You are a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in a desperate world ravaged by seven Ice Lords. In this RPG where every choice counts, you will have to choose between unleashing the powers of the beast within and rejecting its demonic influence.
User reviews:
Mixed (27 reviews) - 55% of the 27 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (2,063 reviews) - 65% of the 2,063 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 8, 2014

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Includes 4 items: Bound By Flame, Faery - Legends of Avalon, Mars: War Logs, Of Orcs And Men



“The mix of combat styles, spells, and abilities is fantastic”

“Bound by Flame is like Mass Effect set in a Medieval fantasy world”

“We're pretty impressed with Bound by Flame”

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About This Game

You are a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in a desperate world ravaged by seven Ice Lords and their Dead-Army.

In this RPG where all your choices lead to consequences, you will have to choose between unleashing the powers of the beast within and rejecting the demonic influence that wants to claim your humanity.

Freely develop your abilities and combat style through three skill trees: swing the heavy weapons of the Fighter, wield the sneaky dual daggers of the Ranger, or use the devastating flame spells of the Pyromancer.

Recruit companions who will live, love, hate and fight alongside you against the dreadful creatures of Vertiel, in real-time epic battles based on tactics and reaction.

The bigger the danger, the greater the temptation to draw on the demon’s power at the cost of your soul… which way will YOU choose?

System Requirements

SteamOS + Linux
    • Processor: AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.2 GHZ
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE
    • OS: UBUNTU 12.04 LTS/SteamOS
    • Processor: AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.2 GHZ
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (27 reviews)
Mixed (2,063 reviews)
Recently Posted
Surf Rock Ist Krieg
16.1 hrs
Posted: August 27
I seen a lot of reviews and comments where Bound By Flame was compared with Dark Souls series and The Witcher 2/3. All of these games are NOT RPG. These games basically are third person action games. In my opinion most of negative reviews were made just due to too big expectations.

Dark Souls has own unique gameplay and it cannot be compared with Bound By Flame. At the same time The Witcher 3 is very terrible game both as an RPG (not enough RPG elements to be RPG) and as a Third Person Action (totally broken combat system with awful hitboxes and animations).

Obviously Bound By Flame has much lesser budget for development than games mentioned above. And i think those few things made in the game were made almost excellent.

Combat system in Bound By Flame is good for the game of this genre: you can just not only beat enemy up but also parry strikes, use two different styles of melee combat (daggers with ability to dodge attacks and swords/maces/axes/etc. with large damage and kicking ability), and use additional useful things (magic, mines, mini crossbow, etc.) which make fights more interesting than just dumb clicking or typical click'n'dodge. Another feature of the combat system is a good balance between distance and speed/interval of strikes. This eliminates any problem with hitboxes.

Graphics are not outstanding but certainly not bad for 2014 year. Amount of content not so large as in top AAAA-games but quality and amount of the in-game content enough for the game of scale of Bound By Flame.

I can tell much more about Bound By Flame but the tale will be too long. I'l just say that the game is not so bad as most of reviews may describe. Just dont compare it with Dark Souls series - this game is too different and has absolutely different but good gameplay. For low budget game Bound By Flame is outstanding one. Howewer, i think the game is overpriced a bit. If the price would be 30-50% lower Bound By Flame would be a great choice even without holiday sales.

My rating of the game: 7/10
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9.8 hrs
Posted: August 26
I know this is sound ridiculous,
but i love this game.

Finish this game in just 3 days, (9.8 hours(average 3 hours/day)), and i feel satisfied.
Maybe this game bad at graphic, but u should check the history of this game, they make this game with a low budget, but still, rich story line and gameplay, choose between standin in human path or follow evil path, really really good for me. But it pretty sucks on control.

