Blood Alloy: Reborn in one of those games which cannot be compared to any other. It’s one part Megaman Zero, one part Devil May Cry, and a little bit of pretty much every arcade game since 1987, all thrown into a blender what seems to be a bit of Bubblegum Crisis for good measure (getting a bit of a Knight Saber-y vibe from the protagonist’s design). With the hectic action of the aforementioned games, the robots and general settings of Robocop and The Terminator, and some awesome 80’s synth music. Sounds like we’re in for some very good times, indeed.
Developer: Suppressive Fire Games
Publisher: Suppressive Fire Games
Reviewed on: PC
Release Date: Out Now
Blood Alloy: Reborn is essentially the phoenix rising out of the ashes of a failed Kickstarter game, called Blood Alloy. While the original idea was to make it into a game similar to Metroid (I am of the camp that considers SotN to NOT be a real Castlevania, and thus will not be using the term “Metroid-vania”. The term “Metroid-like” will be used in it’s stead, please understand). However, while some things die off permanently, the best things always find a way to come back, and come back this game did… only not as a Metroid-like, but as a survival mode. Yeah, it’s pretty much a horde mode.
I say that like it’s a bad thing, but in fact, it’s anything but.
Essentially, you’ll be running, jumping, shooting, and slashing endless armies of robots that come from all directions, while trying to earn a high enough score to fight the stage boss. If you can make it to the boss, though, that’s another thing, this game is TOUGH. I’m pretty good at Megaman, so I can take a hard platformer or two, but Blood Alloy: Reborn is a whole different ball game. Even at the point of writing this review, I’ve only made it to a single boss, and I didn’t last very long against it.
Unlike most games where they just sorta throw things at you, Blood Alloy: Reborn’s difficulty seems to be linked to two things: your current level (yeah, you level up in this game. More on that later), and how long you’ve been alive. I found that score had very little to do with how hard the level got.
Now, about the level mechanic I mentioned, this game adopts a mechanic from a lot of other games that I absolutely hate. As you play the game, you gain experience, and this experience is used to increase your player level; the higher your player level, the more weapons, armour, and stages you unlock. This is why I never play much online Call of Duty, or Goldeneye; as they hide all the best gear behind this leveling mechanic, but playing to the point where you can acquire this gear just simply isn’t fun.
However, such isn’t the case with Blood Alloy: Reborn, as you level up VERY quickly. It was within the span of two hours, that I was capable of earning new weapons, and levels, and progressing through the game to kill ever-growing swarms of robots.
One thing I noticed very quickly, is that killing enemies in this game is extremely satisfying. Every shot, every explosion, every swing of your sword has a very solid, satisfying feel to it, and this is greatly enhanced by the very impressive sound design. All-too-often, a game will have good combat mechanics, but the audio quality just isn’t there. It’s a huge problem I have with many other games since some have your actions be accompanied by squishy, stock sound effects. Here, however, the sound effects are in full force, in your face (well, ears), and doing their job properly. Not enough reviewers stress the importance of good sound design, I find. A sound effect can make a world of difference, especially in an action game. So, sound design guy, good job.
Also, the music is amazing, really, I could dedicate a paragraph to it, but you can find it on Youtube. All I can really say is, devs, you would only be doing a disservice by not releasing the full soundtrack online. It’s DKC2 levels of awesome.
Overall, to describe Blood Alloy: Reborn in one word, fun. Does it incorporate mechanics that I absolutely hate? Yes. Dear. Sweet. Buttered. Jesus. Yes. But at the same time, those mechanics aren’t as prominent as they are in other games of which I don’t enjoy very much (like MMOs, or MOBAs). Grinding here is still a hassle, but it’s not too bad, and I had so much fun shooting stuff that I forgot it was even there.
The only downright bad thing I can think of, is the very limited level count. There’s only three levels, but there’s a reason why I’m not too miffed about that, and it’s because this game is design to grab your attention for short periods and give players well much needed boost to action and mayhem. Despite those minor-to-moderate issues I have with the game, running around and blasting enemies is well… a blast. It’s just sheer, 80’s-styled, explosion filled fun that would make Michael Bay salivate.
Honestly, I can’t praise this game enough. I can’t praise it too much, because I don’t want to seem like I only liked the game to be nice, but all of the praise I’ve given it this review, it has legitimately earned. If you want a fun game that plays like Megaman Zero, Blood Alloy: Reborn is your best bet. Seriously. You can get it for $11 on Steam right now, and to be frank, I’ve gotten more time and enjoyment out of this £10/$11 game, than I have any of those big name £50/$60 ‘blockbusters’.
So, Blood Alloy: Reborn devs, I’ve got a message for you guys, I’m on board. Whatever it is you guys are trying to sell me with this game, be it that Metroid-like game that Blood Alloy: Reborn originated as, or something else; I am 100% behind this. You guys have not only made one of the best games I’ve played in recent years, but possibly my personal game of the year (we’ll see how Star Fox Zero shapes up. But if that goes south, then you guys got it in the bag).
And the last bit of good news before we cap this review off: Blood Alloy: Reborn is also slated to be heading to the Xbox One, PS4, AND Wii U at some point. Not sure when, but I will be buying the pants off it once it hits the Wii U. So, if you’re not a PC gamer, and you prefer playing on consoles, it’s coming. Sit tight.
- Fast paced action to keep you engaged in the game
- Takes the old-school approach of chasing a high score, and doesn’t hold your hand whatsoever.
- The game’s sound design is flawless. Believe me. I TRIED to hate it. I tried to find something wrong. I couldn’t. This is up there with DKC2.
- Grinding is something you do when you’re sharpening an axe. It shouldn’t be part of a game’s core design.
- Controls take time to get used to.
- There’s not enough hours in the day to play Blood Alloy Reborn.