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Review: Blood Alloy Reborn

by on March 16, 2016
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Blood Alloy - VGProfessional Review (1)Firstly, let me start by saying this: you tell me there’s a game with a female protagonist that involves you hacking and slashing through various robots in a cyberpunk-esque inspired environment, you’re basically singing my song so obviously it’s needless to say after a glance at what Blood Alloy: Reborn has to offer on their Steam page, I was thoroughly excited to try it out.

The gameplay is relatively simple. You have a projectile weapon and a melee type weapon with range and you’re required to both survive as well as eliminate as many robots as you can in a given level. The faster you do it, the higher your multiplier goes, the higher your score gets. After obtaining a certain amount of points you gain a new level. Each new level unlocks new elements such as a different areas, equipment and even music. So far, sounds like the indie-shooter of your dreams right?

Unfortunately, Blood Alloy falls short in making you feel like you’re playing a complete game rather than a well polished beta or a limited demo. I’ll break down why I feel this way in detail.

First off, I checked out the tutorial just in case one of you guys happens to be a stickler for detail because otherwise you could access the actual gameplay from the main menu. This would have had to be the one of the most frustratingly designed tutorials I have played in a long time. This is largely due to the fact that the screen does not encompass the entirety of what you have to do to pass a certain checkpoint. Let’s say you have to get through this laser panel, which requires you to glide through and to see how you can accomplish that, you would have to actually move forward to make that portion of the screen visible, however, you can’t because there’s a damned laser in the way. While it would pretty easy to assume what the dialogue part of the tutorial has to say with the portion you do manage to see, I feel like that slightly defeats the point of you doing it in the first place. This annoyance would’ve been avoided by just adding a dialogue box on a fixed part of the screen rather than as part of the map.

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The game itself starts out leaving you pretty hyped but after the first few times of you repeating through the same sandbox type level, it dies down pretty quickly. Unfortunately to get anywhere, you’re required to grind through that point meter with very little to motivate you to move forward. You unlock a new area at level 7, which will require more replays than I would’ve cared to go through. I was averaging at 700-900 points per trial with my high score being 987 points which seems like it’s not much but with a flimsy healing system that requires you to reach a certain multiply counter which is definitely not what you need when you’re about to expire, it’s a harder task than I would’ve liked it to be. I would say that I’m not alone in feeling this way, given that the highest current score on the board was 1507 for the longest time and rose to 1508 for the first level while I was writing this review. Before you get to level 7, you manage to unlock various pieces of equipment that only very subtly change things for you. I generally found myself more excited about the new music tracks that I unlocked which would play at random whenever you start a new try.

Blood Alloy - VGProfessional Review (1)

Smaller things also attributed to my general displease or rather unlikeness to continue playing this game for long which would include aspects such the movement of the bots. For example, I quickly discovered that I could hide behind an L shaped wall, while bots gathered unable to get to me, making them easy to kill. Of course this would’ve kept my multiplier relatively low but, if you’re short on health, you could easily lose motivation to attack head on. This exposed holes in the programming of mannerisms for the enemies that was very hard to miss. You also don’t have a lot in terms of objectives, with the ones available involving you not attacking for a certain time, or reflecting shots. Other factors include that there are not many interactive elements within each area. I only encountered one explosive tank within the first area for example which left a lot to be desired in terms of gameplay. Couple on the fact that there isn’t even the slightest hint of background or story (hell, there isn’t even a name for the main character), you’re generally left confused as to why you’re still trying to get through this.

There are elements to the game that were rather enjoyable. As a I briefly mentioned, the soundtrack is pretty decent especially if you’re a fan of 80s Dream-Wave Electronic music reminiscent of artists like Droid Bishop or Carpenter Brut. If that happens to be your thing than you’re in for a treat. The game itself is not a badly constructed game and has multiple fun elements including the shoot and slash combos you can achieve. The general movement of your character that can be powered by what the developers call the “Blade Assisted Surface Traversal (BLAST) system” which allows you to zoom and glide while both dodging and destroying enemies in various directions is probably one of the main things you have to look forward to playing this game. The SFX also contribute to a well orchestrated battle while it lasts.

Blood Alloy was reviewed using a PC downloadable code provided by the Suppressive Fire Games. The PC version was tested on a PC running Windows 10, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GT 750M fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4700HQ 3.4Ghz CPU and topped with 16GB of RAM. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published

What we liked

• Well orchestrated soundtrack and SFX
• Movement variety and achievable combos
• General idea behind the game. Chick in cybernetic armor, kicking robot butt? Yes, please.

What is not fun

• Lack of in game motivation to continue due to grind and repetition
• Limited pay-off for said grind
• Lack of objectives and story

Editor Rating
 
Concept
6.7

 
Graphics
5.4

 
Sound
9.8

 
Playability
8.6

 
Entertainment
6.7

 
Replay Value
3.2

Final Score
6.7


Our final verdict
 

I personally feel like this would've been one of those games better suited for a phone, something you pick up in waiting rooms to beat your friend's high score. Having said that, the current price point on Steam is definitely not justified for the tiny bit of Metroid-inspired nostalgia you're meant to gain from this game.

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