You carved your soul to shreds in servitude to a dark god, but false promises and betrayal were your only reward. Now you have a score to settle and it will be measured in blood! Experience the madness in one carnage-soaked package! All the gore, all the unholy war! Zombies, gargoyles, hellhounds and blood-crazed hordes of horrors await! Crush loathsome evil of the mighty Tchernobog! Or condemn yourself to eternal damnation in this leviathan of unhallowed gaming action!
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Animated Blood and Gore, Animated Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2010-04-22 21:02:33 byDaedalusDM:
Stop. Put down whatever it is you're doing and take in this moment. You have before you the opportunity to embark on an experience unlike any other. Atmospheric, engaging, hilarious and enigmatic -- Blood does it all with a heavy dose of horror!
While most seem to write these reviews for those who have experienced titles before, I will write this with the fresh victim in mind.read more Join me on a brief journey into the darkest corners of the Blood mythos.
Ask any casual observer about Blood and you'll hear the same phrase repeated; "Oh, it's a Duke Nukem/Doom clone." Nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that Blood assumes a similar template from a past age of first-person gaming, that of running and gunning, there is a side of Blood which no screenshot can hope to capture and no short, poorly rendered video can possibly expose. It is in playing that Blood's unique, manic energy is injected into the player and through this Blood's majesty is understood. Those who see a screenshot of Blood will shortly move on, but those who give Blood even a brief playthrough will remember the experience forever.
The premise, which most would know from any cursory description of the title, is, interestingly, the game's least important factor. You, taking on the role of Caleb, a western gunslinger in the 1800's, carved your soul to shreds in servitude of an ancient, Elder God, but betrayal was your only reward for your years of service. In the final, ominous meeting with Tchernobog, the Dark God, your wife is pulled away from you, your comrades are slain before your eyes and you are murdered before the game has even begun. Awakening several years later in a body that has refused to die, it is now your chance to seek out answers and carve a path back to Tchernobog and dish out swift vengeance.
However, all that this tale, which is told unobtrusively through a series of primitive videos at select mission completions and initiations, aims to accomplish is not bewilder the player with extensive dialogue or even set up an interesting course of events, but it simply serves as a backdrop for establishing Blood's ubiquitous, elemental theme -- revenge.
For you assume the role of an anti-hero, of course. There is no day to be saved in Blood. The path back to Tchernobog is infested with His servants, both demonic and undying, but in spite of the nightmarish terrors you will face on your unholy mission, the most terrifying and lethal of all the components of any given level -- is you.
Blood's graphics are a masterful, timeless creation from an era just before polygons dominated your monitor. The graphics of similar titles from the time have aged poorly, but Blood's visual excellence is, like its protagonist, eternal. Blood presents to us a world which is at once sombre, but also visually stimulating. The world exists permanently darkened, but is suddenly brought to life through frantic action sequences. It is Blood's humility in visuals that has allowed it to age so gracefully -- Blood doesn't aim to dazzle you with visuals, that was never its intent, but what it does do is create a masterful canvass on which to weave its magic and a player is guaranteed to be fully engulfed in Blood's shadowy world after a brief playthrough.
Blood is frequently promoted as a mindless shooter, but this does the title a disservice. While it's true that Blood's basic objective is that of older shooters; blast enemy, collect key, open door, hit end level switch, Blood's gameplay transcended beyond its contemporaries and indeed has yet to be matched by any "modern" shooter. Blood is actually notorious for being a very challenging game, but it's for all the right reasons! Where many games rely on crippling the player to present a degree of challenge rating, or downright cheating in order to equalise AI with a player, in Blood, you, as Caleb, are by far the most dangerous and mobile character at any given time and the only limit in any scenario is your knowledge and skill. A sufficiently skilled player can actually reach a point where he or she begins to control the action and the enemy becomes the victim! To take it a step further, given the lethality of the enemies you'll encounter in Blood, terrain and intelligence are critical factors -- some enemies are so deadly that the player will not dare enter an area and will have to approach the problem from a different angle. Depending on your current ammunition and arsenal, you may be ill-equipped to kill a certain opponent and need to seek out a more effective weapon before challenging it. The terrain could contain cover, elevation, decoys or even traps for your enemies. Through all these combined mechanisms, Blood's play takes on the form of a delightfully visceral art and attempting a 'mindless' approach at it on higher, or even moderate difficulties will result in little purchase at all.
