Bloodforge Review

Publisher: Microsoft Games

Developer:  Climax Group

Format: XBLA

Release Date: Out Now


Bloodforge was a quiet enough release when it arrived on XBLA and it hasn’t caused enough stir yet to remedy this. This is not to say it’s a bad game, it delivers a brutal hack and slash adventure with plenty of challenge, but most of this is down to mediocre, at best, level and game design.

You play Crom, a Celtic warrior who has retired from his warrior’s way of life to live with his wife. Returning from a hunt you find demons attacking your home and upon slaying the last of them, it transforms back into his wife.  While wallowing in guilt, a witch goddess compels him to follow her to a shrine with a mystical gauntlet and informs him about the blood forge which will allow him to exact his vengeance.

Bloodforge actually has an interesting art direction that I think works quite well. The storyline is quite dark and the graphics reflect this with dark shades and monochrome environments. This only serves to heighten the vivid sprays of crimson blood which are constantly appearing on screen. The game isn’t long enough for this to become overly dull and bland, however it does make traversing some of the levels difficult, as trying to determine where to navigate to isn’t always clear. There are some nice features added by the developers such as a shudder when Crum receives a whack from an enemy and the custom executions for your enemies.

However, there are a few issues with the game. The gameplay is stunted by the fact that the only way to survive is to use Crom’s roll constantly. We have no option to block or parry and as a result, it’s hard to feel like the hero you believe Crom should be. The game also seems to have mistaken challenging with overkill. While it’s good to have a game that doesn’t allow you to walk through it, this game decides to drop countless waves of enemies on you BEFORE you have the option to save your game. While the retro gamer in me is reminded fondly of the lengthy tunnels of simpler games from the 8-bit era, I’m also well aware that game design has moved on to a point now where we don’t need this relic from that time anymore. It’s a shame as I can imagine the game being a little gem if the combat had been tweaked that little bit more.

Bloodforge has good, strong qualities but unfortunately its marred by flaws which bring a “good” game down to a mediocre game.


Overall: 5/10

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