I suggest to buy this game when it has discount,
It's not worthed in a full price

but still, i love this game!
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Psyho Panda (°ʖ°)
13.4 hrs
Posted: August 24
the game itself is great, the crafting the story everything is great but the combat is so bad, its worst then risen 3 combat..
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1.9 hrs
Posted: August 21
I really despised this game. The main character, at first, tries to be the wily, tough Mercenary character but quickly degrades into a swearing, immmature, seemingly out-of-control thug. Really disappointed, as a whole, and can't recommend it primarily due to the childish, poorly-written dialogue and interactions.
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15.4 hrs
Posted: August 21
It feels rushed in a lot of places. Like there's a stealth mechanic, but most enemies are positioned in such a way as to make it pointless. There's magic, but it is really expensive and even when you max out the offensive magic it's not that powerful. Talents barely feel like they have an impact and really any time you get stuck you just lay landmines.

The story feels like it just skips around to set pieces and occasionally it gives you "big moral choices", but you have so little information that you're basically picking blind. And that's assumign the choice makes sense since at least one the game tried to present the choices as mutually exclusive when it was basically fight a boss monster and lower a bridge when the monster is by the lever for the bridge.
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15.9 hrs
Posted: August 20
Product received for free
This game is not good.
The story makes no sense at all.
The combat is slow and the same throughout the whole game.
And this game is very very hard. even on easy i had trouble beating it.
Not recommended
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20.1 hrs
Posted: August 20
terrible game, terrible gameplay, terrible story, horrible character development....
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54.3 hrs
Posted: August 19
Bound by Flame is a action RPG settled in world devasted by the war, you belong to a group of mercenary escorting some schoolars called Red Scribes in attemp to find a solution to turn things down.
The game is very well build around this, and pieces of the lore are scattered in portions of dialogs you can discover by talking and improving relations with your companions.

It have strong characters like the captain, worried only about money and get paid in world about to brake without any place left to spend it, Ranvdal, a warrior that talks in third person (kind of hilarious), Edwen and Marthas are the most captivating characters, Edwen bc all the secrecy about her intentions and what is really true about her character and Marthas just have dark sense of humor.

Great voice acting just give life to this story and characters, there are a few missing sounds but nothing really big, what really break all of this is the gameplay, Spider attemp in create a dificult game is commendable, even that there are some improvements over Mars War Logs, their combat mechanics lack important features that simply cant be desregarded to make everything else works.

Their core combat is based on block & counter, wich work nicelly against 1 enemy, but you rarelly face 1, and since this powerfull possessed warrior cant dodge (it seem the Ranger is the only one that can do that and just backwards) you are left with messy combat system that you just want to get over with, specially if you made the mistake to start at higher dificulty, there are 1 boss battle that is hilarious, you have to kill the boss with 4 other enemys rushing at you (possessed friends you cant kill).

Another thing is, for a warrior possessed by great flame demon, you are kind of weak in term of ability/combat, and not even with your skill tree full in any of the choices (Warrior/Ranger/Pyromancer) you actually feel strong, maybe bc the weapons lack weight/damage, abilitys lack damage/radious (but you look at your enemy abilitys or even some of your companions and you think, wow why cant i do that) and the daggers are just ackwards animations, its hilarious that almost at the end of the game, you still need a few minutes to kill a cannon fodder shielded undead bc of large pool of health in captain dificulty.

Im even surprised by some comparations with Dark Souls, where?? Dark Souls is dificult game but you have all the tools at your disposal to master it, you have strong enemys, but so are your spells or weapons or whatever, everything works, you can go mage, archer or knight, doesnt really matter, on BBF on the other hand, in some fights you are forced to go ranger bc its the only one that can dodge backward if you plan your combat area well.

BBF still a interesting game, but if you plan to have fun, go on lower dificulty and enjoy the story, this is one of those cases that Captain bragging rights doesnt really worth it tbh, and until Spider accept that for their core combat system to work well, need a dodge feature (since they insist in make enemys rush at you), its shame to see great potencial lost.

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7.5 hrs
Posted: August 18
Nothing I've tried makes the game see my controller. Tried different ones. Tried the keyboard trick. Nothing. Really wanted to give this another shot with a conroller. Nope.
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5.6 hrs
Posted: August 16
Its a good game with good grafic but it feels like the creator's just gave up at the combat system because its literal ♥♥♥♥!! Play another game if you don't want a hard challenge because I gave up on the second mission •-•
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Bound By Flame.

It's a simple, decent game.

