Bound By Flame
We Sit Down And Review Bound By Flame. It is an interesting fantasy romp but is it worth the time and money?
Here we go with Bound By Flame. A new fantasy themed, third person, action game from Spiders and Focus Home Interactive. Sounds so weird say that this game was brought to us from Spiders. Either may, I got the opportunity to sit back and take a fun romp through the game’s world killing off all of the creatures that society has deemed “need to die.” It is a bit of hack ‘n’ slash and DnD story-like but does it give you enough fun to keep you playing? Well, as usual, let me break it down for you.
We take on the role of Vulcan, a skilled swordsman in, who is in the business of killing the undead; and business is good. During one particularly epic battle Vulcan gets infused with the powers of a Demon who wants to make him do very bad things. Bad things in the way of destroying the world and setting flames to everything and everyone. It is up to us, the player, to either see that come to fruition or to help Vulcan down the path of light; or at least somewhere in between the moral compass there. What will happen as he is Bound By Flame? See what I did there?
If I had to start with anything here for Bound By Flame it would have to be that the combat felt extremely sluggish or was too simplified that almost all challenge was lost in the game. Either it took too long to “charge” up a basic attack that all enemies would be ripping you to shreds or you could just hold the block button to never get hit and counter attack while your health regens. I usually defaulted to the latter even though it took way more time to do anything in the game but it did stop the constant dying and then restarting. I even took down a boss while holding the block button, moving in circles, and letting the AI character just have at it. The combat just felt lazy.
Speaking on the AI companions, this could have done with a bit more of work in my opinion as well. In Bound By Flame you get to travel with another as well as give them tactical commands. These commands were more light suggestions though as even if I set my ranged archer friend to “fight from a distance” he would always rush in and pull out his daggers to attack up close. Unless every day in the land of Vertiel is opposite day, I don’t see how the AI could have been so weak. The dagger thing would have made sense if the enemies closed in but when they are targeting my character on the other side of the area why in the world would the AI think to close in to kill?
Lastly, before I move on, the story for Bound By Flame was just as weak as the character dialog. I am on a huge fantasy kick right now personally and I really couldn’t get into anything that was going on. Everything was predictable in the story and it followed the same “Save The World” format even when you were given moral choices. Nothing seemed well planned out or was always forced to fit a very specific guideline. Case in point; I stumble upon a “witch” bound in the woods. A priest from the city walks up just as I start to question her and why she is tied up. Everyone screams she is evil, including the weak priest who should have been dead ten times over coming alone. I choose to set her free and question her. She kills the priest shortly after and then says, “Hold on…That dude was evil not me.” The text may have changed but that was how it all played out right before she became part of my “team.”
Oh, and the dialog should totally be on one of those video that showcase the worst of Resident Evil and “All You Base Are Belong To Us.” Just as a sub-note since I mentioned it.
It looked pretty. It looked really pretty in the environment area. This could be due to the fact that I played Bound By Flame on the PS4 but none the less that kept me interested in the game enough to play for review. Some of the character models were still a bit blocky at times but the lighting and textures for the game still had a kind of pleasing to the eye thing going on. You could totally see the separation in workload between story and art as the art got way more attention than anything.
This kind of links into the above but some of the creature designs were also pretty damn cool for Bound By Flame. You did have your standard skeletons and undead but some of the other greater monsters and bosses stole the show. I even enjoyed some of the lore that was built around the damned things I was slaying non-stop to find out why they acted or had certain things that they did. It could have been expanded a bit more for my tastes but it was yet one more thing I truly enjoyed in Bound By Flame.
I’ll be perfectly frank here, unless the following trailer really tickles your fancy I would hold off on picking up Bound By Flame. I hate having to say that about titles that you can see the developers have put time and love into but it probably could have used some more time in development. Especially in the combat and story areas. Hells, even if the combat was a bit tighter, fun, and interesting that could have made up for the dime-a-dozen type of story that was written. I am sure that the price for Bound By Flame will drop soon or it will be an Instant Collection title for PS+ but as of right now I can’t full give my backing on dropping the cash. Unless you have some to burn…
Bound By Flame was developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home Interactive for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and PC on May 9th, 2014. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.