XBLA Review: Bloodforge

What the bloody hell?

Bloodforge is gory, but is it in the same league as the likes of God of War?

No. Sadly, Bloodforge doesn’t even come close. Crom’s story isn’t very engaging, it tries to be…but it just feels flat. I wouldn’t mind so much about that if the combat was enjoyable, but it’s sloppy and frustrating, it doesn’t add anything new to the genre and the camera is a real pain. Not to mention, the bugs…oh, it’s full of them.

It’s a shame because there are glimpses of hope hidden in there, but ultimately it just falls apart. The dark fantasy setting is nice, but everything from the basic animations to the many glitches ruins what could have been an amazing, albeit brief experience. There’s even a major balancing issue with the combat, you can only regain health using potions that are rare to find, which would be a good challenge and yet, the game dishes out checkpoints very often so if you lose the fight, you’ll just get to try it again as many times as you like.

Winning fights relies more on repetition than skill, there’s no charm to it and all the game’s ideas feel half-cooked. The visuals are also very average with nothing to redeem them, while the voice-acting is average and the soundtrack does a decent job, but it can’t make up for the many other mistakes that the game makes.

The Verdict

Bloodforge fails at the basic fundamentals of an action-adventure game. It relies too much on the gore without the finesse of God of War’s combat. With a lot more polish, it could have been a great game; instead it’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Ultimately that blood and guts alone don’t make a good game.