Blightbound is a gory fantasy dungeon crawler full of 3 player co-op carnage.
When it comes to crawling through dungeons, it’s best to do so with friends. From the classics such as the Diablo franchise to modern-day offerings such as D&D: Dark Alliance, the trope of the high-fantasy party fighting through the dark depths of enemy territory is a prolific one. Blightbound by Romino Games takes this concept and runs with it by giving you a party tailor-made for killing bad guys. This isn’t without good reason, either, as the blight that corrupts the land must be stopped.
Blightbound has many characters to unlock, but they all fit into three specific categories. Each player picks a single role, either a warrior, rogue or magician class and votes on a dungeon to explore in a 2D world. Characters and enemies pop against the backgrounds to add a dark fantasy cherry on top of the dangerous dungeons you’ll traverse. Solo players may pick their favorite class and play with bots, though this is not the optimal way to play. Each class has its own niche they bring to the battlefield that play off of each other to unleash devastation.
Warriors are the tanks of the party, soaking big damage and dealing it right back at the enemy. Each hit a warrior blocks increases their damage, which is shown by a small shield meter under their HP, with a full meter of three shields allowing for destructive blows. They can also dispel enemy power-ups and freeze them in their tracks. Mages also have a 3-pip resource in their Mana bar. The mage can use this to cast devastating spells or protect the party with healing or shield magics. Rogues are all about the damage whose deadliest hits are backstage that lead into devastating combos and flashy attacks.
Each member of the party must be using their unique abilities to the fullest when braving the dungeons in Blightbound. While you’re able to revive downed allies, enemies can swarm in fast and easily overwhelm a careless party. This is especially true during the later stages of the game where bosses can appear as regular enemies among the pack. When it all comes together, trudging through the monster-infested rooms has the feel of nonstop action as you blast through enemies while completing objectives. This is backed up by some surprisingly gory visuals. Limbs will fly as you cut down the opposition and move from room to room, giving combat a satisfyingly brutal edge.
During your dives you’ll pick up tons of collectibles and earn experience for your hero. You’ll get gold and gear for each class throughout your adventures, which can be equipped onto them to maximize deadliness. Everything from stat buffs to magical properties can be on the gear you can pick up and using the variety that is given, you’ll be able to keep every hero geared up in case you’d like to give them a shot. Experience points, however, aren’t shared and each class will level up as you defeat bigger and badder foes.
Leveling up in Blightbound is a game of number-crunching. Characters start off with points lopsided towards their character type, but it’s up to you to trick them out how you want to. You’ll get points to put into their Strength, Vitality, Dexterity and even Luck to augment damage, HP, crit chance and even loot rarity. While it can be slow going, especially if playing solo, this touch of customization is just enough to feel as though you’re building your favorite character the way you want to. You’ll also level up your player level after each run, which can unlock buildings for your base camp at the cost of gold for extra benefits between dungeon runs.
While Blightbound is a bloody good time with friends, without them it can be a slog. The AI can be hopelessly incompetent, unless they’re controlling the rogue character, and are more than happy to let you die and raise you instead of actively helping you survive. Fighting can also feel a tad clunky, as your normal attacks swing on the side your cursor leans to, not where your character is facing. Combat can also become formulaic, especially when playing as the warrior class.
While the rogue is constantly moving behind the enemies for backstabs and the mage is constantly grabbing mana orbs to power spells, the warrior feels a bit left out. The main gimmick of the class blocking and, without the power generated from it, hits will seem like the sword is made of styrofoam. Along with abilities that are more for utility than impact, you’ll feel much less like a fearless fighter and much more like a solid oak. It serves to bring the rigid nature of combat front and center, as deviation from the plan each role excels at could mean certain death.
Each character has their own story to follow and even more mission objectives that unlock as you explore each dungeon. While there is a good variety, you’ll be traversing them over and over at various levels of difficulty to complete them all. While objectives can change each time you enter a locale, they will always remain the same except for the enemies that spawn in their depths. This makes the game great for a session or two, but may make longer grinds seem monotonous. There is plenty to look forward to, however, as the developers promise to add more dungeons to Blightbound.
Blightbound is an interesting and fun co-op title. It’s a blast to play with friends and offers plenty of moment-to-moment action as you fight back hordes of enemies. Collectibles and gold will keep you going, along with experience points to level up your heroes. This can become tiresome, however, as the combat problems slowly rear their ugly head over the course of the game. While it may not be ideal for long gaming sessions, Blightbound is a fun game for some occasional monster-killing carnage.
-Action-packed co-op gameplay.
-Rewarding character and base customization.
-Satisfyingly visceral combat.
-Tons of unlockable skins.
3 out of 5
Review code provided by Tinsley PR. Blightbound is out now!