Wild Blood review (iOS / Universal)

September 6, 2012

“But the darkness has a hunger
It offers you blood for wild blood”

10 word description: Gameloft’s Unreal-engine powered hack ‘n’ slash action game. 10 levels.

10 word review: Big swords, pretty graphics, multiplayer. What’s to dislike? Let’s see…

You will like this if you enjoy: [Insert long list of all the games that have been heavily borrowed from/plagiarised/imitated here]. Sorry, but I can’t help it; a much hyped Gameloft game turns up and it’s impossible to resist taking a few cheap shots at it. Stay tuned to hear how much I actually like this one!

The good news: Graphics are undeniably very nice, as are animations (generally) and visual effects. Sound is great, with some rousing music and solid, reverberating heavy weapon impacts. Incredibly, combat is more complex and less of a button-masher than expected, also far better than the combat in Gameloft’s recent The Dark Knight Rises game. Weapon and armour customisation is quite vast, with specialisation and point allocation entirely up to the player. Level design is generally good. Enemy health bars can be optionally enabled – yay! Finally, and most importantly, I can honestly say that this game is a lot of fun.

The bad news: Originality, what’s that? Oh come one, it’s flippin’ Gameloft. Anyone expecting this to be original hasn’t been paying attention for the last few years. Gameloft don’t do ‘original’. If that’s bad news for you, you probably won’t care about the rest of this review or this game, purely on principle. Apart from that, there are some erratic camera angles due primarily to the auto-targeting, most noticeably in tight corridors and/or big fights. Personally, I found the aiming of ranged weapons, particularly the mounted crossbows, hindered by the non-customisable control system. There are the usual stupidly priced IAPs (for game gold) but I’ve almost given up caring; in this case they aren’t needed to unlock content so it’s all down to how much you want to cheat and waste your real money. And, of course, there’s no Game Center support. The large (1.5gb) install size may be too much for some people!

Arcadelife verdict: Oh dear, I’m having so much fun with this game that it almost makes me feel guilty. “That’s a Gameloft game, you can’t be enjoying that!” etc. But I am, and quite a lot. The story is completely daft, which is nice; it involves a warped ‘demonic invasion’ vision of Arthurian times that sounds like the opening episodes of the fourth series of Merlin (BBC) as described by a hyperactive 6-year old Call of Duty addict. Combat, which makes up about 99% of the game, is a lot of fun despite offering nothing that I haven’t seen in dozens of other games. In the middle of all the God-of-Dark-Infinity-Dungeon-Sparta carnage, the occasional treasure chest requires a block-sliding puzzle to be completed in order to open it. After the first, where I just pointed at the screen with a big “What the…?” question mark over my head, I greeted each subsequent one with a wry smile. Good old Gameloft, bless ’em, they can’t even do an original chest-unlocking mini-game. It makes you wonder why they bothered at all, but it’s probably best not to start down that particular line of enquiry!

So, the single player game is a lot of fun, slightly marred by some wacky camera angles, occasionally less than brilliant controls and possibly the least original gameplay I’ve seen this year. Multiplayer is the big surprise – a fun, up-close festival of skull smacking and frag counts; I’ve tried it and it works very well, surprising myself in my first match by managing a triple-kill. If you’re not put off by the unoriginal solo gameplay or the 1.5gb install (or the fact that this is from Gameloft) and you fancy a bit of hack ‘n’ slash action – with very pretty graphics – you can’t really go wrong with this.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 9.5/10
Audio – 9/10
Controls – 7/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 9/10
Final rating – 87/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link

Gameloft website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.1.1)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Gigable – Tech Blog.

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