Carrots are so clearly underestimated, and aren’t just a tool for parents to get kids to see in the dark: they’re a very versatile weapon for assassinations, as Bloodroots has taught me these past few days.
Left for dead, you play Mr Wolf, a nomad-like warrior intent on getting revenge on his adversary, Mr Boar (and more). Instead of using interpretative dance, Wolfy unleashes hell in a bloody mess that only our friend, the Serial Cleaner, can clean up.
Like a disgruntled Jason Bourne, Wolf picks up and impales any breakable object into the torso’s of nameless henchman; from traditional axes used for dismemberment, fencing poles through the chest, to the lethal carrot. It’s a carnival of carnage, and you’re invited, pending you’re hasty about it.
A Bloodroots Switch Review
While there’s no time limit, you might want to dash through each section as if your life depends on it. It does. Mister Wolf is as hard as Fenrir after watching Air Bud and Turner & Hooch back to back. You don’t mess with him. However, if you get close enough, he’s as fragile as an egg.
Y’see, it’s one hit, one kill. Dem’s da rules, and a bit like Katana Zero. How is it fair if you can roll through on a barrel, trampling over each enemy killing them instantly, yet take a few hits to the face with a battleaxe? You can’t, as you die on impact.
This makes Bloodroots, a game from Paper Cult, a risky affair, and each death returns you to the most recent checkpoint. It’s not all bad then, as there’s nothing to lose other than your pride, but if you’re one of those that like to wave your genitalia in other’s faces on the leaderboards, you’re want to do so without little to no deaths and the kind of innovation that would make Sir James of Dyson hang his head in shame.
What’s The Time, Mr Wolf?
The driving force of the story is Mr Wolf’s path of vengeance. He’s an anti-hero, as first of all, he’s a nasty crim. But when he stands up to his crew, there’s a bit of fisticuffs, and they leave him for dead. Not one to sit back and take it, he picks them off one by one. It’s a more vindictive Red Dead Redemption 2 without the redemption. Or beans.
The story was terrific and played out like a spaghetti western. The cutscenes are an excellent opportunity to see the art style intimately, warts and all. Illustrations are excellent, and the animation in these segments are cool too. It’s a shame then that it’s so hard to decipher the core gameplay in handheld mode.
I played Bloodroots predominantly in handheld mode, and though it plays nice and crispy, it’s hard to make out what you’re doing, sometimes it might be working out which way you’re facing, other times whether or not you’re likely to fall off a cliff. It jiggles your depth perception a little in this mode, so I recommend playing on the telly if you can, but don’t be deterred if you don’t own one, as Bloodroots is still ace.
Vitamin A’s A Killer
Chaining attacks is the key part to the game as you glide across the terrain from one breakable object to another, riding the likes of carts to bash through grunts and flimsy walls, to dashing through the air with an oar or sword in your mitts. This is incredibly satisfying as you see the modifier creeping to boost your score, but one slight delay in an attack leaves you exposed for a slash in the face (not that kind of game), and you repeat it once more.
Surprisingly, Bloodroots gameplay isn’t that frustrating considering the difficulty. Briefly pausing while I had to attend to a gang outside the house by immobilising them with a carrot (it works), I noted an assist option. I didn’t use it, opting for the path of ignorance in that I didn’t read about it other than the statement that Bloodroots is meant to be a challenging game.
It reminded me a little of the aforementioned Serial Cleaner, presentation-wise. It had similar visuals and camera placing, and the Bloodroots gameplay had a whiff of Super Meat Boy with the same tempo, and impeccable timing.
What’s not to like? Challenging, yes, but relatively fair. The art style is brilliant throughout, as is the storytelling. My only gripe, and a minor one at that, would be the loading times, but the transition to the nearest checkpoint after a death really isn’t an issue, and if it is, you need to exercise a little patience, my friend.
Bloodroots Review Summary
Fast, kind of frantic, and bloody excellent, Bloodroots is a must-have for any fan of games like Katana Zero – and you know how I feel about that one. Don’t you? It’s been out for a little while now, but I’m pleased to have finally played it and encourage you to do so too.