I put everything on hold to review this game. My first thought going in was all of the reviewers bashed on this game too hard. It can’t possibly be as bad as everyone says it is right? Well… they’re right guys. This game is bad, but I’ll tell you now it doesn’t deserve a 4/10. It’s no 8/10 either that’s for sure, but I would like to see this world expanded on in the future.
Bound by Flame doesn’t know what it wants to be. On one hand we have a serious situation that threatens all life as we know it, but no one really takes it seriously. Or at least that’s how I felt while I was playing through this game. This game does not take itself seriously. If you’re walking in here expecting to play The Witcher or Dark Souls then don’t even bother installing the game because you’ll walk away very disappointed.
Bound by Flame is similar to The Witcher. The way you jog around, interact with npcs, and even the way you fight is sort of similar to The Witcher, but it’s like a cheap version of that game. Just about everything in this game is broken. The quest, the combat, your companions, and most of all the dialogue. It’s very important for RPG’s to have good dialogue because you’ll most likely spend more time in a conversation than fighting and this game failed to do that. The voice acting, except for a few characters, is horrendous. I could never take anything this game threw at me seriously because of the bad voice acting in this game. Sybil is by far the worse sounding character in the game.
Every time she talked I imagined myself choking the hell out of her. She sounds like a spoiled high school student. It really doesn’t surprise me because all of Spiders games are like this. Of Orcs And Men, and Mars War Logs were both average games in terms of voice acting and more importantly quests. There are no good, hell I would settle for decent, quest in this game. It’s just go here and collect these plants, or find this npc because they’re important. You’ll usually be rewarded with some gold and on rare occasions a piece of armor or a weapon.
One thing Bound By Flame got right was the amount of weapons and armor sets that are in the game. They’re decent and they look pretty good too, but would you stick around to actually use them all? Unfortunately no. There is no reason for me to want to go back to this game. I would have to go through all the painful talking and pointless quest again. I don’t want to do that. Usually after I complete a RPG I would make another character and play through it again, but in a different way. The only thing I want to do with this game is delete it.
I haven’t felt this way since I played Dragon’s Dogma, but at least the combat in that game was fun. Bound by Flame’s combat is horrible. You’ll often find yourself in unfair fights because your companion is useless. They put up little to no fight and you’ll see them die quite quickly against the easiest opponents. You can mix and match your fighting style to keep things fresh, but it won’t last because there is no impact when you hit anything. Your sword will just glide through the enemies instead of interrupt their attacks like you can do in Dark Souls. Don’t even try to stealth your way through the game because the animations for an assassination are just plain terrible. You can’t even roll out of the way from an attack like you can do in countless other RPG’s.
The combat in this game is very limiting and if the game isn’t fun to play and dialogue sucks what’s the point of sticking around for anything else? The story is average at best. You’re a mercenary named Vulcan and you’re possessed by a fire demon that wants you to purify the world heart. I will admit that I enjoyed the conversations between Vulcan and the demon, but Vulcan is such an asshole that I honestly didn’t even like him. You’re stuck playing as this guy and he never changes.
I blame the writers for that though. Spiders has never been able to have decent dialogue in any of their games. Instead they use lots of profanity for some reason to make up for it. I even noticed some basic grammar errors in the subtitles. Is my name Vulcan or Volcan?
Bound by Flame does have a good crafting system that allows you to customize any armor or weapons that you find in the game. You can even craft your own healing potions, mana potions, and traps to lay around the battlefield, but it’s really a missed opportunity. You can only craft a single type of trap, and two potions. What’s the point of being able to do alchemy if that’s all you get? You can make crossbow bolts, but honestly I never even bothered. I went through the whole game without using my crossbow because it was useless. It did very little damage against enemies. None of your attacks do a lot of damage, but when you get hit you lose half of your health bar.
That doesn’t make a game challenging it makes it annoying and gives every enemy you fight an unfair advantage. Bound by Flame is a good looking game for the most part, but there are a lot of areas that look really dull. The environments are all lifeless and dull. The world design itself is horrible. You’re just walking through corridor after corridor that has one or two branching paths along the way. The game can be split up into three separate parts. The swamp, A ice city, and then the main boss.
Not all of this game is bad and I know by now you guys are probably expecting me to slap a 2/10 on this game and call it a day. That wouldn’t be fair even though I’ve considered it many times during my 12 hours spent in the game. The character models for the most part look good and I like the animations while you’re fighting. The soundtrack was good, but there were some tunes that I didn’t like. The fact that I can turn into a demon is awesome, but for a game that advertises itself for having choices you have very little of them to make in the game. Instead you’re guided through most conversations and the game just plays itself out. I honestly didn’t care what happened to anyone.
I made every bad choice I could make so I would be a demon with big ass horns, but in the end it didn’t matter because I was bored out of mind. Bound by Flame has potential, but unfortunately it falls flat on it’s face in just about every category and the fact that it’s $40 makes this game feel like a ripoff.
Our Verdict: 5/10
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