Tag Archives: Bound by Flame

Bound By Flame – Xbox 360 Review

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Bound by Flame has had my attention for some time during its development and road to release. It is the second game by developer, Spiders Game Studio, the first being the ambitious but rubbish XBLA title Mars War Logs. That game suffered from trying to be bigger than the budget and capability of the studio allowed and ended up being a messy poor gaming experience but did feel that with a bigger team and budget it could have been much better. Could the developer get it right with a big AAA title in ‘Bound by Flame’?

Well the short answer is, no. The same problem that plagued ‘Mars War Logs’ for this developer sadly makes a return for ‘Bound for Flame’. The story is set in the fantasy world of Vertiel which has been taken over by Seven Ice Lords and their armies. Their power has swept across the land leaving on the Red Scribes still fighting for the people and its people. The Scribes are searching to even the odds by performing a ritual that could return an old and ancient power capable of taking the fight back to the Ice Lords. The game places you in the role of ‘Vulcan’, a mercenary working to protect the Red Scribes.

The main character can be customised before the game begins but limited to choosing the preset hair styles and faces provided to shape your hero. You can choose to have a female hero however the dialogue in the game fails to take this into account with game characters still referring to you as a male even if you have picked a female player model. The Customisation is not very inspiring, especially in the very limited options if you want a female character, but does allow you to make your own hero for the story.

Spiders Game Studio often falls in the trap of trying to emulate the elements of other more successful games in the same genre of the title they are working on. In the case of Bound for Flame, being a fantasy game with swords, magic and monsters, Spiders has clearly looked to the more successful ‘Witcher’ series in the same way that ‘Mars War Logs’ took inspiration from ‘Mass Effect’. The game uses the Witcher 2 style of putting the story in a location, having the player run around exploring this area completing various side and main story missions before the story and game moves on to the next location and repeats the process. At the beginning of the game this is a nice way to get Vulcan levelled up and for the various tutorial elements to run their course such as learning how the combat will work for Bound for Flame. As the game continues, the sheer lack of effort in making the side quests interesting really starts to drag the pace of both the story and the gameplay down to a crawl. Being forced to revisit the same areas of the current location in order to complete various side quests, serves as nothing more than a forced grinding session to level up. As your character levels up so do the enemies you encounter which makes early combat in the game a chore at times.

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The combat gives the player three different styles in which to use. The fighter stance is the basic style of using a broadsword for sweeping attacks and the option to break an enemy’s position by using B to kick them. The second stance is “Ranger” which sees Vulcan switch from broadsword to two short swords allowing for quick flurry attacks head on and a more stealth option to sneak up on enemies to deliver a quick attack from the shadows and the ability to dodge backwards which replaces the ability to kick. The third option of Pyromancer uses the powers of the demon within you, augmenting your attacks with fire. Each stance can be switched between on the fly giving you options to change tactics during battle depending on what is needed. It is a combat system I enjoyed but it has its flaws. The camera can be locked onto a specific enemy but you have the ability to move in a 360 degree range, so during a flurry of attacks if not careful you can find yourself changing the direction to face ending the run of attacks.

As you level up you can enhance each fighting style to make them more powerful which will then unlock more abilities. Weapons and armour can be upgraded with the raw materials you find as you explore the world and can be done on the more or purchased via black smiths and general merchants. Both weapons and armour can be upgraded to give them aspects that will augment your ability such as stronger attacking power, more chance to interrupt the attack or an enemy or resistance to elemental and magical attacks. Visually these show in the how the look of the armour or weapons look on screen which is a nice cosmetic touch. But ultimately that is where the RPG side to Bound by Flame ends. It feels very basic and in terms of the weaponry you can find and enhance, they all feel very samey when used in battle that it becomes mostly a cosmetic thing when picking what weapons to use.

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Bound by Flame also borrows from Dragon’s Dogma in how you can have an assistant character to help you in combat who can be told to be either defensive, aggressive or a combination of the two, to aid you in battle. The character you team with is at times pre-determined by the story but for a good portion of the game you can hand pick the help. Depending on which character you go for, another soldier class or a character like Edwen who can use magical attacks but also can heal you during combat, will change how you going into battle. But I often found that the AI of the extra character could be a hindrance at times. Even if I had told a more magic based character to be more aggressive in combat, they would end up being surrounded by enemy’s and just standing there defending until I got to them to help out. They just never seemed to be able to take care of themselves enough so I often just chose Edwen who could heal me as I pretty much took care of every fight. The combat needed more precision; it often felt clumsy and frustrating and lacks the refinement of the combat system from the Witcher series after taking great lengths to borrow so many aspects from those games.

For me the main failing in this game is the execution of the story. The voice acting is very poor with dialogue scenes between characters quickly becoming a “how can I skip this” exercise then a vehicle to get to know the characters. With Vulcan having an American accent but surrounded by British and the standard overly used attempt to mimic old medieval style language, it really feels out of place. The dialogue for the female characters is so cringe worthy with how they are spoken to and referenced in the game that you end up rolling your eyes at so much of the content. Cut scenes are so bad at times you do question why they were included at all. Scenes that show Vulcan having a conversation with the demon in his head but with him speaking out loud and only after five minutes of conversation will a character standing right next to you suddenly ask “who are you talking with?”.