Blood's level design is fiendishly clever and the player will pass through numerous different locations, including, but not limited to; ancient temples, train stations, snowy, abandoned mansions, war torn cities and much, much more. Blood's level design makes perfect sense and is masterful in its form. That most of these maps are in fact brilliant for multiplayer as well as being unforgettable single player experiences shows a level of expertise which no modern shooter title can live up to. It should also be noted that while a lot of Blood's maps have a freestyle, rapid, 'arcade' style to them, it also assumes the form of a devious adventure title at times, where a player will have to seek out various keys or objects in larger environments in order to advance, but these tasks are never taxing and the balance feels just right. Blood's level design is both quaint and engaging and you'll never feel cheated by the experience.
Blood's arsenal is remarkable and holds up to this day; there are sufficient standard, kinetic weapons to support the player who enjoys a more direct approach, but Blood also houses subtle, magical weapons and various forms of explosives, which may appeal to the more stealthy and nefarious player. These weapons are remarkably balanced and somehow Blood found a way to allow the player to use the weapons they find enjoyable and very rarely is a player forced to 'fall back' to a weapon that they don't appreciate as much, though that's not to say that a player won't feel the burn for being careless, sometimes literally.
To elaborate a little on the horror aspect, Blood draws a great deal of its referential content from horror and horror can be seen as its compass, but it is not limited to it. There are many environments, secrets, objects and phrases in the world of Blood which reference both popular and more obscure horror media across the board. Caleb, between occasional bouts of maniacal laughter, will sometimes directly quote a phrase from a horror film. Certain map titles will reference horror works and even the majority of the opponents found in-game are monsters and some are direct horror transfers, both through archetypal and specific examples. However, in light of all this, Blood is never pretentious and you'll never feel as if it is force-feeding you or overemphasising a point, which is a horrible trend of many modern games. Blood never underestimates your intelligence -- it plays by its own rules and laughs at itself, frequently giving a tiny wink or nudge to the player, subtle enough to be disregarded, but intriguing enough to make the player smile time and again and you may even eventually find yourself laughing along with Caleb as he introduces a new meaning of pain to his enemies.
However, all this would be for nought if Blood was one-dimensional, but it is not so. Blood, despite its gory and seemingly-simplistic exterior, has a level of depth which many games can only dream about. Blood, by its very nature, is not easily defined, as I have shown. On a fundamental level, Blood is about shooting badguys, yes, but it is also so much more. Blood's atmosphere is unbeatable, as it varies between a frantic 'Evil Dead' comedy feeling at times, as well as for pacing during a sudden battle and a deeper, more ponderous 'Lovecraftian' stroke during exploration or simply taking in the environment. Blood is action, adventure and problem solving all rolled into one, it is the white-knuckled, desperate fight for survival and the pilgrimage through a world that is both horrific and massively enjoyable. Blood's world is both real and unreal, it is reality distorted -- always natural enough to make the player believe that this could be, but containing such terrors that the player knows it cannot be, leaving the player in constant, exhilarating turmoil. Blood is morbid and hilarious, serious and jovial and it defies categorization with this trait. Now a few games can accomplish this transition between humour and fear, exploration and adventure. Carrying multiple themes is not in and of itself unique to Blood, but here is the final word in Blood's overall magnificence; a seamless transition between all of these things. Blood takes all of these disparate elements and coalesces them into a single, unforgettable game that needs to be experienced to be believed.
It has been discussed whether Blood's greatness is a stroke of luck or a revolutionary leap of genius. No matter its birth, when Blood's music is heard, its morbid landscapes seen, its references picked up on, its unequalled gameplay felt and its essence understood, it stands as a leviathan amongst games; an accomplishment in art, ingenuity, creativity and culture which has yet to be matched to this day.
This is it; the best gaming has to offer. What are you waiting for?
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Posted on 2010-04-22 06:53:12 byKyote33:
Yes, even better than Duke if you ask me. I LOVED this one to bits in the early 00s when I first played it. Couldn't get enough of the hilarious horror refs, the inventive weapons, and the fun levels. If you ever liked Shadow Warrior, or Duke, then you probably have enough of a sense of humor to enjoy this one too.
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Posted on 2010-04-22 11:46:31 bydrmlessgames:
Whether duke had very detailed and good level design, Blood made theirs better, and added great atmosphere to it. This game paid so much attention to little details, like dead trees that you can light up, minigames involving the zombies' heads, the sneak attacks of the cultists, and the entire dark/old classic theme throughout the levels makes you want to keep going back to theread more world of blood, as well as the dark humor throughout. Special attention was given to the weapons, which had innovations not seen before back then, like alternate fire modes, and weird inventive weapons like the voodoo doll and the life leech. Which take the online mode into a new level of fun. : )
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