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Review

Bloodforge Review

  • Game release: April 25, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • X360

Bloodforge's striking brutality doesn't stand a chance of overcoming its crushingly dull gameplay.

by

Crom is angry. He has murdered his family, apparently tricked into the act by the god known as Arawn; and he wants vengeance. It's a familiar setup to put it mildly, and a certain other enraged hero has famously charted a brutal and satisfying course to revenge against the gods. Alas, though Crom's path to revenge is brutal, it is anything but satisfying. His journey is small in scope and tedious to endure, providing you with little reason to join him on his blood-soaked quest.

Crom's existence is pitiable. The tormented soul can do nothing but run through forgettable environments, his progress stopped frequently by groups of enemies he must engage in repetitive battles. There's not much to Bloodforge but chopping off the heads and limbs of your foes, and that combat is far too frustrating to form a solid foundation for this adventure. Crom wields three types of melee weapons: swords, hammers, and claws. An in-game menu lists Crom's repertoire of skills with each weapon type, and they are numerous, which may lead you to believe that this is a game in which you must make skillful use of these techniques and combos to prevail. Sadly, this is not the case. When your enemies are vulnerable, simply mashing on the X and Y buttons is enough to make them gush comical amounts of blood.

The intensity of the game's violence makes mowing down enemies grimly satisfying at first. But such pleasure is short-lived. You fight the same few types of enemies over and over, and most groups of foes include a large enemy with enough health to make taking him out drag on for too long. Soon, it starts to feel as if the game is trying to beat you into submission with these battles, each one practically indistinguishable from the five or 10 that came before. You can use your abilities to change things up a bit, entering a berserk state to slow down the action and do more damage, or casting spells to call on the power of benevolent gods. These abilities are welcome, not because they bring any depth to the combat, but because anything that lets you finish these fights faster is a good thing.

Despite its shallowness, the combat isn't always easy. There's an evade button, but no block ability, and when you head into groups of enemies to do some damage, there's a very good chance you'll suffer some damage as well. In the early goings, health items are few and far between, so you may find yourself forced to survive battles with just a sliver of life remaining. At times like this, you can rely on a handy but incredibly boring method to progress. In addition to his melee weapons, Crom has a crossbow. Most of your enemies don't have ranged attacks, so you can simply keep your distance, taking potshots at them until you see the telltale swirls appear above their heads indicating that they are dazed, at which point you can run in and finish them off with brutal killing moves. You may find yourself relying on this method out of necessity, but it makes the game's already dull combat even more of a slog.

This boss has eyes in the back of his head. Well, one eye, anyway.

Though at times it feels as if you're not making any progress, each kill does bring Crom one step closer to his destiny. Unfortunately, that destiny involves slaying a small number of gods in boss battles that do nothing to alleviate the game's tedium. These foes, like the gargantuan goddess Cailleach, often look repulsive and terrifying. But they follow simple patterns and telegraph their attacks, making them far less threatening than they appear. They also have inflated health meters that you can only chip away at slowly. When one boss says "Beg, and I may spare your life," you'll wish there were a beg button, so you could bring a merciful end to the torment of slowly killing him.

The dreariness of Bloodforge is unrelenting; there are no puzzles or other activities to grant you respite from the slaughter, and Crom is such an underdeveloped and unlikable jerk that you won't give a damn how things turn out for him. The camera wobbles as if being wielded by an inebriated operator, and when it rotates, it jitters, giving the impression that you're watching a film with many frames of footage missing. Environments have so few distinguishing features that it's easy to get lost, and there's no map or waypoint to help you get your bearings. Swirling snow and pouring rain create the sense that Crom's world is a harsh and inhospitable one, but aside from the apparent fact that this is a place where people sport some unusual and intimidating headgear, you don't learn anything about this land to make you care about it or the people who live there.

A host of individually minor issues also conspire to make it even more difficult to invest yourself in Crom's quest. Invisible force fields abound that prevent you from exploring the environments freely. Killing animations sometimes don't trigger properly. Leaping during battle occasionally causes Crom to twitch wildly in midair as enemies scamper around underneath him. Even without these issues, there would be little reason to play Bloodforge, but these problems make gleaning a bit of bloody fun from this mess of a game even more challenging.

Crom's true motivation: to eliminate everyone who tries to outdo him in the crazy headgear department.

It might take you about six hours to finish Crom's quest, and that's six hours longer than this game ought to be. Bloodforge makes a laughable attempt to seduce you into spending even more time with it, with leaderboards for each level and the option to challenge your friends' scores in an arena mode. But there's no reason to suffer through a game this laborious even once, much less come back to it. Crom is angry, and if you make the mistake of stepping into his shoes, you might become angry, too.

