Monday, 05 May 2014 09:57

Bound by Flame - Review - PC Edition

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Bound by Flame won't win any game-of-the-year awards, but it will give RPG fans who like linear, dialog-driven RPGs something to chew on while they wait for the next big thing to come around. 

 

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) - Players who enjoy Role-Playing Games that are:  heavy on dialog; challenging, even on the easier settings; very linear and succinct; and that showcase little variety in the combat and leveling systems, should find something to like about Bound by Flame. Also, keep in mind that I played an earlier build of the game. Focus Home Interactive said they'd be tweaking and improving the PC version right up until launch day.

With that in mind, let's take a look at how different types of gamers may respond to Bound by Flame.

Action Junkies Category - Combat System

What you'll like...

  • Combat is very intuitive and easy to pick up and play.
  • Combat is somewhat tactical in that it punishes vanilla button mashing.
  • The combat system showcases a good amount of variety--different stances allow you to approach combat as a tank, a rogue or a mage. It's also very easy to switch between these stances during battle.
  • The Companion system allows you choose an NPC to fight alongside you.

What you may not like...

  • Combat is extremely repetitive.
  • Defeating enemies in battle requires more patience than tactical skill.
  • Combat with run-of-the-mill enemies often takes too long and can become tedious.
  • Minor camera control issues can cause some frustration in more tense fights.
  • Your companions will often feel useless in combat, not aiding you as much as they should.
  • There's no way to revive incapacitated companions during battle.
Bookworms Category - Story and Characters

What you'll like...

  • While the story is very much your standard RPG fare, the hook of being inhabited by a demon does make for some interesting plot elements.
  • Interesting characters.
  • Excellent voice acting.

What you may not like...

  • This story is the same old song you've heard many times.
  • Choices affecting the plot seem contrived and overly simplified.
  • The writing often feels a bit corny featuring characters using language ranging from King James Biblical English to contemporary American English. 
  • The plot is slightly disjointed and abrupt in its delivery.

Builders Category - Leveling System

What you'll like...

  • Unlike most European RPGsBound By Flame's leveling system does not force you topigeon-hole your character in terms of what class you develop.

What you may not like...

  • The level cap and scripted leveling never really allowed me to feel like I was growing or getting stronger.

Explorers Category

What you may not like...

  • Bound by Flame is extremely linear and does not really allow for much exploration.
  • Questing feels very formulaic and tedious.

 Audiophiles Category

What you'll like...

  • Excellent soundtrack.
  • Excellent voice acting.

 Visualists Category

What you'll like...

  • Great use of color, lighting and texturing

 What you may not like...

  • Dated character models--seems obvious that this game was not built from the ground up for current generation consoles.

 Achievers Category - Steam/PS4/Xbox 360 Achievements

What you'll like...

  • Achievements are fairly standard for an action RPG and mostly fun to acquire.
Verdict

Bound by Flame is listed as Focus Home Intereactive's most ambitious RPG to date. While it does follow the formula of their past RPGs, I agree that this entry attempted to expand and improve on that foundation. They still have some progress to make before their games can be considered truly great, but there is enough fun here to satisfy players who can look past the shortcomings I've mentioned in this review. 

 

Read 521 times Last modified on Friday, 08 August 2014 02:37
B. Chambers

Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. 
Co-Founder AlloySeven.com - Writer - Gamer - Gym Rat - Musician - WebDeveloper -- @TheSecondLetter 

More in this category: « Torchlight 2 Review