With the Arcade NEXT promotion kicking off to a great start, and some great titles on the way, there's nothing wrong when being intrigued to it's second upcoming title. Unfortunately, Bloodforge is looking to be the weakest of the titles from the promotion. Actually, it could be the weakest title to hit XBLA in a very long time.
To look at, Bloodforge seems like a decent God of War like game. The visuals are certainly striking for an XBLA release, thanks to the Unreal Engine. But that's all the game is good at, showing off it's visuals. Bloodforge is a dark and bloody third person hack-n-slash. It seems stylish on the surface, but soon as you start playing, you will realise it has some major issues.
If your expecting the next God of War, then Bloodforge will disappoint. The only resemblance it may have is in it's plot. You play as Crom, a warrior who is out for revenge due to his wife being murdered. It's all being done before, but you won't even care about the plot when you start to notice it's problems.
One of the biggest problems Bloodforge suffers form is it's camera angles. They are very stuttery, and will start to dance when near obstacles, even when their not that close. It also ruins the combat, for example. When targeting an enemy the camera will focus on it, but this is a big issue when fighting multiple enemies. I found the camera moving back and fourth constantly, it was very distraction.
Controlling Crom also feels rather sluggish and heavy. Dodging enemies also creates some problems. For example, when dodging an enemies attack, Crom takes some time to respond after a roll. This leaves your very vulnerable to attack.
There's times when I started to enjoy the combat. Fighting multiple enemies with a combo racking up, and cutting up foes into pieces of meat was entertaining to watch. As you defeat enemies you will collect their blood. As you collect their blood you will fill up a Blood Bar, which you receive early on. Once it reaches the top you can enter Berserk Mode. This makes Crom much faster and stronger momentarily. It might sound like fun, but it seems to lack any excitement. It feels very dull, and repetitive.
If you enjoy hack-n-slash titles, Bloodforge might seem interesting, but it's problems are to big to ignore. At 1200MP, there's much better games to spend your points on.
Review by Gareth Smith