The good:

*Music- The music is great, very atmospheric fits the game, amazing soundtrack! Loved it.
*Player Choice- Some choices aren't clear as to whether they're the good or bad, which is great, it would've been nice to have more player choice involved though, the possession system is nice, if only it had come into play more.
*Visuals- Personally, I liked the graphics of the game, while it's not the most pristine looking game, it's certainly got a beauty to it. Certain character textures or models are great quality really pleasing to see.
*Although they lacked depth, there was a lot of side-quests, quite a bit to keep you busy and engaged.
*Loot and items - weapons and armours look great!

the Meh:

*Exploration would've been better if the world was much larger and had more things to do

The Bad:

*Only two main repeated environments you'll run around in, made up of corridors filled with enemies. Enemies also lack variation because of this.
*Characters- Outside of followers are entirely forgettable, didn't care for anyone.
*Follower AI- Followers are really dumb, it's nice to see that they get out of your way in tight corridors, but in combat they'll happily just sit there draw aggro and take a beating, or rush in to get themselves killed.
*No option to go full Pyromancer, it's only used as a sort of utility/back up thing. That's sad.
*Dialogue/Voice Acting/Lip Sync- Our character (Vulcan) sometimes goes over the top with being a ♥♥♥♥♥♥, and is often quite vomit inducing with what they say. Voice acting kinda grating at times. While none are fully convincing, some lip-sync instances were downright terrible.
*Story- Nothing particularly shocking, quite average. It's just enough to get you through the linear game.


*Combat- versus one enemy it's ok-ish, but multiple foes and ranged foes really show how bad the system is. If you're expecting something similar to Dark Souls think again.

For me, the worst part of this game is the combat, they had an interesting approach but fails in practice. I find it slow, clunky and borderline mindnumbing at times. Enemies have far too much health. So you'll just be there tapping the same buttons over and over, which is worsened because there are two main attack types, Heavy and a chargeable Area Sweep. Enemeis do insane amounts of damage which would be OK if we did more than shaving off a few pixels of their HP. It's very tedious combat especially at the higher difficulties and it got too boring and unrewarding for me to continue so I switched down. On recruit it's bareable, but still poorly done.

Warriors have absolutely no way to properly avoid damage either, if the tempermental "Guardbreak" didn't work then an enemy's magic AoE is gonna knock you on your ♥♥♥♥. You cn't block magicThere's no way to move around the battlefield at a quicker pace, so while moving you're still vulnerable to attacks. Moving while blocking slows you down and changes the direction you're facing. God help you if you get knocked down into a corner, between the camera fighting the wall and other minion enemies being able to kick you before you get up is a real pain. Getting stunlocked in a corner by a Concubine's kicks was annoying because there was no way to quickly get away, and even with the perk getting up is so slow and enemies can knock you down, while you get up! Warrior weapon swings are so slow too, and don't do much damage.

Rangers have no control over their dodge, it's always directly backwards, which as you can imagine, isn't always favourable in a combat situation. The dagger combat was worse than the Warrior for me. Stealth was just pffft.

*Also the targetting camera is very finicky and sometimes it's just better to just not use it.

*The last boss battle. I was just me doing whatever, completely clueless I wasn't even sure what was going on, all I knew was that I hated it.

*UNSKIPPABLE INTRO CUTSCENE?! This is a minor thing, but still. It's irritable if you make a new character!


The game had a lot of potential. Although there are some minor things that will get in the way, I'd like to reccomend it. A great Sale-Game. Although for the best experience, I'd recommend the easy path. The combat is just not fun at all, really sours the game because it's so frustrating. Everything else; the game is really enjoyable. It's also a very short game.

But still good job to the folks at Spiders!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Great eurojank RPG, and I mean this in an affectionate way. It's clearly not an AAA game -the devs themselves call this a "B" game, but it has heart and it certainly uses its budget to the fullest.

The graphics, while not technically cutting edge, are artistically beautiful. The soundtrack is very pleasant. The story and dialogue are excellent. The gameplaying is challenging and has some layers of complexity.