The Good
A few memorably hideous character designs
The Bad
Tedious combat
Terrible, protracted boss battles
Underdeveloped world and characters
Distractingly wobbly camera
A number of minor technical problems
3
Bad
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Discussion

84 comments
Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

Completed this game the other day and its a blast. This review is utter shite glad I ignored this load of arrogant bollocks.

xdrmonkeyfishx
xdrmonkeyfishx

This game looks like utter garbage. If it's crap and the reviewer and everyone else agrees, then it's crap. I don't have a problem with this review. It's an opinion. If it differs from your own then suck it up people.

samespot
samespot

Horrible review, this game is great on many (shallow) levels which is what it's intended to be, had they spent the millions taken to make god of war III, this too would be given a big 10 out of 10 but for 1200 points what are people complaining about, does the reviewer know that it's 1200 points and not 1200 dollars??! :P

themediumone
themediumone

I don't even need to read the rest of the review. The 3.0 rating is enough for me to discredit this review as noteworthy. Just playing the trial version I thought this game had some good potential (for an arcade release). The graphics for this game are actually really nice. It's meant to be dark and bloody (much like 300). Without even playing the full game, I can tell right now that it's at least a 5. Gamespot sucks.

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

@fullframework You can always ignore him you know. There's no point in ensuing drama. I would admit, it's a terrible combination to have, but it's more terrible to see people targeting him all the time just to thumb him down.

fullframework
fullframework

@Victorious_Fize Why do people hate Baaty? 1. Obnoxious anime avatar 2. Floods of smart ass comments 3. Gratuitous use of emoticons 4. Use of Comic Sans in his/her/its profile blog That about covers it.

GiantsFan2290
GiantsFan2290

@Gelugon while you may be right...i think you missed my point

brollyandvegeta
brollyandvegeta

These Comments Are No Longer About Blood Forge Its All About Gelugon ... ;D @Gelugon_baat O Lawd ... Make Us a Game ... ; ) )

GiantsFan2290
GiantsFan2290

@Gelugon In the words of the immortal Ron White, "Maybe its you"

zintarr
zintarr

But it looked so good with the previews...is it really that bad?! Dang!

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

@gameking5000 I know, but... can't you guys just ignore him or leave him be for a while? It's getting a little... sad, to be quite honest.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@Victorious_Fize When you scroll down and always see that pink anime face as Gelugon's avatar all the time as well as a smart ass comment, I am not surprised.

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

Btw, what's the Gelugon hate around here? It's like in every article the dude is thumbed down to oblivion, sheesh.

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

I may disagree with Carolyn on many things (especially when it comes to feminism in video games), criticism is not one.

megakick
megakick

To be fair its a 1200 points xbox live arcade game. If this games was equal or better then God of War how would that make God of War look Like Garbage? Its' a budget Hack n' Slash game and worth the 1200 points. If you don't like Hack n' Slash RPG. You probably won't like it.

megakick
megakick

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

capt_karem
capt_karem

Agreed with review. I thought there was a lot of potential with this one but the end product is crap!

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

This game looks a hell of a lot better than El Shaddai was, and gamespot gave that an 8

famekiller
famekiller

@Gelugon_baat you read way to much shiit into things. whatever. i don't care what your opinion is. let us all play a game you've written.

famekiller
famekiller

@Gelugon_baat i agree. the only regret is some people (sheeple) take what these reviewers say as gospel. They then miss out on cool games because of these negative reviews. This is why games devs go under. Everything seems to get judged by multi-$million AAA titles. It seems those with the least amount of talent are the biggest critics.

megakick
megakick

MS has a Hack n Slash but with a brain. What do you think Fable is?

famekiller
famekiller

@Gelugon_baat I'm cool with them making another ghostbusters game. The last one was OK. As for me wanting a dev job, i never said i did. I already have a great job. I was referring to the caption of the reviewer. Read it! It says she intends to leave the field of games journalism as soon as she hears that her local Ghostbusters franchise is hiring. Fingers crossed!

famekiller
famekiller

@Kevin-V you say bad game. fine, That's your opinion. you're not gods gift you know. I've played it and it's not that bad. You obviously have expectations that are a little over inflated. Go play your AAA's.

turtlethetaffer
turtlethetaffer

That Crom guy in the second caption has nothing on Pyramid Head.

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

its not that bad at all, as with the overly IGN review, 3 is seriously unfair, I`m really enjoying it, apart form dante`s inferno and conan its the closet 360 owners have got to god of war, at least play the trial people, if you dont like then dont buy it, you havent lost anything, I brought it and its great fun 8/10

megakick
megakick

ZOMG this is not God of War its Dungeon Siege at best. God of War is DMC with Greek mythology. God of War is not a DUNGEON CRAWLER.

jenova
jenova

The fact that this game features Celtic mythology instead of a lame Greek or Norse mythology retread makes me happy.

Gamer-Geek
Gamer-Geek

@Gelugon_baat zzzzzz.... PLEASE LEAVE THIS PAGE (and website)!

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

GOW2 came only 5 years ago and it had 300-400% higher price than this. Today, even in its HD form, it is not passable like a next gen game, this one does though. A game like NG3 cannot justify a 300% higher price tag, at any case...

Vambran
Vambran

Looks okay. But im leery of buying XBLA games that are cheap knock offs of mainstream games ( God of War in this case ). Got to give them credit though. It would have took a major video game developer to make a game like this 10 years ago.

