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In Defense of.....Bloodforge

Posted by tylerh1701, 02 July 2012 · 96 views

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For those that may not know, Bloodforge is a 3rd person hack 'n slash game released in April as part of Microsoft's "Arcade Next" promotion (where it was overshadowed by the releases of Trials Evolution and Minecraft Xbox 360 edition).

Bloodforge was met with scathing reviews (currently holding a 43 on Metacritic) but decent success in its first week on the market (approx. 15,000 sales). I didn't buy it at launch, but rather picked it up about a month ago. After finishing it up last week, I feel compelled to to defend the game as competent (and honestly, very good) hack 'n slash game. But instead of writing a review, I thought I would try to address some of the negative criticisms it received from other reviewing outlets.

"It's too difficult!"

This is a complaint I've seen levied against Bloodforge several time, whether in reviews or on message boards. Bloodforge isn't an easy game, but I thought the difficulty curve was fair. There aren't a ton of health pick ups in the game (something modern gamers have been spoiled with) and when you die, you restart at your previous checkpoint with the same amount of health you had, rather than having a full health bar.

Despite that, I think the complaints of "it's too difficult" are coming from people who didn't take the time to figure out how to properly play the game. Bloodforge features an evade move by pressing LT + Left Stick in the direction you want to roll. Mastering this simple but important maneuver will mean that you can make it through ambush after ambush while barely taking a hit.
Spoiler
Maybe reviewers were expecting a hack 'n slash they could sleepwalk through (like most God of War games on Normal difficulty) and if so, Bloodforge threw them for a loop. Bloodforge is just as much about proper defense as it is hacking and slashing, and that extra aspect is something that makes a good hack 'n slash great. (See: Bayonetta).

"Derivative"

In 2012, I don't understand how the word "derivative" can be used as a criticism of a game. Very few games releasing today focus on bringing something new to the table, just look at the amount of sequels we get every fall (Halo is on 6, COD has got to be nearing 10, Assassin's Creed 5, etc.)

Bloodforge was meant to be a discounted God of War clone, and that's what it is. A fun hack 'n slash game. It uses some characters from Celtic lore and features a variety of enemies with different attack patterns, 5 decent bosses, and a moody dark setting. Those who went in expecting more were setting themselves up for disappointment.

"Wonky Camera and Controls"

I'll admit that when I booted up Bloodforge I had to get used to the camera. Quite simply, it's too fast. I'm not sure why there's not a camera speed setting in the options, but there probably should be one.

However, by the time I got to the second level, I was 100% used to the camera. Maybe my ability to get used to the camera so quickly stems from my N64 days where the camera was sometimes the biggest enemy in the game.

Another complaint was that sometimes the camera adjusts itself during the fighting sequences. My guess is that it was done as a stylized effect (and I actually liked it) but I can fully understand the complaints from others that it would disorient you on the battlefield, and make it more difficult to line up your next attacks.

As for the controls, I never had any major problems with them. Sometimes you would chain a combo together and miss your target but still have to finish out the attack animation, but that pretty much happens in any hack 'n slash game.

"Technical and Other complaints"

There were some technical complaints with the game as well. I'm not a purist of any sort, but I didn't notice much screen-tearing as others had mentioned. I did however notice a lot of invisible walls (a huge pet peeve of mine) which cut off any sort of exploration aspect of the game.

Others bemoaned the story and narrative of the game. I personally don't play video games for the story (at all!) so I didn't care about this complaint. Story seemed on par with God of War and other hack 'n slash games I've played. But like I said, I don't care about the story in games one bit. I'll watch a movie if I want a good story.

In Summation

Overall, I'd easily give this game an 8.0-8.5 on a 10-point scale. It's a fun game with a few quirks, but nothing that can't be easily overcome with a little patience and understanding of how the game is supposed to be played. I'd implore hack 'n slash fans not to overlook this game despite the rough reviews it received. It's a quality title and well worth your time!




Posted Image

For those that may not know, Bloodforge is a 3rd person hack 'n slash game released in April as part of Microsoft's "Arcade Next" promotion (where it was overshadowed by the releases of Trials Evolution and Minecraft Xbox 360 edition).

Bloodforge was met with scathing reviews (currently holding a 43 on Metacritic) but decent success in its first week on the market (approx. 15,000 sales). I didn't buy it at launch, but rather picked it up about a month ago. After finishing it up last week, I feel compelled to to defend the game as competent (and honestly, very good) hack 'n slash game. But instead of writing a review, I thought I would try to address some of the negative criticisms it received from other reviewing outlets.

"It's too difficult!"

