Bound By Flame likes RPG tropes so much, it features every single one of them. They're all here, including choice-driven narrative and karma-determined character appearance. It can be justifiably described as the poorer cousin of almost every RPG that’s been released in the last 15 years.

Of course, you know this. Nobody’s expecting it to be the next Mass Effect, or even Alpha Protocol. At best, I suspect, people are just hoping that it scratches that Big RPG itch while we wait for the next major entry in the genre to surface – particularly if they’re on next-gen, as this is pretty much the first game of its type on those platforms.

Unfortunately, it is an awful game which doesn’t deserve anyone’s time or money.

While it features the basic building blocks of an RPG, the presentation they’re wrapped in is offensively shoddy. Graphically it sits somewhere between Morph and that Starship Troopers CGI cartoon you saw once in the 90s. The voice acting is atrocious, especially if you opt for the female lead, who seems to have been directed to sound like Roseanne Barr at her most sarcastic, at all times, no matter the tone of the scene. But you’ll come to regard the horrendous cutscenes as welcome breaks from the tedium of fighting the same forever-respawning handful of enemies for hour after endless hour. Quests are plentiful, but almost every one is of the fetching kind, and that goes for both sidequests and story missions.

In fairness, I’ve enjoyed games that commit worse sins than the above. As long as the narrative is passable.

The narrative is not passable. It’s a mess, and it’s delivered via a script that is at once intentionally juvenile and unintentionally stupid. A script which has an unhealthy fixation on the words “whore”, “bitch”, and “slut”. A script in which a character describing having non-consensual sex with his catatonic wife is served up as comic relief. This actually happens. Bound By Flame is an embarrassment on all fronts.

Version Tested: PC. Played for 17 hours.

2 / 10

  • Will remind you of other, better games.
  • Everything.

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User Comments

Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

Hey guys, how's it going?
Posted 01:08 on 12 May 2014
yellowsapphire's Avatar

yellowsapphire

Aww, bless. There are a lot of things I take seriously, but 13-year-olds up past their bedtime trying to act the big boy isn't one of them :D
Posted 00:01 on 12 May 2014
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Brilliant.
Posted 23:32 on 11 May 2014
yellowsapphire's Avatar

yellowsapphire

Indeed. Nothing makes me feel manlier. I don my fedora with pride and feel validated in my masculinity. Thank you for asking!

I'm sure being a prick is validating yours somehow, but I've yet to figure out why. Does typing obscenities make you feel grown-up?
Posted 23:24 on 11 May 2014
pblive's Avatar

pblive

He thought the game was awful, he wrote about the game being awful. What exactly is your problem?
Posted 23:16 on 11 May 2014
yellowsapphire's Avatar

yellowsapphire@ Neon-Soldier32

:D...

Here we are, observing what we call a 'lone keyboard warrior' in his native habitat. Left to his own devices, the keyboard warrior can't help but spew bile everywhere, and today is no different. If you look closely, you can see that he can't seem to stand down, he is almost incapable of resisting the strong urge to post obscenities. We don't know exactly how these urges came to be, but extensive research has revealed that precious few can resist the urge to self-destruct. Sadly, once begun, self-destruction is almost inevitable, and is a messy affair for all involved.
Posted 22:18 on 11 May 2014
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Threads are rarely this entertaining, but I love it when they are!
Posted 22:06 on 11 May 2014
Rektangular's Avatar

Rektangular

A reviewer's responsibility is to the consumer not to the developers, they already have a PR department. Doesn't matter if the developer puts hard work into it or not, only thing that matters is the quality of the resulting product. It doesn't matter if little Billy made a game to pay for his moms surgery, if it's a bad game it will still get a low score. Videogames are not a charity. Whatever product you make, if you put it up for sale, it's open to public scrutiny. Deal with it.

Arguments like "will you think about their families" or "you couldn't make a better game" are childish. This is not kindergarten, you don't get an A for "trying hard".
Posted 20:55 on 11 May 2014
CCI's Avatar

CCI@ Neon-Soldier32

Exactly where was I a jerk in the initial comment? God you internet nerds are sooooo pretentious. It's like you only read that parts you want to. Keep re-reading my initial comment until it makes sense.
Posted 19:03 on 11 May 2014
CCI's Avatar

CCI@ Rektangular

Do what in the confines of my bedroom? Are you implying that I went to your house forced you to respond to my initial comment? Last time I checked that was your choice.
Posted 19:02 on 11 May 2014
EthanielRain's Avatar

EthanielRain@ Jim_Trinca

I would consider that as respawning too, yes. I wonder if the respawns are different between the PC & PS4 versions, or if our perspectives are just skewed by how much/how little we enjoyed the combat.

Either way...I disagree with your review almost entirely, but do appreciate your opinion and differing experience with the game.
Posted 17:37 on 11 May 2014
Rektangular's Avatar

Rektangular@ CCI

You're really obsessed with dicks, I'm not saying that it's wrong, it's just theres no place for that in here. Do it in the confines of your own bedroom and leave the innocent bystanders out of it.
Posted 13:44 on 11 May 2014
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ CCI

Yes there is: Your complaint is that Jim's review is bad and that by giving his opinion he's, essentially, being a jerk to the developers. However, you're saying something bad about Jim's review and being a total 100% jerk about it. God, get off my duck.
Posted 13:12 on 11 May 2014
Havel's Avatar

Havel

How can Jim get hate for stating the obvious? This game looks *****, slow and boring. The fact he played it for more than 5 minutes shows the review is among the most trustworthy. Good work Jim, must have been a real chore man.
Posted 12:44 on 11 May 2014
Jim_Trinca's Avatar

Jim_Trinca@ CCI

"you can something is bad without being a jerk about it."

You seem to be defining "being a jerk" as "saying something is bad".

I don't understand what your issue is - you haven't disagreed about the quality of the game, but you're upset with me for explaining why I thought it was awful. You haven't actually explained what your specific point of contention with the review is, but you made an account just to "tell me off" with some nonsense argument about game developers having families. I have a family to support too, I don't expect people to refrain from criticising my work because of it.

I'll just throw your own advice back at you here - you can disagree with someone's point of view without "being a jerk about it".

@EthanielRain

I can only refer to my own experience but every time I cleared an area, returned to base camp, then headed out into the field again - the exact same enemies were back in the exact same places. Maybe we define "respawning" differently, but that qualifies imo.
Posted 11:12 on 11 May 2014

Game Stats

Bound By Flame
2
Out of 10
Bound By Flame
  • Will remind you of other, better games.
  • Everything.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 09/05/2014
Platforms: PC , PS4 , Xbox One , Xbox 360 , PS3
Developer: Spiders
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Genre: RPG
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 2,514 308
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