As a preview, I will try to keep this brief. Action RPGs are on the rise thanks to Dark Souls being more popular than sliced bread. Focus Home Interactive and Spiders have come together and brought up a new game that is bigger than anything they have ever done. This is the same duo that made Mars War Logs and it shows in Bound by Flame. However, the main difference is that Mars War Logs was trying out a new game engine, the same engine that Bound by Flame is using now, but 1000x better.
You play as Vulcan, a mercenary that becomes possessed by a demon and it gives him supernatural fire powers. However, the demon is a parasitic one and it can slowly begin to consume Vulcan if he lets his guard down. As you progress through the game Vulcan can either resist the demon or allow him to take over a small portion of his mind to gain better stats. My current playthrough is allowing the demon control so when I do my full review, I will find out what resisting the demon does.
The combat is a lot like Mars War Logs with better control response. Blocking is a necessity and I spend more time blocking than attacking. There is a parry system but it is rather challenging to get the hang of. Nearly every attack can be parried so mastering this skill is a must. While there are stats, equipment buffs etc. You can grind out levels, but the game is still heavily skill driven so learning to bob n’ weave is more important than dishing out the most damage. You can use a crowwbow and magic for ranged damage, the knives for stealth damage and the claymore for brute force. Using which method of attacking is entirely up to you. The skills you obtain do not seem like much at first, until you start remembering where you started from at the beginning and you realize that instant casting your flame sword is the most amazing thing ever.
The environments are well design so far and they are rather diverse in the different areas. As far as I could tell the game is not 100% free roam so once you move to a new base camp, you cannot travel to previous areas. So once you hit the mountain town, you cannot return to the jungle etc. The game has it’s bugs and the animations are still pretty rough to look at. This is an indie game so finer details like that can be forgiven, not to mention this preview is being written before the final version of the game so any negativity I have towards the game is subject to change upon the full release in two days.
Something I wanted to mention regarding the equipment is how awesome it is. When I was playing through Mars War Logs I was able to get a taste of a very unique equipment system. Every piece of armor or weapon has their own stats as well as their own upgrade slots. You can craft new parts for the weapons and armor to not only change their look, but their stats as well. To do this you amass large quantities of monster drops and related material.
I am currently level 15 and I am having a lot of trouble figuring out what to do for some side quests and this is part of the game’s problem for me. Mars War Logs has the same issue. However, a full review will be written soon after the game is released on Steam, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3. I suggest you keep this game on your radar.