Wild Blood Review
- Interesting spin on the Arthurian mythos; worth playing just to see the story's conclusion.
- Solid, simple controls; virtual stick and buttons respond perfectly, with 'invulnerability' animation frames giving players some leeway.
- Plenty of customization options; specialize as you please.
- No option to speed-up camera controls; sluggish response, especially on the iPad, and lacking smart positioning.
- Multiplayer provides a nice distraction, but is otherwise shallow.
- Rote execution of the genre; puzzle-chests attempt to break things up, but end up slowing you down more often than not.
The iOS platform has been aching for a solid beat'em-up and Wild Blood fills the niche perfectly, if with something that feels a bit flat in its execution; at least it's a nice change to beat up on demons instead of zombies or 'gods'.
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It may have taken some time for it to finally happen, but Gameloft have finally busted out their first Unreal Engine powered title for the App Store. For many people, such a thing is a minor concern, because - and let’s be honest - Gameloft titles have been far from ugly thus far. Wild Blood rides in on the heels of previous releases like Hero of Sparta, however instead of beating up Gods you’ll crack the skulls of various demons in this Arthurian-legend based beat’em-up.
irst and foremost, Wild Blood feels solid - nothing really feels out of place as you gracefully jump from enemy to enemy, deploy powerful spell attacks and soak up the coins while gathering your bearings and moving on. It’s a rote execution of the genre, but one that’s only hampered slightly by the sluggish camera that has a tendency to point in the wrong direction whenever possible.
Much like other genre classics you’ll find yourself picking up a handful of weapons, each with their own spin on the fire, ice and lightning spells you can deploy. Of particular note is the bow that requires a bit of aiming on the part of the player as it’s not quite a fire-and-forget weapon and feels almost like a pocket sniper-rifle if you happen to level it up.
In fact, leveling up is where you’ll be deploying most of your hard-earned gold, with each weapon having individual stats and spells to level up. Do you think the claymore is too slow? Start specializing in the twin-axes and you’ll chop down enemies just as fast, spinning and charging as you please.
If you happen to get sick of chopping down huge demonic creatures and their hordes you can take the fight online and pair up with other players in a team-deathmatch mode. Teamwork is essential as you fight to control temporary bonuses to out-scale the enemy - it’s not high strategy, but it’s fun to fight something other than a mindless AI drone.
Unfortunately you’ll be doing a lot of that in the singleplayer, and even the wonderfully varied worlds and enemies can’t stem that feeling of having done all this before - enter area, destroy all enemies, move on. The addition of puzzle-chests is a nice idea, but instead of building on the experience, it brings the otherwise frantic pace to a crawl. Thankfully your second time through the game (if you choose to play the harder mode) will be more streamlined as a result.
Repetition aside, Wild Blood still manages to keep you hooked with its brutal action gameplay. It’s great to see something so fresh from Gameloft and those itching for some beat’em-up gameplay now have a genuine must-have to check out.