Wild Blood, Gameloft’s original IP based on the legend of King Arthur’s best-known knight, is now available from the app store. Despite its great graphics (thanks to the use of Unreal Engine 3), 3D battles, and RPGish features, we were ultimately letdown by the clunky controls, silly puzzles, unclear objectives, and persistent hand-holding that dumbed down the gameplay.
Wild Blood Pros:
- Beautiful graphics and smooth gameplay utilizing a variety of environments and enemy types
- Soundtrack meshes well with feudal theme
- Fun RPG elements allow for upgrading of weapons and character stats across multiple attributes
- Exciting action and solid hack-and-slash gameplay
- Multiplayer option, as well as increased single-player difficulty upon replay
Wild Blood Cons:
- Camera and controls have issues
- Objectives can be unclear and video flyovers pretty much tell you exactly where to go
- GameCenter not utilized
You play as Sir Lancelot, who has hooked up with King Arthur’s squeeze, Queen Guinevere. The understandably upset King has employed sorceress Morgana to punish Lancelot, which she does in roundabout fashion by unleashing an army of hellish demons upon the land. It is up to Lancelot to vanquish the beasts and turn the tables on King Arthur and Morgana. You start in a village, taking on a few baddies at a time, easily defeating them with a few well-placed sword swipes. A caged commoner needs rescue here and there, and coins collected from defeated beasts and unattended chests can be used to upgrade your battle abilities or purchase potions that can keep you safe in pinch. Things are tame for a bit until you start battling demons who can take some additional damage, as well as fight back with forceful combos, ranged arrow attacks, and the like. A life-saving encounter with Gawain results in the acquisition of a longbow, which comes in handy in a few situations, but it proves ultimately too cumbersome to use in most battle instances. You soon meet up with Morgana in the form of a huge dragon, seek out the help of Merlin and others for various reasons, and even get to take on large weaponry for some castle defense action.
There are timer-based objectives to carry out (like smashing a portal before time runs out or getting through a gate before it recloses) and silly puzzles to solve (like moving blocks around to free an object and open a chest) that feel tacked on and out of place. The need to slide-to-unlock when attempting to breach gates also feels like extraneous fluff meant to make common tasks feel more game-like, though it comes off as unnecessary. The most intriguing aspect of the game is probably the RPG-like elements that allow you to improve and customize your weaponry using your collected loot. Each weapon has attributes like damage, critical, quicken, fire, ice, and lightning that can be upgraded or equipped. Additionally, Lancelot can upgrade his HP, MP, stamina, and speed, too. The way that you allocate money and the weapons that you choose to use can have a significant impact on how you play the game.
Graphically, the environments and battle action look terrific, providing hack-and-slash gameplay on par with other Gameloft titles like the Dungeon Hunter series. You have a health and mana bar in the upper left corner while a virtual joypad appears beneath your thumb in the screen’s lower left corner and a handful of small, tightly-packed buttons adorn the lower right corner. The buttons include attack, rush, dodge and skills attack, which is rechargeable and indicated as such by its perimeter slowly lighting up until the button’s icon reappears. The joypad felt a bit slow to respond and the positioning of the multiple buttons caused us to mis-hit on a few occasions. While Lancelot typically auto-targets the nearest baddie when you hit the attack button, there were times where you’d have to adjust his stance with the joypad. There were also plenty of occasions where the camera got a bit stuck too close to the action or it wouldn’t quite give us the desired viewpoint without a struggle, pulling us out of the game. The swiping action to change your viewpoint felt a tad on the slow side. We also found the text used in the game to be so small that it was often unreadable. The soundtrack was decent, offering tunes that you’d expect to accompany a feudal tale.
Replay value is good, as replaying after completion allows you to attempt the game at a greater difficulty level. Additional attempts would also allow you to allocate coins differently when upgrading weapons and purchasing skills and spells. There is a multiplayer mode that allows you to battle it out with other players from around the world, which is a great deal of fun. The Gameloft Live! system is utilized for online matchmaking. A universal app for $6.99, Wild Blood racks up a 3.5-Dimple score.
Wild Blood Review,