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A Forgotten Indie Gem — ‘Blood Alloy: Reborn’



Indie games are notorious for flying under the average consumer’s radar. Whether it’s due to a lack of marketing or an untimely release, many exciting experiences are left undiscovered by potential fans. Such is the case for Blood Alloy: Reborn, a PC arena side-scroller developed by Suppressive Fire Games. The title made its debut in early March of 2016 with little fanfare, and as a result quickly fell out of the consumer’s field of view. This, coupled with poor promotion and the fact that it had a rough launch, meant that Blood Alloy didn’t get much attention. However, Suppressive Fire spent the next few months tirelessly reworking the title and fixing its multitude of problems. Their dedication paid off, as this latest version of Blood Alloy offers a stronger, more streamlined experience with an addictive gameplay loop.

The focal point of Blood Alloy is its visceral combat and spacious arena setting. Each of the three maps offers several ways to go about slaughtering the endless swarm of cybernetic enemies that assault the player. To combat these foes, the player uses a varied selection of both melee and ranged weaponry that can be switched on the fly. The player is constantly moving around the environment to avoid the maelstrom of bullets and aggressive combatants that swarm their screen, and what’s more, the game offers up to sixty different weapons and augments to choose from that allow the player to customize their character to their liking.

One of the weak points of Blood Alloy is its story. While it’s very much an arcade game in focus and design, the lore tab on the title screen does little to explain the actual motivations behind the character’s actions. From what I could glean from my findings, the main character is a cyborg soldier named Nia Rhys who is tasked with dispatching an army of mindless robots hellbent on conquering the world. While this is an oversimplification, the given information doesn’t offer much else. What’s more, the game suffers from terribly long load times and a frantic control scheme as well as a few crashes while loading the results screen. This can easily deter players from coming back, as trying to manage all of the vibrant colors, spotty framerate, and sporadic movement can be difficult at the least, and keyboard-shatteringly frustrating at most.

Like many games of this type, Blood Alloy has leaderboards. If nothing else, being able to compare scores with others around the world offers incentive to become more skilled and survive longer with each attempt at one of the arenas. The game also offers a constant stream of experience after the player dies or completes a level, meaning that even if one doesn’t break their high score, they are still making progress towards improving their character. It’s not so much that Blood Alloy is doing something new, but rather that its take on a near-perfect gameplay loop is refreshing.

While it isn’t for everyone, Blood Alloy: Reborn offers a very specific gameplay style that will appeal to fans of 2D arena combat, a format that it manages to work with well. It’s not quite worth its current $12 price of admission, but the next time a Steam sale comes around one shouldn’t hesitate to pick it up. Despite its flaws, Blood Alloy: Reborn has shown great improvement since its initial release, and would be a worthy addition to any indie enthusiast’s catalog.

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Carston is a freelance writer hailing from the always humid Sunshine State. He enjoys RPGs, grand strategy games, 80's New Wave and post-punk, and anything PlayStation related. If Game of Thrones, Mass Effect, or Chinese food are your thing, find him on Twitter @RolandDucant.