Wild Blood is the latest visually splendorous hack & slash title from Gameloft. The game puts players in the armored boots of Sir Lancelot as he slices and dices his way through hundreds of demons on a mission to take out a mad King Arthur. The Arthurian storyline mostly just serves as an excuse for the 10 missions of demon-slaying, though.
Wild Blood’s combat at first seems very simple. Mashing the single attack button to swing Lancelot’s ridiculously gigantic sword can dispatch nearly all of the demonic enemies players encounter. But over time Gameloft spices the action up with a dodge-roll, multiple types of magic, dual-axes and even a bow and arrow. All movement and actions are handled via virtual on-screen buttons.
Coins earned by grabbing treasure chests, defeating foes, rescuing maidens and generally smashing everything in sight can be spent between rounds to power-up Lancelot’s offensive and defensive stats. Optional In-App Purchases let players prematurely power-up, but I never felt any unbalanced difficulty steering me towards paying.
Wild Blood does include a four-on-four online multiplayer with Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch but most matches devolve into a team-on-team button-mashing pile-up. It works as a casual diversion but doesn’t offer up a serious competitive experience.
Wild Blood’s combat system comes together nicely as the single player campaign progresses. By the game’s final stages I was rolling into enemies to stagger them, unleashing a fury of sword swings and finally mopping up with a huge lightning attack. Boss fights and mid-mission mini-bosses spice up the formula by forcing players to uncover specific enemy weak points to progress. A handful of first-person turret defense and block-sliding puzzle sections also help pace each stage.
Although the dodge-heavy combat feels frantic and fun, like many 3D action titles clunky camera issues sometimes crop up. I often found myself losing health due to attacks coming in from off-screen as I frantically tried to swing the camera around to get a better viewpoint.
Wild Blood’s clunky virtual buttons also cause problems. It simply doesn’t feel good to clutch your iPhone and iPad while moving a virtual thumbpad and hitting virtual attack buttons.
Problems aside, Wild Blood is a solid original effort from Gameloft. It isn’t perfect, but the core swordplay works well and offers up plenty of demon-slaying thrills. Hardcore players can extend the adventure by playing through the adventure a second time on Hard Mode to unlock the game’s true ending. For $6.99 gamers looking for a gorgeous iOS sword & sorcery action title will enjoy this adventure through Arthurian legend.
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