ReviewXBLAXbox 360

Blood Knights Review

Game Info

DeveloperDeck 13
PublisherKalypso Media
Review Platform: XBLA
Review Copy Provided ByKalypso Media
Release Date: November 1, 2013


There are some people who watch bad movies, just for the kicks. The “So bad it’s good” genre, is one that is quite popular when it comes to film, but there isn’t really one for games. Typically, when a game is considered “bad” it is due to the failure of certain technical components, and that is never fun to deal with. However, what if you had a game with solid, and borderline unique mechanics, with a ridiculously atrocious narrative? Would that work? Let’s find out.

In the vein of Diablo or Torchlight, Blood Knights is an Action RPG. There are two characters to switch between, the blade wielding Jeremy, and crossbow firing Alysa. Both are very unique, and your main character will differ based off of your combat preference.  You may find the two sets of controls cumbersome at first. Most of Jeremy’s attacks are located on the bumper and triggers, and Alysa’s crossbow attacks are on the shoulder buttons, while the grenades fire from the triggers. But, after the first couple of missions, I found myself adjusting, and even enjoying this layout.

Because both Jeremy and Alysa are Vampires, they have the ability to suck the blood from enemies. When you activate the blood sucking mode, the enemy closest to you will be hoisted up in the air, and as his health will decrease while yours increases. Of course, this leaves you wide open to attack by others, so it must be used strategically. Blood sucking gave a unique feature to the game, instead of simply using a healing potion like in most ARPGs, you literally suck the blood out of your enemies. It is complementary to atmosphere as well as gameplay.

Blood Suckers
Blood Suckers

There is a loose linear structure that brings you from area to area, but you do have the option to teleport back to a small city hub anytime you reach a checkpoint. When in Godskeep, the city hub, you can converse with NPCs, complete a select number of side quests, and purchase items. This is a nice, albeit fairly shallow, way to break up combat.

My favorite part of this game was the awful narrative. Blood Knights was so comically bad in writing, voice acting, and directional design. Listening to the “phoned in”, emotionless voice work will either make you explode into laughter or cause your ears bleed. The dialog can make absolutely no sense, and there will be times when you ask a character a question and they ramble on about something completely different. When Jeremy, who keep in mind, is a medieval crusader, utters the line “I can’t kill her, she’s too hot” you know what kind of story this is.

Legendary Vampire hunter gets pummeled by a priest?
Legendary Vampire hunter gets pummeled by a priest?

In the cutscenes, there are very little facial animations, and characters randomly appear out of nowhere. Not to mention the absolutely ridiculous plot. After the first chapter the moon literally explodes, and it becomes your mission to repair it. Although there are two protagonist, Alysa has little to now screen time. In fact,  Alysa, gets all of one cutscene attempting to flesh out her character, but it seems like the developers may have just given up after that. There is this strange and unexplained “buddy cop” attitude between the two protagonists. They act as if they have known each other for years when in reality, they have only been together for a few days. Unfortunately, at the risk of spoilers, I can’t really divulge the final 30 minutes of the game, which is by far the most ridiculous and comical of all.

Score: 3/5

In the end, this will be a polarizing game, some people will love it for its “Craptastic” qualities, but if you need a convincing and well-designed narrative, this is absolutely not for you. As for me, this is a precious rare gem. Blood Knights is a mechanically functional title with a plot that is not just mediocre, it is amazingly awful.

Matthew Ahern

With an intense interest in the more artistic and narrative elements of gaming, Matthew is a lover of fantasy worlds like Hyboria, Middle Earth, and most of all, Albion. Despite this fondness towards fantasy, he is open to playing any and all genres of games on his Xbox and PC.

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