Bloodsports.TV Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Bloodsports.TV Review



At the same time, Bloodsports.TV is familiar yet alien. It makes no qualms about directly lifting certain design aspects from other popular MOBAs, but adds a zesty flavor that’s actually missing in most of these games. Set in the same universe as Krater: Shadows over Solside, it features a similar aesthetic style as well as the atmosphere, but is in essence a very different game.

Bloodsports.TV’s most interesting feature is its combat system, as it adds a fair few new features that differentiate it from the rest of the mob. It’s a wave-based mode where enemies keep spawning in an attempt to storm the players’ missile silo in order to prevent the launch of missiles to neighboring villages. A missile is launched at the end of each wave, targetting the homes of the recently slaughtered enemies. The players’ team of champions is in fact a team of villains as the primary objective is the eventual decimation of the neighboring communities – enemies are merely trying to protect their villages!

Character skills are unlocked as players gain experience from killing enemies. As in other offerings of this genre, the skills are mapped to the keyboard’s Q, W, E and R keys. They can be active or passive, function on cooldowns and require mana to cast. This should all sound extremely familiar to anyone who has played games such as League of Legends or DOTA 2. There is even a shop located on each map where players can buy items for their character that buff them in one way or another. Gold is also rewarded for the kills and the destruction of special creature spawn camps that appear in the corners of almost all of the game’s six maps. Six maps seemed like too much variety at first, but the diverse selection is much needed as the maps are very small and enclosed.

Bloodsports.TV’s graphical stylization and music help further in setting the game apart. That doesn’t mean there are no faults here, though. At first, I often found myself bobbing to the energetic electronic music that plays during the matches. Sadly, the song began to feel insanely repetitive after a few rounds and soon my head bobbing turned to head shaking as I wanted anything but the same soundtrack to loop over and over again. Unfortunately, the music is not the only thing that became almost unbearably repetitive over the course of my time spent with the game.

Akin to other MOBAs, this title has an announcer that comments on the action during rounds and occasionally provides some especially colorful commentary. His dialogue usually has the impression of trying too hard to make a joke or come off sarcastic. Additionally, the number of his recorded lines is way too small, so expect to hear lots of repeats while playing.

Visually, there’s a slight cell-shading to the on-screen action and the animations are very reminiscent of other MOBAs. Bloodsports.TV does not feel like a generic carbon copy, but instead like an interesting visual update. Much of the environments have a cool aesthetic that borders on steampunk, and many maps are set in enclosed spaces and have interesting machinery in the backdrop. The experience is occasionally hindered with drops in frame rate though most of the time it runs without hitches. Small videos that appear in the lower-right corner of the screen that shows new enemies, players or missiles are the usual culprit, from what I gathered. Frame-rate issues aside, the game runs well if you can avoid the server-lag.

The most baffling aspect of Bloodsports.TV, however, is the implementation of difficulty settings for the matches. Players can choose between thirteen difficulties which increase the enemies’ strength and speed, which is a fairly daunting number of difficulty options. It goes without saying that some of them also feel terribly balanced. These complaints are exacerbated by the game’s boss enemies which can be a major headache, especially when team members don’t know how to play their classes properly.

Boss encounters can occur one to three times per round, depending on the length of the given game. Unfortunately, there are only three bosses in the game and they appear in the exact same order each and every time. These enemies had no trouble completely wiping out my teammates and me, leaving me scratching my head in frustration. Defeat at the hands of these powerful foes did not feel fair but like an arbitrary difficulty spike.

Bloodsports.TV matches support up to five players, with the game featuring eight unique characters. These are divided into four standard classes: Slayer, Bruiser, Regulator, and Medikus. There are two characters per class and each has a slight variation that makes all of them fairly enjoyable to play with. They seem to be well balanced, too – no class feels weaker than the rest. However, there is little team flexibility when it comes to this system. Without a right combination of characters, the matches might seem impossible to win. Unfortunately, there is no barrier that would prevent multiple players from choosing the same class. While lower difficulty levels can be conquered without much thought given to proper class combos, higher levels such as the Pro League can be frustrating, if not nearly impossible. This lack of flexibility is another troublesome aspect that the Path to Glory system brings to light.

The Path to Glory is an achievement system that rewards players for completing certain tasks within a single match. All of the Path to Glory achievements are class based and function on a tier system. Finishing a couple of objectives for each class will move you up to the next tier of objectives to complete. Most often these tasks are uninspired and simply require a given number of enemies to be killed or the completion of a round under a particular difficulty setting. After completing a task you are given a title and a small bonus to a class such as, say, an incremental increase in health. This is the sole system of progression in the game, but often just ends up needlessly complicating things as completing these objectives doesn’t feel gratifying at all.

The time I’ve spent with Bloodsports.TV was mostly enjoyable as the combat is fun when a good class combination is chosen and the A.I. isn’t unfairly difficult. However, when five players and dozens of enemies are on screen the game can look like a bombastic mess as player characters disappear into the fray. But while it can be confusing and frustrating in parts, the aesthetic and combat are enough to recommend Bloodsports.TV to anyone looking for a new MOBA to play, if you can contend with the game’s flaws that is.