Until Dawn made a mark on me that I often feel can never be replaced. I have played through it countless times, and it even wore off on my girlfriend as well. With the Dark Pictures Anthology series not doing too well, I’m always looking for another game to fill the void. While Bloodshore is a great game it doesn’t quite scratch that itch.
Bloodshore is an FMV — Full Motion Video — game and it honestly feels just like a movie where you make the decisions. You play as Nick, a child actor who couldn’t quite turn acting into his full-time gig and compete in a televised 50-player battle royale. Kill/Stream is the hottest TV show on the planet that reaches millions of concurrent viewers every season. The prize pool is also enormous. With a £100m up for grabs, you don’t have to worry about killing anyone as you can always just buy yourself a new conscience.
After watching the trailer, I was certain Bloodshore was going to feature some terrible acting. While the acting isn’t something you’d expect out of a top movie in Hollywood, the characters kept me engaged through to the very end. However, the narrative did prove to be quite predictable. I never felt on the fence about making decisions, and only a couple of decisions left me wishing I’d have chosen differently.
“All these were welcome additions, making me believe that something as crazy as this could happen in the future.”
As you play the game, you are shown other reactions of audience members. You receive the occasional gasps or comments as the camera pans between people watching the show on TV or streaming it. There is also a charismatic announcer who offers comments on the current events in the game, which never failed to make me laugh. Furthermore, there is a second host who checks in and asks an audience panel their opinions on the decisions Nick has made. While some of the responses are a little generic, it does a great job of adding to the atmosphere.
Bloodshore features battle royale elements, making the game feel a little bit more authentic. Initially, you receive weapons from a supply drop after the game has begun. There are a lot of references to “camping” throughout the narrative, with characters even promoting the idea of staying in a location. Finally, there are the smart mines, which are used as the classic “storm” mechanic to shorten the area. All these were welcome additions, making me believe that something as crazy as this could happen in the future.
After you finish the game, you can check the ‘Stats’ section to track all of the decisions you have made. However, compared to other choice-based games, it feels extremely outdated. In Bloodshore, you can only see a total for how many scenes you witnessed compared to the total scenes available, and how many decisions you’ve made. The feels incredibly lacklustre compared to other games where you can see decision trees spanning across the screen. There isn’t even an option to view past decisions. I’m not sure if this is intentional so it stays hidden, but I would have enjoyed a more intensive statistic centre.
“For its incredibly low price and easily accessible mechanics, Bloodshore is an absolute steal.”
Despite lacking a proper explanation of what is missing, there are plenty of scenes. After my first playthrough, I only saw 58 out of 294 scenes. After my second, I only witnessed a few more hitting around 70. Each run extends from 60-90 mins, so there is always a reason to keep coming back for more.
At the moment, FMV games don’t feel like they will ever compete alongside other games. Instead, they stand somewhere in the middle between games and TV. Bloodshore feels like a great game to close the gap. For its incredibly low price and easily accessible mechanics, Bloodshore is an absolute steal. If you’re interested in FMV games, this one should be the one to try.
*Disclaimer: Previewed on PC, code was provided by the Publisher.