The story and game is also very short. The story constantly repeats the dangers of the seven Ice Lords yet you only do battle with one of them before the game sharply ends. With three possible endings which are supposedly based on the decisions you make during the game but really ends up more like the ending to Mass Effect 3 where you are told to make a choice that ends the game, regardless really of any decision you have made up to that point. The world itself is limited by the moving from location to location style of storytelling because you only really visit five locations in the entire world that you do have to consider if Bound by Flame was even meant to be a full AAA title because it never feels like enough game to warrant a full retail disc release.

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Overall ‘Bound by Flame’ has the very same issues that plagued ‘Mars War Logs’. It borrows too much from other games and executes them poorly. There is nothing original in Bound by Flame and its many problems and short cut taking steps to put the game together taint the game experience. The musical score is the only element to the game that appears to have had any time truly spent on it to deliver something special. A story that fails to hold up to the game’s ending, characters so wooden and one dimensional that you struggle to see any need for them in the game at all and a main character that just feels out of place every time they speak any dialogue in any cut scene.

The game is poor across the board, what it tries to copy or emulate from other games it does badly. Spiders Game Studio so far have released two games which have attempted to stand up against other bigger titles by taking the best aspects from them and copying them but failing to do them justice making them look second rate in comparison and the failings are passed on to the player. Bound by Flame is another example of what happens when you try to do what others have done better before and delivers a poor experience for the trouble. One to avoid.

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Bound by Flame: Launch Trailer

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This Friday, May 9th Bound by Flame will be available in stores! To celebrate a new and final teaser video of the most ambitious RPG from Spiders studio has been released. In this final launch trailer, showcased is music by Olivier Derivière (Assassin’s Creed IV: Freedom Cry, Remember Me), who has created an original Bound by Flame soundtrack that is both thrilling and sublime.

This latest Bound by Flame video also highlights one of the important elements in the game, the background story and the gameplay: the relationship between the hero and the flame demon that possesses him. The choices and decisions you make in the game will determine if you allow your demonic side to predominate and gradually transform you physically in exchange for his powerful fire magic, or if you resist the demon’s control and retain your humanity to develop your heroic skills.

Your human/demon duality will have a notable impact not only on your approach to the extremely tactical combat in the game, but also on the reaction of the people around you, particularly your relationship with your companions. It is therefore a central component in Bound by Flame that will influence your game experience depending on your choices and also assure gameplay longevity: players who want to try every possible way of progressing through the adventure are sure to start the game again to make totally different decisions from the first time!

Bound by Flame – Music trailer

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Bound by Flame is released on the 9th May (it’s also a TiX writer’s birthday that day too!) and in preparation for release day Spider Studios, Focus Home Interactive, Olivier Derivière and the singer Ire can now reveal it’s beautiful and haunting sound track in this video with commentary.

Olivier Derivière is a composer who won multiple awards for his work in video games (Remember Me, Assassin’s Creed 4). In this video illustrated by many new sequences and enthralling excerpts from the game’s soundtrack, Olivier tells us about his work on Bound by Flame. This is also the opportunity to discover singer Iré Zhekova, who gives her voice to some of the game’s music.
These two artists first explain how they steeped the music in an atmosphere of loneliness and despair conveyed in the dark atmosphere of the game. They also describe how they combined a murmuring choir with the clear sound of a single voice full of emotion to produce a sense of contrast between the game hero and the flame demon possessing him. They invented an imaginary language for Iré’s singing to explore the human voice and express emotions beyond the meaning of words and to express feelings of hope and fear.
A total of several hours of original music was created for the game, which embraces many different styles and also enhances the somber and unique atmosphere that is the hallmark of this epic roleplay title. You can listen to more extracts from this extraordinary musical oeuvre on the artist’s SoundCloud page;

Bound by Flame – Combat Trailer

Find out everything there is to know about the combat system in Bound by Flame! Dubbed by as “The most ambitious RPG to date from developers Spiders studios” is set for release on May 9th, 2014 on Xbox 360 and other platforms.

The spectacular and highly tactical battles in Bound by Flame present a real challenge to players. so rashly plunging headlong into the melee is the shortest way to the load saved game menu!

The video above comprises numerous gameplay sequences and a detailed commentary describes the combat system and game mechanics that work in synergy: from the various options available to the player in the skill trees (Warrior, Ranger and Pyromancer) to choosing your companions, the variety in the impressive bestiary, the crafting system that enables you to customize your equipment and the player’s human/demon duality, which will have a strong influence on your combat strategy.

