Wild Blood Hands-On Preview

We recently had a chance to play through part of Gameloft’s upcoming Unreal-powered game, Wild Blood. As you can see from the trailer that was just released, Wild Blood is a hack-and-slash game with the brutal, monster-slaying action of God of War. However, instead of a mythic Greek theme, Wild Blood is loosely based on the English legends of King Arthur.

In Wild Blood, you play as Lancelot, one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. Arthur has learned of Lancelot’s dalliances with Queen Guinevere, and a jealous rage has led him to take the advice of the sorceress Morgana and open a hellgate in Albion (ancient Britain). Monsters, demons, and dragons pour out of the now-opened gates of hell, and it’s up to Lancelot to rescue the townsfolk and correct Arthur’s mad, misguided mistake.

The visual style is reminiscent of Infinity Blade, and not just because of the detailed textures and architecture created by the Unreal Engine. The knights you encounter in the game are covered with grandiose, spiky armor that looks as uncomfortable as it is impractical. King Arthur himself looks like a peeved, medieval version of Gears of War’s Marcus Fenix.

Lancelot starts off with just a sword, but as you progress through the game, you’ll earn more attacks and abilities that let you turn those hell demons into bloody chunks. These include a pair of battleaxes, a bow for long-distance attacks, and a series of magical spells like ice and fire that can be activated with a button press next to your main attack. You’ll be able to upgrade each of these weapons and attacks with in-game currency when you reach checkpoints, but you’ll also have the option of paying extra to buff up your character even more.

Lancelot can also roll to evade attacks, or you can hold down the roll button for a dash. However, he can’t block attacks, which means you’ll have to physically evade any enemies that attack you. He also can’t jump, so you’ll be kept on a strict pathway through each level. It feels slightly less heroic to find Lancelot corralled by a tall fence than it would if you had full freedom of movement.

In the first level we played, an English village, we had to rescue townsfolk by breaking them out of cages while we battled two or three minor demons at a time. There weren’t any puzzles in this first level beyond hitting a switch and clearing out the bad guys. The only break from the action seems to be when you have to open a “puzzle chest”, which activates a sliding puzzle. Despite these rare puzzles, Wild Blood definitely seems to be entirely focused on hack-and-slash action, leveling up your character, and journeying through a stylishly corrupted version of fantasy Britain.

Wild Blood doesn’t make the best use of the Unreal Engine that we’ve seen, but it does appear to be a substantial action game with many hours of gameplay. Later levels, like a floating city in the sky, and an inferno bridge that lies near the hellgate, are more impressive in their design than the first level. What we’re really interested in trying out is the game’s player-vs-player multiplayer mode, but we didn’t get a chance to try it in our demo this time. Wild Blood will cost around $7 on the App Store, and it’ll be available to download within the next few months.

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