Blood Ledger Review

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Baconlabs
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Blood Ledger Review

Post by Baconlabs »

This game was entered into the 2020 Heart of the OHR contest, where it won 10th Place.

Blood Ledger is a refreshing foray into stealth-action territory, where you must think quickly to avoid detection and act quickly to solve puzzles. The world on display is strange and mysterious, and for the most part I ignored the greater context of my character's adventure and just got lost in the fun of moving around and using the variety of abilities on show, including rock-throwing, wire-trapping, sprinting and jumping, vanishing, distracting, and even melting into the shadows. While I gave this game its accolade for making effective use of the same enemy NPC repeatedly, "Army of One" could just as easily apply to the protagonist himself, who feels like he can do anything after you get the hang of all his moves.

The map design is quite effective at easing you into each of your new gameplay tools, one by one, with liberal use of a basic enemy NPC that will either patrol or guard a given area. They may not do much, directly, but the way each map uses them can get quite devious. Failure is inevitable, but checkpoints are generous, so it's no problem at all to take a few steps back and re-think your approach.

My biggest criticisms with this game are with its controls and UI. Due to an engine bug that was still present at the time this review was written, I couldn't use a controller very well and had to fall back on keyboard controls, which could use some tweaking. Running and sprinting being separate actions that use the same key was something I couldn't wrap my head around, and I could barely tell the difference between the speed of one and the other; the difference is vital, though, as you can only jump while sprinting. I'd personally recommend just having one speed-boost action, to eliminate the need for double-tapping. It would also be worthwhile to look into "wall-sliding" to conserve momentum while trying to move at an angle, particularly if the game is intended to be played with a control stick. Finally, I found the display along the screen edges to be unhelpful - the letters next to each item icon kept making me think I had to press corresponding keyboard letters, and the hunger meter is hard to keep track of in the corner. I'd honestly recommend ditching the symmetry and just making it a big visual element along the bottom of the screen.

There's a lot to keep me engrossed here, but sadly the game is currently in a demo state. There's lots of room to expand - maps, characters, lore, mechanics - and I sincerely look forward to seeing more out of this project in the future.

Time Invested: 0 Hours, 45 Minutes
Rating: 7/10
Accolade: ARMY OF ONE
Attachments
ARMY OF ONE: Gets a lot of mileage out of one NPC type.
ARMY OF ONE: Gets a lot of mileage out of one NPC type.
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