3
Image: Push Square

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Have you started your New Game + run of Stellar Blade yet? What are your thoughts on the mode, and are there any other post-release additions you’d like to see incorporated? Let us know in the comments section below.