Heartily recommended if you can get over the low production values.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
40.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
Hello all,

After exhausting all the Dark Souls games and trying out the Lords of The Fallen I am giving a try to another action rpg - a game called Bound By Flame.

This game was released in 2014 and for this year the graphics I think is quite good.

First off, I do not understand metascore critics score of 56/100! This is ridiculous as this game should be easy at least what Lords of The Fallen with a score of over 70.

Where it comes to Steam reviews it is a bit more accurate.

I started this game without much hope for a good experience and the beginning did not let me down. It felt really mediocre with single-path-map being on trails. Tutorial was poor and not interesting. What I quite liked though was the voice acting and dialogue.

Then it was only better and I was pleasantly surprised with a quick and intuitive combat system that has a lot to offer (Combat styles from Wither; cross bows; pushes; ripostes and lots of different attacks); it started to be even more interesting when the plot introduced the Demon part of your protagonist that will take control over you in a degree you decide it to. So you can become a demon. Something new there.

So far I think this game is worth to give it a try but it is faaar from perfect. I will be keep playing it and the below points are what I have noticed after few hours of gameplay:

- Action rpg with more stress on RPG part – more quests; better dialogue with more options (all in all more story/rpg focused than any of the DS or LOTF
- Dialogue – good voice acting, quite funny at times (made me laugh few times already), harsh language
- Combat system – fast, intuitive and attracts your attention to game. I do really like dual dagger thief mode. That is the first game I started to play as a thief. I always prefer bulky fighters in heavy armors.
- Demon part taking control over you – speaking to you and commenting on NPCs behaviour – that is quite funny
- Being able to be a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ if you like to
- Difficulty (I started on the highest difficulty level – captain I think it was called) – quite challenging, especially if you run out of pots. I also like that 3 hits can kill you and you have very limited amount of life.
- Enemies variety is quite good so far
- Character is very fast when sprinting what helps to get through the boring looting parts of the game
- No stamina – as much as it is unrealistic I do kinda like it
- Story is nothing extraordinary but it does attract your attention
- Character development – intuitive and quite fun
- Graphics is quite good and performance is very good with 60fps on QHD with everything maxed out

- You can choose your protagonist name but everyone will still call you Vulcan. That is a bit odd and I do not like it. They shouldn’t have let players to change the name.
- Not able to hit any NPCs…… I have always hated that…
- NPC that you cannot speak to – people-trees that make the world empty
- Level design is just really bad – just limited path connected with each other - levels feel really empty and not interesting too
- Boundaries everywhere – you just feel limited all the time; levels are just paths; cliffs are basically walls
- Enemies respawn too quickly
- I do not think this game has any replayability
- Immortal companions
- Looting the map and secrets feel as a chore not as an adventure
- In this game you are literally grounded and unable to jump at all

So, I do recommend this game to try it out especially when it is on sale for couple of quid (I have purchased it for £2.79 I think). It is not a great title but it does have a lot of nice things to offer (Funny, harsh dialogue, demon quick fighting system and not too bad story that will keep your attention for at least one play through)

Bound by Flame: 6+/10
Lords of The Fallen: 6+/10
DS 1: 9/10
DS 2: 8/10
DS 3: 9/10

26 hours sank into the game already and I have come to the conclusion that the game’s strongest and at the same time the weakest point is its story. Why? Well, I think this is a good story, quite surprising and interesting with some well-done plot twists. Atm I am really hooked on it but on the other hand it is also very disappointing. Thus the game offers you some choices (there is even a proud window coming up with a message: In this game choices matter) but this is not entirely true. The game lies to you, as whatever you decide there is only one outcome.
- Example no.1: Choice – (Spoilers) fight a small boss and absorb its power or ignore a small boss and save the people by opening gate – I decided to ignore a boss and save people – the game made me to fight the small boss anyway (as one of the NPC shouted to get a boss attention).
- Example number two - (Spoilers) Choice – Help elven king in battle or ignore the king and go to Worldhearth – I told the Elven king I will not help him and go to Worldhearth directly – The game told me then that I will go to the with an Elven King to some point and then split apart. Well, you end up helping Elven King anyway when you arrive to the city
- Example no.3 – (Spoilers) you have a friend and a boss – The Captain and the protagonist just decides to kill him like a traitor and complete ♥♥♥♥. You can just watch it – the game will not you even decide

The only choice that felt as it mattered was to let the inside-demon to take more control of you.

