One particularly obscure title that we were looking forward to finding more about at E3 2013 was Spiders Studios' Bound by Flame, a new Action RPG in the works that had so far only been shown off in the usual wholly dynamic screenshots. We were able to get in on a presentation of the game and were given the idea surrounding the game, and a bit of the gameplay we can expect.
Bound by Flame is set on an uncertain back-story, you are a mercenary sent to protect the scholars known as the Red Scribes who are attempting to stop evil-doers from freezing the earth, to counteract this the wise Red Scribes call in a fire demon. Unexpectedly the demon possesses you and for a very interesting turn of events, the story of the game is not simply the struggle between good and evil, but the struggle between yourself and the demon inside of you.
Because after all it would be rude to simply intrude on your host, and so you are given a choice that you must make; will embrace the demon’s power or continue on without it, bearing in mind that as you progress on the journey to stop all evil, the enemies will get tougher and your adventure will become far more difficult without the acceptance of the demon which leaves two paths that you can follow, a challenging path without, where you must rely on your companions, or take on the demon’s might but risk alienation with the more traditional of your companions.
Because the conflict is all pretty much inside your characters head, fans of customisation and personal stories will be delighted to know that Bound by Flame does not force an intricately woven character full of history in your hands, what you get is a blank slate who can be versed in combat, fire magic or assassination, or a little on all three if you like to experiment. Combat is dynamic asking you to dodge, parry and combo moves for the most effect strikes, we imagine it will play similarly to Of Orcs and Men or Mars Wars Logs considering this is the same engine, however we were unable to give the game a hands on so for now it remains a mystery, however we're also aware that there are two stances; rogue for stealthing around and warrior for straight up offence, so it's sounding a bit like to Of Orcs and Men.
One of the main focuses in Bound by Flame is a complex companion system, throughout your journey you will meet five different companions that can join you on your quest, although you will only be able to have two following at a time. However with the complex machinations inside your head with the demon, your companions will not simply follow you to what could be your own undoing, if you are not kind to them, or take on the demon’s possession you may find they grow to hate you —or like you if they are into the kind of power a demon can wield. However to bolster the feelings that your companions have towards you, each companion has around 7 side quests, take these on and show an interest in them and you may find they begin to like you a little more.
As the screenshots unveiled for the game already show, Bound by Flame is going for epic scale creatures, the likes that the Final Fantasy series were always fabulous at showing off, thanks to their engine these beasts are looking fabulous, which is great, because the last thing you want to have to take down in an inherently fantasy game is group upon group of angry humans.
The game itself will take part across three main chapters, and whilst the game is not strictly open world, you will be able to fully explore these areas, don't go expecting furnished paths like Orcs and Men. This main quest alone is estimated at roughly 25 hours game time, which is not including the wealth of side quests guaranteed, and of course considering the game is driven by your choices and the opinions that others make of you, there are a multitude of different ways that you can play the game.
Bound by Flame is sounding and looking pretty interesting although it is still a very long way off, a story driven by choices is one promised by many games these days and it will be interesting to see just how it and the intriguing struggle between yourself and the demon will pan out.
Bound by Flame is scheduled for a release early 2014 on Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.