This is a complaint I've seen levied against Bloodforge several time, whether in reviews or on message boards. Bloodforge isn't an easy game, but I thought the difficulty curve was fair. There aren't a ton of health pick ups in the game (something modern gamers have been spoiled with) and when you die, you restart at your previous checkpoint with the same amount of health you had, rather than having a full health bar.

Despite that, I think the complaints of "it's too difficult" are coming from people who didn't take the time to figure out how to properly play the game. Bloodforge features an evade move by pressing LT + Left Stick in the direction you want to roll. Mastering this simple but important maneuver will mean that you can make it through ambush after ambush while barely taking a hit.
Spoiler
Maybe reviewers were expecting a hack 'n slash they could sleepwalk through (like most God of War games on Normal difficulty) and if so, Bloodforge threw them for a loop. Bloodforge is just as much about proper defense as it is hacking and slashing, and that extra aspect is something that makes a good hack 'n slash great. (See: Bayonetta).

"Derivative"

In 2012, I don't understand how the word "derivative" can be used as a criticism of a game. Very few games releasing today focus on bringing something new to the table, just look at the amount of sequels we get every fall (Halo is on 6, COD has got to be nearing 10, Assassin's Creed 5, etc.)

Bloodforge was meant to be a discounted God of War clone, and that's what it is. A fun hack 'n slash game. It uses some characters from Celtic lore and features a variety of enemies with different attack patterns, 5 decent bosses, and a moody dark setting. Those who went in expecting more were setting themselves up for disappointment.

"Wonky Camera and Controls"

I'll admit that when I booted up Bloodforge I had to get used to the camera. Quite simply, it's too fast. I'm not sure why there's not a camera speed setting in the options, but there probably should be one.

However, by the time I got to the second level, I was 100% used to the camera. Maybe my ability to get used to the camera so quickly stems from my N64 days where the camera was sometimes the biggest enemy in the game.

Another complaint was that sometimes the camera adjusts itself during the fighting sequences. My guess is that it was done as a stylized effect (and I actually liked it) but I can fully understand the complaints from others that it would disorient you on the battlefield, and make it more difficult to line up your next attacks.

As for the controls, I never had any major problems with them. Sometimes you would chain a combo together and miss your target but still have to finish out the attack animation, but that pretty much happens in any hack 'n slash game.

"Technical and Other complaints"

There were some technical complaints with the game as well. I'm not a purist of any sort, but I didn't notice much screen-tearing as others had mentioned. I did however notice a lot of invisible walls (a huge pet peeve of mine) which cut off any sort of exploration aspect of the game.

Others bemoaned the story and narrative of the game. I personally don't play video games for the story (at all!) so I didn't care about this complaint. Story seemed on par with God of War and other hack 'n slash games I've played. But like I said, I don't care about the story in games one bit. I'll watch a movie if I want a good story.

In Summation

Overall, I'd easily give this game an 8.0-8.5 on a 10-point scale. It's a fun game with a few quirks, but nothing that can't be easily overcome with a little patience and understanding of how the game is supposed to be played. I'd implore hack 'n slash fans not to overlook this game despite the rough reviews it received. It's a quality title and well worth your time!
i liked this game too, it was pretty cool and i wanted to review this game cause at the time i wrote reviews for this site and one of the editors of my site gave this game a 1.5/5 while he gave fable heroes a 4.5/5 wtf? lol i loved the sin city style black and white graphics. This was a cool game but with some more polish, could've been really great
I'm glad to hear you liked it. Like you say, it could have been great with some more polish. But there's still a lot in the game to enjoy. I hope a lot of people are able to overlook the review scores if/when the game ever goes on sale.
I recently got this off another CAG for a cheap price, just beat the 2nd boss and enjoying it so far. A good change of pace from all the shooters and sandbox games I play
Glad to hear you're enjoying it. The 2nd boss was really a damage sponge, he was my least favorite boss in the game. He looked pretty cool though.
Good to hear that not everyone hates this game. I thoroughly enjoyed the demo, enough so that I passed up Conan during the Games on Demand sale from a couple weeks ago. I'm eagerly awaiting a sale on Bloodforge.
Nice to read an overall more insightful opinion of this game, as I was looking forward to buy it... I've had a lot of fun with Conan, which seems to share most of both good and bad points of Bloodforge, and having recently started another playthrough to mop up some achievements I can definitely say that its charm is still intact today :)

I'd really like to see more "derivative" beat-em ups in this vein rather thank the umpteenth "innovative" FPS set up in World War X, but to each one its own... once again, good one tylerh1701 ;)
^Thanks! :)