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Bound By Flame Review

Bound By Flame Trainer
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Bound By Flame. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.
 

Reviewed on: PC
Developer: Spiders
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Rated: "M" for Mature

 
CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 6/10 
Everything you'd expect from the genre is here and to be honest, it doesn't look too bad from afar, but up close it's a mess of muddy textures and jagged polygons. Voice acting is unenthusiastic and forgettable.
Gameplay 5/10 
Bound by Flame is less concerned with good or even remotely solid gameplay mechanics and spends much of it's time throwing RPG clichés at the wall and hoping that they work and unsurprisingly –they don't.
Lasting Appeal 5/10 
By modern day RPG standards, Bound by Flame is a short game. There are side quests here and there, but they take you through the same areas as the main quest, and they're just as boring.
Overall 5/10 
From time to time Bound by Flame shows off a few good gameplay mechanics, but it isn't long before it's forgotten about by a multitude of problems and lazy design choices.
CHEATfactor 8/10 
 

Bound by Flame is less of a game and more of an exercise in trying to cram as many fantasy RPG elements into one game as possible. For every good idea the game attempts, it shoots itself in both feet with terribly clunky combat, horridly boring writing and a campaign that you just won't care about at all. Bound by Flame has enough interesting ideas that it could have been worth a look had the developers followed through on any of the potential at all.

The premise of Bound by Flame is interesting enough. You play as a warrior named Vulcan (you'll be asked to name your character in the beginning but no matter what you put they all still refer to you as Vulcan). Things aren't going so well for ole' Vulcan as a demon has recently taken residence in his brain and has begun to run his life. You'll play through the game deciding whether or not to give in to the demon's will and depending on how you play through the game you'll get one of three different endings.

"...don't have a clear "good" or "bad" choice."

 
   

The demon mechanic is more than a story point though as the more evil choices you make, you'll actually begin to take on demonic properties. By the end of my time with Bound by Flame I was sprouting multiple horns from my head, had a reddish tint to my skin and spoke with a light growl in my voice. There are consequences to becoming a demon though as I couldn't get a helmet on over my horns, leaving it open during battle, but I did gain more powerful magic abilities, so there's that. Interestingly enough a lot of the choices you'll make in dialogue aren't as easy as some games and don't have a clear "good" or "bad" choice.

Sadly though, it all seems thrown away by terrible pacing and no sense of where the story is headed. Thanks to the hackneyed writing, I didn't care about anything that happened in Bound by Flame, despite what choices I made. Characters are often introduced solely for the sake of them meeting an untimely end and it never feels like your choices can change any of that. By the time the credits rolled on Bound by Flame I found myself laughing at the stupidity of the story and the characters more than anything.

If only the whole game was that interesting. With Bound by Flame, Spiders and Focus Home Interactive seemingly felt compelled to trot out as many RPG tropes as possible but couldn't manage to make them even half as interesting as where they were done before. Combat is excessively clunky and feels incredibly programmed, meaning that instead of trying to strategize and play your way through the game, you're going to spend a lot of time trying to exploit the programming flaws that are incredibly evident. All of the enemies have clear paths and patterns and taking advantage of them is often the only feasible way of getting through some sections.

"...they're practically useless in battle and will die very quickly. "

 
   

Add to this the fact that there are a plethora of strange design choices in Bound by Flame that often make no sense at all. You'll often have a companion with you on your journey and they're practically useless in battle and will die very quickly. Unlike most RPGs though, you can't always revive them, you just have to wait for them to respawn on their own, which often led to me just running around the battlefield until they woke up again and again. Also, why in the hell does the camera feel like it absolutely needs to show the walls or worse, transport me into the stage in a weird meta-glitch?

If Bound by Flame does anything right, it's the crafting system, which actually outdoes that of some of the AAA RPGs. The game allows you to pause the game at almost anytime and take a few of your items and combine them together to create new gear, weapons and potions. Using the system during combat often feels cheap and like you're exploiting the game but when it's a game as uneven as this, it's kindo of fitting.

From time to time Bound by Flame shows off a few good gameplay mechanics, but it isn't long before it's forgotten about by a multitude of problems and lazy design choices. I wanted to like Bound by Flame for it's interesting ideas and attempt at an interesting story but with games like Skyrim available for each platform Bound by Flame is currently available for, and for less money, Bound by Flame is an incomplete package at best.

 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: Unlimited Health, Easy Kills, Perk Points, more
 
The trainer for Bound by Flame features almost everything I could want for a game like this, like unlimited health and easy kills but it lacked the one thing I wanted most, the ability to make my sidekick invincible. All I wanted was to not have to worry about them in battle, but as good as the trainer is, it didn't have that one feature I wanted.
 
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