The tail end of a console generation can generally bring in some interesting game concepts, thanks to a huge install base looking for fresh ideas before moving on to the next generation and developers having learned the hardware ins and outs. But, there are also mainstay genres and ideas that work and sell just as well (note all the sequels that only moderately iterate on their predecessors). Spiders, developer of games Mars: War Logs and Of Orcs and Men, drops their latest game, Bound by Flame, somewhere in the middle.
Bound by Flame utilizes a traditional Third Person Action RPG gameplay system: run around and slash at enemies, use magic, level up through skill trees. There’s crafting, alliances, and conversation choices. There are up to five additional party members than can join in, and multiple side quests that pop up, seven per party member. The visuals carry a sort of dark fantasy style, with plenty of skeletons and giant demons running around. The environments we saw during our demo presentation showed us the insides of caves, tops of cliffs, and warrior encampments. Characters look like knights or savages, wizards or fighters. It’s not going to blow your socks off from that respect.
Where it does do some interesting things is in the morality side. The main character, which can be created based on our gender and appearance whims, has been possessed by a fire demon. As the game progresses and choices are made to gain power, take the hard way, do good or bad, our hero can become more possessed by the entity, slowly turning into one along the way. The change is both physical and plot-based, too. In our presentation the character grew horns, became scaly, more muscular and threatening, and the appearance will be different based on how we’ve designed our characters. The game’s different factions and allegiances will change, since some groups are considered pure and others are nearly cult-like towards the demon.
It’s a little like the team took the idea of Mass Effect 2‘s Shepard physical changes and expounded upon them to the nth degree.
It’s an intriguing idea that may inspire a few playthroughs, as players take different paths and make different choices along the way. It seems like it has the ability to make everyone’s experience with it unique. It’s still early in development, and has been pushed out of 2013 into the beginning of 2014. Though it’s being developed for XBLA , PSN, and PC right now, the team hasn’t made any choices yet for next gen consoles as of yet.
Either way, I look forward to seeing what my character looks like when he or she eventually becomes that all-powerful demon that’s been roaming around all those Paranormal Activity sequels.