Blightbound tries to be your standard Dungeon Crawler, but with a 2D combat style in a 3D space. In the game you’ll fight through hordes of monstrous beings while finding money, items, and Hero’s along the way. Even if the concept isn’t particularly special, I still found myself drawn to it overtime.
At the start you have three classes to pick from, Warrior, Assassin and Mage, each with their own set role. Warrior’s are tanks that also deal a lot of damage, but aren’t versatile. Assassin’s are quick, they can run up, slice and stab, and then run away. Mage are the healers, but don’t have much health themselves. I chose to main Scarlet, an assassin looking for a special dagger called “Bloodslick.” Though it seemed at first I did significantly less damage than the Warrior and Mage I soon realized that was due to me not utilizing her abilities correctly. Every Hero has a certain play style and learning each style isn’t challenging, but it does take time to perfect it.
In the case of Scarlet, she is designed around stealth and backstabs. Any foe she takes on directly puts her at a disadvantage, due to her skills boosting backstabs. To further this, she has a toolkit dedicated to stealthy gameplay. The advantage is players have more opportunities to stab someone in the back, but the downside is a failure to utilize these advantages is less damage overall.
You fight through a couple areas, such as the dangerous depths of The Underhold, the precarious peaks of The Blood Ridge or the gruesome tombs of The Gravemark. There isn’t any variation of the aforementioned areas, you just spawn in different spots depending on the mission you choose. What it lacks in diversity, Blightbound addresses by having a variety of mission ratings. You can choose the difficulty best suited for your team level. Of course you’ll need a team of 3 to start a mission, though currently that is easier said than done. Even after release and cross-play, there was a rather sizable wait, sometimes resulting in me just playing with bots.
Playing with bots gets the job done, but for real enjoyment out of this game you need two friends to join you. While the puzzles in this game are fairly basic stand here or grab that, the AI isn’t particularly great at anticipating what I want. Triggering a plate might cause the AI to disengage or I have to step on a specific one to get the desired reaction. It’s little things like that, along with being able to coordinate actions, that makes playing with actual people a huge advantage.
There are 17 generic enemies separated into Spawns, Minions, and Generals. They all have their own abilities as well, but the method to killing them is all the same, just stab them a bunch until they die. The Bosses help make up for the lackluster enemies, though this starts to fall off long term. With a decent Mage and basic skills, almost any foe will go down as long as you’re not reckless. Not that a successful mission wasn’t satisfying in the end.
I enjoyed the art style a lot, especially the designs of the Bosses, but it isn’t anything spectacular. In my opinion the whole 2D combat in a 3D space works for this game though. It’s the type of experience that has its own feel and as a result is memorable in its own way.
Blightbound Review Verdict
Overall, Blightbound has a good base, it just needs to expand on it more and a faster way to get there. Playing as a class you don’t like until the version you do appears sucks and then leveling it can be a bit long. Certain enemies could also further the need to master each classes unique offering, so it isn’t three damage dealers with one of them being responsible for healing. Given the roadmap suggests good things are coming, along with the progress we’ve seen thus far, but in its current state it needs a little more time to bake.
[Editor’s Note: Blightbound was reviewed on PC and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]