Developer: Ronimo Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Genre: Action RPG
I’m not great at them, but I do love action RPGs with tons of dungeon crawling and looting. Games like Diablo, Torchlight, and Children of Morta are challenging and a lot of fun. Blightbound is a take by developer Ronimo Games that takes the formula and gives it a 2D hack ‘n’ slash spin.
In Blightbound, up to three players can team up to explore dungeons, kill monsters, and loot. Along the way they will unlock tons of different characters to give the game more variety. All of the characters fit within three classes: warriors, assassins, and mages. The game features movesets and mechanics that one would expect from games in the genre. There are different types of attacks, dodges, and spells for players to utilize. Some characters have more support skills while others are more aggressive. To succeed in Blightbound, players will need to work together. Teamwork is key.
The gameplay loops is admittedly not very special, but it is certainly entertaining. The characters are diverse and offers tons of ways to play. The enemies aren’t too difficult to take down, but the bosses are. There are various objectives that mix up the gameplay in more ways than just “Kill stuff.” Some puzzles and escort missions help to keep things fresh. Still, despite the various objectives and characters, things can get a bit repetitive. Blightbound just doesn’t have anything to really hook players. If players do die, which they likely will against some bosses, they will need to restart the entire level, possibly losing up to half an hour of work.
While the gameplay is enjoyable enough, the Blightbound experience is deeply hampered by the online matchmaking. There has to be one of each class present, so matchmaking is frustrating, especially since the Blightbound doesn’t seem to have too many players online at any given time. My online games were also accompanied by connectivity issues, only adding to the frustration.
What makes this even worse is the AI. If players can’t find anyone to play with online, there is always the AI. Unfortunately, the AI isn’t satisfying to work with. They struggle to navigate through the stages, and sometimes even glitch out, clipping through objects. The AI companions also aren’t great for solving puzzles with.
Visually, Blightbound is fine but doesn’t astound. The dungeons are dark and gloomy, full of crypts, blood, and fog. It’s a little too dark for my tastes though, and the backgrounds blend in just a bit too much. The character animations aren’t too great, especially the for the women. All of the women also bounc a lot during their idle animations, leading to some unnecessary physics on them. I rolled my eyes at almost every woman’s physics.
Blightbound is a frustrating experience because it should at least be a solid game. Instead it’s held back by poor AI, awful matchmaking, and ugly design decisions. Those who are looking for a dungeon crawler or beat-em-up can do much better than Blightbound.