5.5 Overall Score

Multiple weapons (4), and lots of brutality.

Horrible camera, insanely difficult enemies, and lots of brutality.

Written by on May 14, 2012 in [, , , , ]

Bloodforge takes you to the dark and gritty world inhabited by Crom, a war-experienced warrior who, at the start of the game, has retired and settled in with a wife and home in a small village. After a day of hunting game and taking a nightmare emblazoned nap, Crom rushes home to find his village engulfed in flames. While trying to save his wife from the fire, clever sorcery tricks Crom into believing she is one of the enemy and he slays her where she stands. Thus begins Crom’s journey of revenge through several worlds of myth and afterlife.

As a typical hack ‘n slash, Bloodforge takes you through snow laden lands, and dark murky swamps, and even the realm of the dead. Most of the graphics are well crafted, but overall the lighting is extremely dark to fit the overall mood of the game. Also, as the title would indicate, there is a formidable amount of blood spilled in this game. Tons of it.

The blood actually serves a purpose, as Crom is given a gauntlet that uses blood to convert Crom into a powerful berserker when you activate it (pressing the LB and RB at the same time). Defeating enemies fills the blood meter which drains while in Berserk Mode leveling higher damage to enemies. The meter seems to drain extremely quick, which is just the beginning of problems with this game.

Crom begins with his trusty sword and crossbow, but is given other weapons to equip throughout the game. A massive hammer and deadly claws complete his arsenal as you progress through the levels. While the different choices are nice, I found that I preferred the sword, and had little use for the crossbow except to extend combo counts. Keeping your combo is hindered by the impossibly bad camera used in the game. You spend about as much time fighting the camera to show you what you need as you do fighting off enemies swarming around you in bunches. Not to mention the heavy brutes that charge at you from off camera, by the time you even see them, you’re usually too late to get out of the way.

Additional ways to strike down your enemies is provided through powers given to your through Runes. These ethereal powers are upgradeable, three different ones to choose from, that allow you to call upon the powers of the gods to enhance your ability to spill even more blood. Did I mention there is a lot of blood in this game?

Make no mistake, Bloodforge is not for everyone. It’s hard, not just because the camera is thwarting your every move, but the autosave points are just far enough apart to be frustrating, and the difficulty of the game cannot be changed. Experienced hack ‘n slash players might find the game to be merely challenging, but for everyone else, it ranks near impossible. It takes a lot of time, patience, and armor for your controller to progress through the game. Getting the button combinations down will help, as with most hack ‘n slash games, memorization is the key. Practice helps, too.

The multiplayer seems to take a cue from the recent EA game SSX. You don’t fight against anyone in multiplayer directly, but instead can receive and issue challenges against your friends to see who is better at killing enemies and spilling a copious amount of blood to determine who is the better warrior. It’s a fairly interesting way to battle your friends for high scores as each level has massive stone obelisks with your gamertag engraved on one of the ten spires. Keeping your name there means killing more enemies, and excessive amounts of blood.

Overall, the game is short for experienced hack ‘n slash players, but for the rest of us, the game could be lengthy enough to make up for the 1200 MS Point cost. However, the gritty theme of the game along with the high volumes of blood will make those with youngsters in the home think twice about casual game play of this title.

A copy of Bloodforge was provided for The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Erik Johnsen View all posts by
A married gamer that spends time editing many of the articles you read right here at The Married Gamers. Erik sometimes reviews Xbox One games and writes articles, but spends his available free time from work or hanging out with his family hunting achievements for a higher gamerscore.

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