Bound by Flame – All You Need To Know In One Video

Bound by Flame, said to be the most ambitious RPG to date from Spiders studios is due for release later this year,but has been revealed today in meticulous detail in a new video! This latest video also uses numerous gameplay sequences to reveal a little more of the spectacular and tactically complex combat in Bound by Flame. Just hit the play button above, you know you want to!

In this overview of the many possibilities Bound by Flame has to offer, we discover the great freedom of action given to the player, where the various decisions and different choices he makes during his quest or his attitude to the other characters will affect his experience in the game and the world around him. The player’s reaction to the flame demon that possesses him and his tendency to reject its influence or allow it to consume his soul to gain more power will also significantly affect his experience during the adventure and exert a strong influence on his relationships with his companions and his approach to combat.

The battles within the game will also be the focus of the next Bound by Flame video trailer to be released in the coming weeks!

Bound by Flame will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in Q2 2014. Wait what the fuck, no Xbox One!

Bound by Flame Official Site Launched

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The Ice Lords welcome you to their new domain! Bound by Flame, the most ambitious RPG to date from Spiders studios (Mars: War Logs (Read our review here), Of Orcs and Men (here’s our review)), have launched their official website! Alongside the launch of the website they have new screenshots of the game that show the companions who will help the hero in his quest, and some of the terrifying and ferocious creatures you will soon have the pleasure of confronting on PC and Xbox 360!

You’ll be able to find the latest images in the extensive image and video gallery on the site which will be constantly expanded over the several months until the game release date! The website is also home to the developers’ Devblog, which is fed on a regular basis with rich, varied information about the game’s development. Well worth the read if you have some downtime.

Bound by Flame is due to be released in the 2nd quarter of 2014 for PC and Xbox 360 and other systems.

Bound by Flame – New Story Trailer

The upcoming multiplatform game, Bound by Flame is set for a spring 2014 release on Xbox LIVE – and today in a new video from Spiders studios (Mars: War Logs, Of Orcs and Men) they reveal more about the game world and background which will very soon enthrall RPG fans in the near future!

The new video once again provides an exciting glimpse into some of the extraordinary creatures in the vast bestiary in this action game. The bestiary in Bound by Flame comprises some unique and impressive creatures, each with their own behavior, which makes the battles both tactically deep and spectacular.

The rich combat system in the game is matched only by the player’s freedom of action; he will be confronted with numerous decisions and different choices throughout the quest that could dramatically change how the plot unfolds. The player is possessed by a flame demon and will face a constant dilemma: should he allow the demon to exert its influence to use its mighty powers of fire, or reject its influence and develop his own heroic skills? The alignment of the player between his demonic and human side will affect various game events, quests and his relationships with his many companions.

Bound by Flame will be released on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Q1 2014.

Teaser Trailer for Bound By Flame

 

 

Being developed by Spiders Studios who developed the recently released XBLA title Mars Logs, comes Bound By Flame, coming to Xbox 360 in 2014.

Bound by Flame lets you play a mercenary possessed by a flame demon. As a victim of this demonic influence, players will have to choose between the powers offered by their host, or to keep their humanity, developing heroic talents instead. Dangers and enemies, becoming more terrifying and fearsome in battle, will be temptations to acquire more power by giving up part of the hero’s soul to the demon. Progression of the demonic influence will be reflected by the transformation of the hero’s body.

Depending on the choices made by the player and the influence of the demon, some chapters will offer different scenarios and a different experience, adding important replayability to the game. Real-time battles are impressive and dynamic. If the player begins the game knowing only the basics of combat, fire magic and assassination, he will be able to specialize by unlocking and improving many skills and powers through 3 different skill trees.

Bound by Flame lets the players customize their character. During the creation of their hero, players will be able to choose their gender and facial characteristics. This will of course have an influence on the demon’s appearance. Bound by Flame also includes a crafting system, allowing players to create and improve equipment, including their armor and weapons. Several companions will join the player during his quest, and will, depending on the player’s actions, develop friendship, romance or rivalry.

Bound By Flame Additional Details Announced

 
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With less than a week before E3,Spider Studios have released a couple new screenshots of their big budget RPG before it’s official debut at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Spider Studios have recently gained a good following of RPG fans thanks to the release of Mars War Logs for PC (coming later in Q3 for Xbox Live Arcade), a smaller budget RPG which has taken fans and industry experts by surprise for its depth.

Bound by Flame lets us play a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in an ambitious Dark Fantasy universe. As a victim of this demonic influence, we will have to choose between the powers offered by this evil or to reject the demonic influence, developing heroic talents instead. Dangers, and enemies becoming more terrifying and fearsome in battle, will be temptations to acquire more power by giving up part of the hero’s soul to the demon. Progression of the demonic influence will be reflected by the transformation of the hero’s body.

As with every other RPG on the market Bound by Flame will include features like player customisation, skill tree progression, companions with a friendship/love/rivalry system, real-time battles and a bestiary which is described as being ‘rich and spectacular‘.

So far all we know is Bound by Flame is targeting a release towards the end of this year. More details will likely surface after the E3 debut next week.

Screenshots follow with artwork:

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