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iPhone App Video Review: Wild Blood

by Andrew Koziara

Wild Blood is the latest big release from Gameloft, and really, It's the most original Gameloft game to date. At least, relatively. It doesn't seem to be emulating any one specific game, but rather it mixes and matches a wide variety of them, much like any other cash in type titles. It's a hack-and-slash action game along the lines of God of War or Devil May Cry, but it also draws inspiration from Darksiders and others. On top of that, it's the only game I can think of that pulls a Dante's Inferno style ret-con of the classic tale of King Arthur.

In this schlocky version of the mythos, Arthur totally loses his cool when he finds out that Lancelot has been putting the moves on Queen Guinevere, so naturally his solution is to trust his always-evil half sister Morgana La Fey to fix everything. But instead, she invites all the denizens of hell to a humanity-sized banquet, and it's up to you as Lancelot to stop them, by cutting everything. Really, this has a lot more in common with Dante's Infernothan I first thought. Both games use an epic and beloved tale to deliver a so-bad-it's-good story with by the book, but well done gameplay

If you are after action, and more action, this game has you covered. The design is as straightforward as it gets, with you hacking your way through monster gate after monster gate, while the occasional character of Arthurian legend pops in, such as Merlin or Gawain. You make use of an oversized sword, dual wielded axes, and a bow, and each has three special elemental spell attacks that you can activate, being fire, ice, and lightning. Each level has some caged up humans to save and a treasure chest or two that are tucked away in some nook or cranny, so it does pay to explore. As you save money, you'll be able to upgrade the power of each weapon, as well as your own health and such. I really liked that you can buy health and magic potions at any time from the pause screen.

The Unreal Engine visuals are as well done as you'd expect, and the game runs pretty smoothly on an iPhone 4. Some of the environments were surprisingly gorgeous or creative. It may not be the most inspired game, but it is streamlined and well executed. The controls keep things simple and work very well, aside from the finicky camera. It's also good that you can spend money on any upgrades that you want, specializing in one uber weapon or keeping everything more balanced. The game is just so very repetitive though. Also, there is an online team deathmatch mode, but it's pretty bland. This is a great time waster in the end. Just don't expect much depth, and you should enjoy yourself fine. Wild Blood is iOS Universal, and available for seven dollars at the time of this review.

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