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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bound By Flame Review: Tonight We Dine In Hell


May 10, 2014 By Maya Mayfield


Fans of role playing games understand that part of the appeal to a good fantasy story is in the journey, the epic quest one must under-go in order to turn a seemingly ordinary character into a Demi-God, one that must be respected, feared, adored, loved and even hated by many. It is this understanding, this desire to have your enemies quaking in their boots at the very mention of your name is why we do it. Why we toil and grind on an uphill struggle, killing one enemy after another in order to get that XP that edges us closer to the next level in our evolutionary journey to the greatness that awaits us.

Bound By Flame is such a game that encapsulates all those qualities in its backstory and epic journey ahead. Although it may not be as refined as some of the other RPG's we have had the opportunity of playing, it does still posses a decent level of playability and for that we think Spiders Studio first RPG on the PS4 is a good starting block in which to build while smoothing out the edges along the way.

You start by joining a mercenary group on a mission to push back the legions of dead-walkers advancing on the living.  You play as Vulcan the game's main character assigned to accompany these group of holy priest in order to banish the undead back to their eternal resting place.  It is during this mission of life vs death that Vulcan finds himself possessed by a powerful Flame Demon after the banishing incantation spell goes horribly wrong, summoning the hell raising flame demon instead.


This is where your journey begins as you must now decide what type of character Vulcan is going to be. Should Vulcan give in to the advice of his newly-acquired demonic presence as it appears through-out his quest, his ability as a powerful Pyromancer will grow, allowing him to easily destroy his enemies with powerful fire magic, courtesy of the flame demon. The trade off to such great power however is that Vulcan's appearance and personality will begin to change as he takes on a more evil demeanor. Doing this will no doubt affect the overall outcome of the story, including those you choose to get involved with on a romantic level. . .

(We promise no more spoilers!)

 If however you decide to ignore the demon, choosing the heroic path. Your skills will grow as a mercenary of the Pure Blade and your name will be mentioned among the most valiant of Hero's, one that is respected and loved by your group members.

This choice between leveling up Vulcan's skill tree towards good or evil is really what we found very entertaining about Bound By Flame. As you hack and slash your way through various monsters, swamp beasts and large blade wielding skeletons, you can change your fighting stance, to adapt to the enemy at hand.

As a ranger your attacks are faster, The Warrior stance deals much more heavier attacks in trade off for speed, while pyromancer enables you to blast fireballs, even engulf yourself and your blade in flames.


Your companions fighting alongside you are nothing more than cannon fodder, which you can deploy to tactically draw out or distract an enemy while you dish out the final punishing attacks like Conan the barbarian. To make up for the slow repetitive Ai's, there are plenty of opportunities to collect treasures which can then be used in exchange for crafting new and interesting items, weapons and potions for use in battles. While discovering gold may not be such a difficult affair, you will get lots of opportunities to build your fortune through missions than just treasure hunting.

You can also save your progress at any point in the game, in case you need to come back exploring.  There are also loads of side missions in Bound By Flame created to build huge XP's which usually involves Vulcan going to collect specific artefacts from dangerous locations. Sticking to your game plan will help you evolve your character towards good or evil. The feeling of reaching this penultimate goal is in itself very rewarding regardless of which path you take.  Watching Vulcan evolve to be a truly formidable adversary for anyone to face makes the arduous XP collecting and levelling up all worth it in the end.

Bound By Flames is not a very long game and most hardcore RPG fans will be done with this in about sixteen to twenty hours depending on how much exploring and side quests you choose to do. This isn't necessarily a bad thing either as we found this to be just enough to leave us satisfied by the missions overall outcome. With two paths to choose from each leading to different outcomes, the replay-able element is certainly there as you will most like want to do it all over again choosing a different path on your second run-through.

Bound By Flame Available To Buy Now

Overall Verdict 

Spiders Studio's latest title is an interesting RPG that will certainly appeal to fans of this style of fantasy genre. It may be a little short for some and rough around edges for others, but we still found it fun and engaging despite its short comings. Bound By Flame is a good platform in which Spiders Studio can build on and for that they get a very well done effort from us.