Many of the role-playing games these days have more sophisticated elements to them, and the more crude ones are usually those MMORPGs that have saturated the market since the mid to late 2000′s. It has been a while since the good old dungeon crawler had been seeing more releases that are simply hack-and-slash fare that stays true to the classic genre. Blood Knights seems to have stumbled through this, but does have to do a whole lot in order to prove itself.
Blood Knights is a game that focuses on the ongoing battle between humans and vampires, made by German development studio Deck 13 Interactive in a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler form. Despite its problems, there is a decent enough game within the veneer of slightly troubled mediocrity. The story is led by the duo of a human knight turned fledgling vampire and a female vampire who has since become his anchor in his new identity. Due to their precarious position, they must now work together in order to survive by getting past threats from both human and vampire forces.
It does seem that this game was merely ported from the console to the PC without thinking if there would be any problems with the transition. Unfortunately, weaknesses in performance were left unaddressed as the gameplay has a slightly choppy feel to it, even when played in a high end system and running at 60+ frames per second. The flow of camera and character movements doesn’t feel like it matches up with the framerate; perhaps that’s a problem with VSYNC or some other artifact in the graphics, but that doesn’t look good at all for the PC version of this game.
At least there is two-player local cooperative multiplayer in this game, so you can get a friend with you to blast through this game for kicks and giggles. It seems that the singleplayer campaign is quite short, and the enemy AI being quite simplistic makes it not as challenging as it should. There is also no online play to add up to the local co-op, so there is pretty low replay value overall.
Within the sliver of campaign you do get here, the progression is linear at best. The main characters synergize well enough, even though the voice acting doesn’t really do so well for the most part. It then extends to the other characters in the game, like a high priest having a Texan accent, as well as others with their own quirks and problems, and you can only respond to them with a couple of dialogue options at a time, so you don’t have much choice.
There are also some issues with the controls, especially with character movement, so you may want to play this with a pad controller for best effect instead of keyboard and mouse as it does play much like its Xbox 360 version. Despite the performance issues, the game looks alright for something released in 2013, even though it does reek more of that console porting goodness, which shows that they may have only put this out for the PC to sell a bit more without taking too much trouble.
But even with the flaws, you can’t really knock this game too badly for what it does get right. If you are a gamer who had gone through countless playthroughs of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines and was quite disappointed with Dark, then this game may sate your thirst for blood and vampirism.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 6/10