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

Graphix wise is the best. Controls, RPG elements and options come in a complexity that goes beyond any shallow XBLA title. Its game engine, is the best, these are hard facts, that are not subjective. The difference is way too painfully obvious, there is no other downloadable game that comes close to it. The action being the best genre is subjective, sure. But considering the analogies, objectively, overall this game comes closer to AAA titles than any other arcade before! This game, as an action game comes closer, to the full time next gen titles. (unlike Doom for example, who is loughable, bias aside, comparing it to any modern crappy FPS out there, or that ghostbuster rip off, compared to the next gen title, any racing compared to forza 4 etc) Name me any game you have in mind and i will explain what i mean in great detail Gelugon.

dxBIGBOSSxb
dxBIGBOSSxb

@brollyandvegeta >.> <.< They'll never know...

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

There is no other game in this class able to stand anywhere near Bloodforge, in terms of graphics and gameplay. The game mechanics and graphic engine are a league above any psone or iphone game. IMO, this games justifies the existence of the whole xbla section and it raises the bar of this class. Games that can take advantage of the next gen hardware, but have a very affordable price tag. This game doesnt look like a psone title, however it cost only that much. Some ppl do appreciate the fact, that such a tittle can be bought so cheap, other, that have nearly unlimited money, dont care and only appreciate the top of the top. A game tester has access to loads of games, but he doesnt actually pay for them, so he cant appreciate the fact that this tittle is so affordable. This holds no value for him. All the disadvantages the tester claims are true and present, but why are there there? Because the game had to remain cheap and small in volume. If you have a cheap 4GB arcade xbox360 and cannot afford many AAA titles, XBLA games, is your best bet. Of course when you pay 4 times less the fee a AAA title costs, you expect to make some compromises, Bloodforge minimizes those compromises. Compare this game with any other similar title and see what i mean...

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

XBLA games are not "perceived underdogs", they are a completely different class. This class can be played with much inferior hardware, just because MS makes them available on a superior hardware, it doesnt make them equal to the rest of the standard next gen class. Half of these games are psone and xbox1 gen, some belong in the smartphone class. It is completely irrelevant to compare such a game with GOW GOW has 300% price tag, 1000 invested money and is suppossed to be a flagship of next gen gaming, not a cheap, downloadable shallow game. All the arcades are shallow by default, all carry many limitations and compromises. With your criteria, this class shouldnt even exist. But there is a need for such cheap games though. Games that do not demand next gen costs and can offer a value for money, instead of a hardcore race.

Gamer-Geek
Gamer-Geek

@Gelugon_baat Thanks for your opinion on every single post on this page, but I don't think anyone cares for it.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@megakick GOW = "God of War", not "Gears of War". Just saying... -.-

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Richmaester6907 So... if game does not get a 9 it means that the devs did not pay the money, right? GamesRadar, Gamespot, GiantBomb, Meristation, IGN and Gametrailers they alla gree the game sucks, and you only need to see it or play the demo to see how HORRENDOUS the game is, specially the camera when you do clipping in one fo those fake walls. The game is bad, deal with it.

Killermonkey97
Killermonkey97

First time I read the comments in one of these review sections. Why are some people here harshly criticizing a review of a downloadable game that no one really seems passionate about as it is? A game with noted poor acclaim gets further poor acclaim--logic not broken. And WHY are you guys comparing this to Modern Warfare gosh-darned 3!? Gotta admit that there's an adorable quality to some of this attempted, sort of randomly implied cynicism, though. Hope to see more of it in other reviews about indie-budget downloadable titles with "Environments [with] so few distinguishing features that it's easy to get lost."

InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

I actually have the game, yes it DOES feels like a GOW scandinavian rip off, yes it shallow comparing it to DOW, but exactly did you expected? Hello? Its a downloadable game, its in a totally different league, actually being comparable with such a AAA title is the maximum flatter a game of its... category may get. So, considering its XBLA, its the best of 2012!

Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

Just watched that embarresing 2:30 of gameplay whoever had the controller was clearly retarded lol. 

 

 

samespot
samespot

 @zintarr No it's not really that bad, it's actually pretty awesome for an arcade title! I love it actually, just play it for short periods to get your blood-lust fix and you'll hopefully love it too.

 

hwrdstrnsbals
hwrdstrnsbals

 @gandalf_storm its only unfair because you like it.  clearly, the majority think this game is pretty horrible.  your feelings about this are 1 of 2 possibilities.  You are insecure in your own abilty to judge and categorize things, therefor you are uncomfortable when your judgements dont match that of others..  Which is getting pretty deep, I know.  Or, you are narcissistic to the point that when people don't see the world the way you do, then they are flawed, untruthful, or of lower intelligence.  Grandiose my friend, grandiose...sometimes your just wrong.  Besides,  whats the shame in enjoying something you know is shotty or below standard.  Ever have a greasy fast food hamburger, and like it?  of course you have.  Who in their right mind would say that fast food burgers are quality food? no one.

Bloodforge More Info

First Release on Apr 25, 2012
  • Xbox 360
Bloodforge is a dark and brutal action combat game set in an ancient Celtic world.
4.8
Average User RatingOut of 72 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Bloodforge
Developed by:
Climax Group
Published by:
Microsoft Game Studios
Genres:
Action
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes