Review: Bound By Flames
You are a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in a desperate world ravaged by seven Ice Lords. In this RPG where every choice counts, you will have to choose between unleashing the powers of the beast within and rejecting its demonic influence.
- Graphics are brilliant, Easily as good as the PC version. The lighting effects in particular stand out in excellence.
- Some breath taking visuals are used to fully show off the graphical power of the title and each level has its own unique warm atmosphere.
- Adjustable map, have a small map in the corner,full on screen transparent one or go hardcore and take the map away completely.
- Overall it is a minimalist HUD.
- D-pad shortcuts for quick access.
- Anything that can be interacted with,or picked up has a shine to it and little bright stars come off them. They are visible from quite a distance.
- Auto saves frequently and you can hard save it yourself at certain points from the pause menu.
- Varied combat styles that change what weapons and fight style you use. Go for warrior to heavy weapons such as axes and swords, Ranger is more for your fast fighting skills like daggers.
- Stealth can be easily switched on by clicking in the left stick. Whilst in stealth you move speed is dependent on skills, the colour goes to black and white and any attacks are stronger.
- Earn exp by killing enemies,finishing quests and crafting items.
- Find ingredients in chests,boxes or by killing enemies.
- Ingredients are used to craft new potions,Armour, weapons or for upgrading your weapons.
- Opening tutorial section where you learn the basics of fighting, swapping fight styles, crafting and interaction with the game world.
- Huge upgrade tree while leveling up. When you level up you get a number of points which can be used in a multiple of trees.Trees are within two fundamental sections: skills and your core stats. Core stats will be things like upgrade your health bar or mana regen. Whilst the skills will be things like, sound a noise when near loot,use less ingredients to make items. There is such a huge amount of unlock able and customisable upgrades that it is very impressive. The core stats have a choice where you can go into the 3 different styles so ranger,warriors and pyromaniac all have separate skills tailored to them. You get a line of upgrades in each one and each individual skill has a few upgrades within them and finishing them will unlock the next line of upgrades.
- Unlock crazy skills like fireballs, Setting your blade on fire. Magic plays a big part in the game as well.
- Good cut scenes with some excellent set pieces.
- Auto targeting is on the click of a right stick.
- AI follower can go with you on quests and each one is unique. One could be a fighter or use magic whilst another one could be your healer. You can unlock new followers as you progress through the story.
- You can command your AI partner through a seperate menu which is brought up with the L1 button, Pressing it will pause the game and allow you to set your follower to a certain command like; heal me or fight as if you were alone.
- The story itself starts off feeling like its a cheap Game Of Thrones knock off but grows into a strong story that will keep you entertained. Dark in places, The story telling is quite brilliantly done.
- Slight learning curve with the combat but over time it soon feels solid and has a strong scent of Dark Souls running through it. You cannot merely hack and slash your way to victory, You must learn to block and move whilst learning the enemies attack pattern.
- Each piece of armour and indeed weapon have their own upgrade options. On a sword for example you can upgrade the handle or the blade. Adding new abilities to items is a big thing like poison damage/resistance or physical resistance. The upgrade section for this is very thorough and detailed, You can see your weapons changing as you tinker with your ingredients.
- Best thing about all the upgrades and crafting is it can be done through the menu and doesn’t require a visit to a Blacksmith or specialist shop.
- The menu system is very simple in its navigation and does a good job of splitting everything up and grouping them together. Navigating them is done with the shoulder buttons and a handy icon will appear to show you whats new or what needs to be upgraded.
- The touch pad on the PS4 can be swiped in different directions and used as shortcuts.
- The game does indeed have a pause button in case you were wondering.
- Aside from the main quest, You can indeed find and compete in side quests for more rewards.
- Find new towns where you can buy and sell you loot.
- Markers for where to go are very small on the mini map and the big map is too intrusive, Could do with clearer markers.
- Had a few instances of slowdown and stuttering, Usually around a lot of enemies and fire.
- Auto target is a bit hit and miss as it can sometimes lock onto an enemy behind the one your fighting.
- Combat does take a while to get used too.
- Character creation is minimal and you can name your character but your name is never used in the game! Instead you are known as the Vulcan. No point at all.
In Summary, This is a good game that does a lot of things really well and players will get some fun out of the game. Mixing popular cultures such as Game and Thrones and Dark Souls is kind of a cheap way to make a hit, But it doesnt make it a must have, For despite all the graphics and open feel, The game plays very much like a corridor dungeon crawler. Follow this path kill some guys then go home, then go down this road and back again. Its not until you think about it like that, That you realize how true it is. That said I found the time it took me to think its not a bad game, I had already clocked 5 hours. Time flies as you go through the huge upgrade tress and stare lovingly at the graphics. It s at the end of the day… A lovely looking average game with a few nice touches. You will easily finish it in around 15 odd hours and aside from trying different builds, Replaying the story is not something I could see myself doing. But worth a look if you fancy a nice RPG stroll.