Keeping an eye on ‘Bound By Flame’

RPGs, my favourite genre. Two Worlds is one of my favourite RPGs despite the bugs, and Two Worlds 2 found me in my element for a few hundred more hours. I’ve played, quite literally, hundreds of RPGs over the years and each time a new one is announced I perk up and start digging for more information.

So when Bound by Flame was announced on Valentine’s Day I perked up, started digging, then decided that the “All You Need To Know Video” was almost enough work for one day. I mean it’s all there: combat system; crafting system; skill trees; mini-map (interestingly, the mini-map wasn’t present in one of the underground fights, at least I didn’t notice it); storyline; characters. See for yourself:

The world looks very ‘Kingdoms of Amalur’, the combat looks very ‘Two Worlds’, I even got a flashback to bits of The Witcher, and strangely enough there was a feeling of Mass Effect about the whole thing, but maybe that was just the ‘meet up with other characters’ thing. Or the romance stuff. Or maybe I just finished watching all three Mass Effect trailers back to back for another article and it was still resonating with me. Anyway, these are all good vibes to get from one trailer. Not awesome vibes, it takes something really special to make me feel those, but good nonetheless.

Spider Studios have done a great job presenting their game, even daring to include actual gameplay rather than opt for the easy CGI option, so I applaud them for that. Everything about it looks like it could flick all the right RPG switches, except maybe that bit where our hero dashes towards his enemy in the water – the water just doesn’t ‘look’ right if you get my drift, and for me when things don’t look right it can be an immersion breaker. Having said that, the rest of the features present override that one small misgiving by miles, so the game is still on my radar for now.

I did dig a little bit deeper and discovered that Spider Studios are tiny, but have worked on ‘Mars: War Logs’ which is on XBLA/PSN as well as ‘Of Orcs And Men’ on the 360/PS3 alongside developers Cyanide. I’ve played neither and being RPGs they got mostly middling reviews from the critics, but that’s not to say I won’t pick them up, if a reviewer scores an RPG anything out of 10 I usually add a couple of points to reflect how it’ll probably play for me. Besides, the Amazon user reviews of both are a lot more glowing.

Overall, though, Spider Studios have encouraging track record of developing RPGs – they’ve done a few others as well and worked on porting other titles to different systems – and if the final version of Bound By Flame turns out to be as good as its initial trailers? I’ll be there, exploring each chapter – it’s a hub based game rather than open world – and discovering lots of materials to craft with.

Oh.  Spider can also do ‘epic’. Want to see some epic? Here’s their teaser trailer for the game:

It should be with us in the first half of 2014. Nice to have something to look forward to RPG-wise, on the PS4 at least.

Developer: Spider Studios
Publisher: Focus Interactive
Platform: PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Action RPG