By Square Enix
Hey everyone, and welcome to another issue of iGamer, where Riknas reviews all the hottest (and other temperatures) mobile game titles. This week, we’ll be going over Square Enix’s Triple A title, Blood Masque, showing that the gaming industry is still a good five years behind the movie studios trying to cash in on the vampire craze everyone was talking about.
The story of Bloodmasque is far from groundbreaking, however, it is just different enough to be interesting. The setting takes place in an alternate world where Vampires exist and nearly conquered the globe, and only recently are being overthrown by a new generation of half-vampires seeking to free themselves and the human race. The main story takes place in victorian-era France, where you play one of the many half vampire hunters; investigating rumors of a new Vampire leader that threatens to reverse all the progress the vampire hunters have made.
Bloodmasque markets itself as a graphically intensive, cutting edge game with the unique feature to have your face placed onto your character.
One and a half out of three isn’t terrible, but not exactly jaw-dropping.
While the graphics are certainly high quality, the “Masque” feature is remarkably gimmicky, the game will access the camera on your phone and create an outline for you to line up your face with. That’s it. It just takes an actual picture of your face, and just plasters it over your character. I don’t even want to mention how important it is you also have your face fit into the outline perfectly, lest the game give you such ridiculous proportions that I don’t even want to show you what my pictures ended up looking like. Along with that, the game’s ability to show three separate expressions is also remarkably unimpressive, as it just asks you to take two more pictures beside the first one you picked. Really, you don’t even need to put up pictures of your face for that matter. At one point I decided just to take pictures of my rug, the tile floor, and my door knob. Boom, those are the images for my casual, excited, and angry expressions. While there is a certain novelty to it, you can easily go through the game without touching this feature at any point, and use their standard character creator.
With that said, in regards to how it plays…
The Game Play
The gameplay in Bloodmasque is somewhat similar to the gameplay of Infinity Blade, in the sense that you use the touch screen to attack and dodge, which is sort of like saying a machine gun is like a flintlock pistol. Which, while technically true, doesn’t really say a whole lot.
The game mostly revolves around a series of encounters against various vampires, and sometimes their human minions. You tap the screen to attack your target, and swipe the screen to dodge. Unlike Infinity Blade, which direction you dodge in isn’t relevant so long as you time it properly. While it makes for rather simple gameplay, it’s fast paced and just challenging enough to keep it engaging. To add a little complexity, quick time events are added in to power up your special attacks, as well as provide bonus experience at the end of your encounters.
While each mission is simple, each of them is replayable, giving you opportunities to grind for experience, coins, and unique treasures in each mission. The item drop rates are fickle however, which can make the process tedious to people that aren’t enthralled with the gameplay.
This of course, brings us to…
Ah yes, this game does indeed have a catch. Along with a standard 7$ purchase price, the title has a pay-for currency to facilitate micro-transactions. The currency is “rubies” and can be used to progress through the game faster, or make it easier. This includes health boosts, time-extensions, upgrades, and even some exclusive items.
For what it’s worth, there are other ways to get more rubies in the game, but they are both slow and inefficient, especially compared to pulling out your wallet.
While I’m hardly a fan of micro-transactions being mixed in along with the actual “box” price, apparently everyone along with the industry has gone ahead and accepted it as standard affair. That said, the micro transactions aren’t as heavily encouraged as they are in other titles, and the price is relatively average as well. If you’re interested in some hack-and-slash vampire action and have some extra change you’re willing to spend, this might be the title for you.