Reviewed On: Xbox 360

Available For: Xbox 360

Publisher: Microsoft

Developer: Climax

Genre: Action

Age: 18 (PEGI)

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It’s not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the faint willed. It will test stomachs just as much as a gamer’s mettle. It’s challengingly bloody; it’s bloody challenging.

Crom was a warrior with a passion for battle, a lust for blood, and the battle sense of a million generals. Haunted by it all, he one day gave up the fight, took a wife, and settled down to raise a family.

In a cruel trick from the gods, Crom is forced to slay his wife. Driven by revenge and coaxed by a mysterious entity, Crom ventures into the Bloodforge to gain his vengeance.

The path is enveloped in scenery of monotone proportions. There is colour, but it’s sparse and faint - the only vibrancy coming from the red rich blood that stains the sands, coats the blades, and permeates through the airwaves.

Being a hack-and-slash action game combos are both encouraged and rewarded, whilst different weapons provide a variation in moves. Magic and summonings can also been thrown into the mix, and with finishing moves for the taking, battles can be satisfying. However, the lack of a lock-on system is painstakingly felt, as the camera constantly swings out of any kind of logical view.

But aside from the awkward combat, the general difficulty level is top-notch. Expect big difficulty spikes and consequently a grave-load of dying.

What’s even more challenging is putting up with the monotonous music. It will make you want to stick pencils through your eardrums - although muting the TV is probably the less painful option.

Bloodforge’s ambition is huge - it tries to be epic for a trivial price. The bare-bones of a decent game are there, but it’s clad with the flesh of far too many errors.

SCORE: 4 / 10

PROS: Plenty of moves and plenty of weapons. The washed out colours give the game a fabulous vaneer.

CONS: No combat lock-on system leads to some ghastly camera angles, which in turn leads to inevitable death. But then death would be preferable to listening to the music.