Blood Knights Review (XBLA)
I’ve’ve seen a lot of vampires in my time. Some have been decked out in black leather and addressed as “daywalker”, some have bitten the dust after hearing a quick quip from a formidable foe and others have worn too much body glitter but never before have I encountered those tied by the very blood they drink to a human.
Blood Knights is the latest game from Deck 13 Interactive, a German developer, who has previously worked on Venetica and the Ankh games on the PC. The game sees Alyssa, a female vampire bound to a vampire hunter, and Jeremy, said vampire hunter, fight both against and with vampires to rid themselves of the curse that binds them.
Blood Knights is a fairly simple Action RPG with some mild puzzle elements. There are two different playable characters, one ranged and the other melee, you can swap between during the gameplay. You get the generic combos from mashing X and side helpings of special moves. If you have played any other Action RPG you will get the gist of the game. There are level ups and powers that you can slowly customise your character with, there is even different sets of armour for your level, but it all feels pretty limited. There is very little variety in terms of powers and armour. You are restricted to one or two options and usually there is maybe a new armour for your level, but it’s always an obvious choice to make. You simply pick the better higher levelled armour.
Fortunately Blood Knights boasts co-op play locally which is definitely it’s saving grace. While the game might seem a little soulless at times you can simply add one new player to the mix. You can pick each other up, throw one another off cliffs and just pester each other in the middle of fights. It’s the little things you find while playing with friends and shortcuts you can force that make it that bit more fun.
Although there are some definite chinks in the armour of poor Jeremy and Alyssa. Be it the ill-fitting voice actors who don’t quite sound like the characters you would portray or the sound itself not matching up to the animations. There is always something slightly off about the game even if it is just the background music. It feels hollow and can be quite off-putting.
The game even appears grey visually. Although there are some cool character designs it seems like they just don’t fit together at all. There are bondage nuns and great crusaders, monks and metal clad spider robots, vampires and vampire hunters. Nothing quite gels, while obviously the last one is the pivotal point in the plot the others lacked heart and soul.
All these small niggles really do impede on a great and interesting story, they could have vastly expanded on the relationship shared between the vampire and vampire hunter even in the game play. Instead of simply lifting and placing each other they could have bitterly tossed one another across the map or had callous digs at each other as witty dialogue as the game continued.
Over all Blood Knights is not a bad game, in fact with a co-op partner you can have a great deal of fun. Even if you did have to go find it at points. There is obviously a great deal of work needed but there is definite highlights such as the story and the ideas it presents, but it could have been so much better. Even if there was more than two difficulties or just a little more to the story it could be great. It just lacks something and for the life of me I can’t put my finger on it. Which ironically left me feeling very much drained like many of the vampire’s victims.
3 vampires hunted out of 5