Excerpt: Bloodforge is the 2nd in a series of 4 Arcade Next offerings and is distributed by Microsoft Studios and developed by Climax Studios (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories). It follows the story of Crom a hardy hunter with a gears of war bulk, fur boots and a deer’s skull as a hat. You start the game on a serene Skyrim esque hunting scene where Crom has just killed a deer and thrown it over his shoulder to carry home when he decides on a nap.
Excerpt: The “God of War clone” descriptor gets thrown around too liberally these days, often haphazardly used to classify any third-person combat game not involving guns. We understand how diluted its meaning has become, and yet, we can’t help apply it to Bloodforge (though to be fair, Bloodforge is based on Celtic mythology as opposed to ancient Greek).
Pros: How gore-geous it is, You can get 400 Achievement points instead of 200, Never being confused by the simple plot
Cons: Unforgivably clunky combat, A manic camera, The squandered potential
Excerpt: 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.
Pros: A few memorably hideous character designs
Cons: Tedious combat, Terrible, protracted boss battles, Underdeveloped world and characters, Distractingly wobbly camera, A number of minor technical problems
Conclusion: I may try to start this game again from the beginning and do more dodges with the smaller enemies so as to conserve my potions. I love the game visually, the combat system itself is well done, though I would've liked being able to change the difficulty setting so I could get the chance to enjoy the story more.
Excerpt: It starts so well. Production values that crush the boundaries of what's possible in an XBLA game. A big, muscular angry man hacking other muscular angry men into pieces. Huge, screen-filling Cyclops. Witches who turn into Ravens. Which made me think the following: could this be the riotous bit of brainless action sate my digital bloodlust desires?
Conclusion: If I’ve come across as harsh or bitchy in this review, that’s because the game genuinely angered me whilst playing it. Not only was it boring and a chore, badly written and animated, and full of glitches, but it just seems so lazy. There are such better games out there in the genre that got it right, so how can this game be so bad?
Excerpt: I was hopeful when I first witnessed Bloodforge, one of XBLA’s more recent entries. It appeared to be a lengthy title that would provide hours of classic beat-‘em-up gameplay intermixed with a potentially intriguing story. For only 1200 Microsoft points, you will get the option of playing several hours an engaging, albeit gory plot. However, that’s assuming you don’t immediately disregard Bloodforge for its overwhelming issues.
Summary: Fans of God of War or Ninja Gaiden may want to give this a trial before plopping down $15.00 on a very short and shallow game. The gameplay is fun and is full of bloody goodness if you are willing to master its battle system and have patience to realize this is not a simple hack n slash affair. However, it is not without its glaring issues mainly the crazy camera, bleeding colors, and slowdowns when evading that may frustrate players.