Bound by Flame: The Song of Ice and Fire

For 3 years already French developers’ company “Spiders” does its best to create a decent roll-playing game of their dreams. They are still in search for a proper recipe and experiment with various game elements. In Mars: War Logs they played with the game setting, in Of Orcs and Men they did a great job with the personage. French “Spiders” do not have any problems with heroes and dialogues in their games but they do miss a few point when working on the gameplay. In Bound by Flame developers went all-in in attempt to prove their superiority in game industry. So far I can tell that they did a pretty good job.

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How the Story of Bound by Flame Starts

This world is doomed. The war that lasted for 15 years is about to end. The leftovers of the human and elf armies are hiding in the last shelters that pretty soon are going to be destroyed by the hordes of live dead that are led by the Ice Lords of the North. Lords haven’t lost a single game. After all, they can’t lose anyway because every warrior who dies in the battle becomes a soldiers of their army afterwards. The last hope of the alive is a group of wizards who need to complete a sacred ritual that will help them to spread at least some additional power in fighting with the Ice Lords. Sure, something will go wrong and the character you are supposed to play with will receive the greatest power of all. On the top of that, he will get a  company of a dark demon who will entertain you with his selfish and evil commentaries regarding the new body all the time. Well, this is pretty much the moment when you will start slashing and sending spells on the dead in the Bound by Flame.

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Bound by Flame Has a New Look

It is possible to say that Bound by Flame has a lot of in common with the previous projects of French “Spiders.” Yes, sometimes you will have to deal with the corridor levels, tough enemies that can send you to your ancestors in a hit or two, so-so stealth missions and predictable companions. However, French developers did a great job on improving the graphics and making the picture as well as the game in general look like a real deal. So far Bound by Flame is the best project of French “Spiders” and despite a couple of minuses, I did not regret getting it on Steam.

Despite the cons of the engine (after all, Silk Engine is not the most advanced engine in the world), Bound by Flame looks a lot better and in certain cases can be claimed to walk ahead of some competitive projects. I am not a graphical maniac but I like a good picture and Bound by Flame definitely has one. Animation, enemies, weapon and all the rest look just great. And if graphical modeling is not enough for you, won’t be able to miss the gorgeous soundtrack. For me music plays a very important role in games. Bound by Flamed did not let me down here either.

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Bound by Flame: Never Alone

Bound by Flame is definitely not the first game where developers made an attempt to put two personalities inside one body. The demon you have to play with is, probably, one of the most interesting characters. He known how to entertain and make the world of Bound by Flame a lot more interesting. However, there is a great possibility that we will lose contact with this guy. Depending on your decisions, the main character will either become a good or a bad person: you will either transform in a demon yourself by losing the human nature, or will fight your bad side and will remain human. Both sides have their pros and cons but the demon one will make you are happy person, especially if you choose to play as wizard. Your every decision in Bound by Flame will change the final outcome and will change the game scenario and the way your hero looks, a lot like in Mass Effect.

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Beside the demon living inside, you will also have an opportunity to get help from your comrades. You can choose either of them during the battle depending on your preferences. All of the companions are kind of predictable: the innocent girl who practice magic, a severe knight who talks about himself in a third person, elf-renegade with a beard or suspicious witch in a very tempting dress. But the most interesting character, to my mind of course, is the dead necromant who says to be 6000 years old. He is funny and pretty skilful. Every and each of them can give you a task to complete and with every and each you can talk about the weather and personal life. Also, if you want to, you can give it a try and seduce all of them but one after the other, not all together at once. At this point reference to the Dragon Age and Mass Effect is lucky to appear all by itself.

Bound by Flame has lots of dialogues. I am not into talking that much but if you do not mind long conversations, you can actually find out a lot about the world you play in, about its destiny, characters you have to deal with and, of course, receive additional tasks from the people you deal with. In other words – it’s a good thing to be social. Though, at a certain point these conversations might seem to be boring. Also, as it appears, your partners are not that skillful and helpful after all when it comes to the real deal

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Bound by Flame Will Fight the Pain

But, despite some minor issues and so-so dialogues, Bound by Flame can boast with really great fighting mechanics. To some extend it reminds the good old Witcher. You are skilful in all kinds of cold weapon and on the top of that you can project fireballs in your enemies and make them suffer too. Also, you can and even should combine all three branches of your skills. In stealth play there is nothing better than using daggers against watchmen, take out your sword when the boss approaches and complete your beautifully animated attacks with the magic of fireballs. We’ve seen something alike in Of Orcs and Men but Bound by Flame takes the mechanics on a totally different level, a lot better and a lot more exciting. It is amazingly interesting to fight enemies the countless number of times. enemies keep changing every single level and at first it is really hard to fight them all. But, if you feel the rhythm and know what to do next, then fighting with the bosses will be a challenging pleasure.

Bound by Flame is definitely one of the best RPGs from the French “Spiders.” Maybe, it has a lot of in common with the other games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age and it kind of loses its perspective when compared with the RPG giants like Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Dark Souls II and The Elder Scrolls Online, but! In general, it’s a decent game worth your attention and it is not a shame to have Bound by Flame in your collection. Moreover, it is worth every hour spent together.

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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