Bloodstroke Review

By , on February 14, 2014
Last modified 10 years, 2 months ago

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5 out of 5


  • Beautiful visual style
  • An interesting twist on the top-down shooter formula
  • Good range of mission types
  • Great sense of empowerment


  • Sometimes you feel disconnected from the action
  • Scrolling levels make it hard to control Mai Lee


With frantic action, Bloodstroke manages to perfectly evoke John Woo's explosively entertaining take on Hong Kong cinema.

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Doves, blood, and excessive violenge - director John Woo's fingerprints are all over Bloodstroke. But, while at first glance this new game from Chillingo seems to be relying on the famous director's name and a distinct visual style, it actually adds a lot of interesting twists of its own to the top-down shooter formula.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Bloodstroke is its handsome watercolour visuals. This powerful art style uses strong black brush strokes on a white background to create high impact look with subtle undertones. Each melee attack add some colour to the proceedings, with enemies reduced to mush in splashes of crimson red.

The basic controls are quite familiar. You run around the screen gunning down all who stand in your way. A single directional stick sits on the left of the screen, while the shoot command and other powers reside under the right thumb. Running into enemies slices them down instantly, while tapping the fire button targets the closest enemy.

Taking control of skilled bodyguard Mai Lee, you are tasked with protecting your client from every nerdowell populating the streets of Hong Kong and Beijing.

This introduces an interesting twist on the standard formula. You see, because Mai Lee is basically invincible. Like all of John Woo's heroes, the lethal angel remains untouched by bullets or blades. Her clients however are not so lucky, and if they die its game over.

While at a glance this may make the whole game seem like a massive escort mission, it is actually creates an exciting dynamic. With your ward serving as your health bar. Mai Lee is able to run around without any regard for her personal safety. As long as everyone is dead, your employer is safe - and, by extention, so are you.

Bloodstroke succeeds by actually managing to make you feel as invincible as the lead of a John Woo movie. Its beautiful artistic style and story simply prove the icing on this exhilerating and explosive cake.


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