On top of that the fighting system has got repetitive already. What I still like though is the difficulty level. It is about right on captain – a lot of challenge, even few of the lesser mobs have chance to kill you and the bosses are a challenge most of the times – furthermore later in the game you even fight some of the bosses you defeated earlier in game as a normal foes.

Also I do not like stupid and unnecessary restrictions this game has – like: I cannot enter that room because I did not yet do this that and the other and this is just few phrases out of the mouth of protagonist. Or: You cannot leave that room yet as you have not made a decision yet. Because of that you feel very restricted.

UPDATE 2: 40.9 hours on record and I reached the last boss. To be perfectly honest my total true time would be no more than 20hours as I have got my game minimized a lot and game’s time has been counting. In some games it would not record on steam but this one seems to measure time whether I play it or not.

So back to the point: I reached the final boss and I must say the Captain difficulty is a catwalk up until the final boss fight. I tried maybe 10-15 times and could not even got his life down to half on 26th level. Extreme damage, speed and life makes him unbeatable unless you try like 100-200 times. This is ridiculous – I have also made some research and I am not the only one, I wonder if any of the game’s creators ever beat that boss? Well, at least I have got a life and have given up on this game. I like the plot and stuff but this just killed the game for me and I have a feeling I wasted a good day out of my life.

Thus I cannot recommend this game any longer so I have changed my rating from 6+ to 4 and switch it to not recommended.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
the game itself is great, the crafting the story everything is great but the combat is so bad, its worst then risen 3 combat..
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
643 of 730 people (88%) found this review helpful
113 people found this review funny
53.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2015
Note: Review done after finishing the game on 'Captain Difficulty'.

First, the scores I give this game:

Story-line: 8/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Audio: 10/10
Controls: (KB&Mouse) 5/10
Target audiance: Masochists.

Since people were devastated by the scoring I gave, I will explain my scoring "scale":
10 - Up there with the best of the best!
9 - Very good!
8 - Good.
7 - "Ok", could be better, but it's ok.
6 - "Acceptable". It's not bad, but at this point it's not really good either.
5 - Mid-point. Barely passable. Barely. I can ignore it if the rest is good enough.
[ The rest of my scale was not used, so I will not add it. ]
What's important to understand is, when I judge a game, I do so taking into account *when* the game was created. Obviously, I don't expect older games to have graphics on par with resent ones, for example.


Smart ♥♥♥ me thought to myself, "Hey, I've got about 15 years of RPG experience, I'll just go straight for 'Captain' difficulty! How bad can it be?"...
I was an idiot. Bound by Flame, on Captain, proved to be one of the most challanging games I've ever played, by far.
Every enemy in this game has it's own mechanics, which encourage a different approach, and on this difficulty, every minion you encounter might be the one that will kill you.
This is one of those rare games where you'll find yourself saving, after defeating even the lowliest of minions.
It does make winning feel a whole lot greater.

While the graphics are not 'Crysis level', they are pretty good, certainly enjoyable.

Great soundtrack, enjoyable to the ear. Comes in complete contrast to the horrifying screams of frustration you will release.

You have a decision-based system here that does have an impact on the game, if not 'world-changing'.
It's not really like, say, Mass Effect, but it's nice.

The game has a minimal crafting system, not much at all, really, but just enough as a side-feature to support a game with other focuses.
You can use it to create certain consumables, as well as to break items into matirials, and use those matirials for both creating consumables, and upgrading your gear.

It's worth mentioning that the story-line in the game is nice, I like it, but it does feel like a... Summed up version of a bigger story-line.


The AI:
The AI that "helps" you in the fights, your partners... How do I put this... They are stupid.
They are beyond stupid. And mostly useless.
They put themselves in danger often, and can't really hold their own for very long.

This is my one main issue with this game. The controls, at least when using a keyboard&mouse, are horrible for fighting.
It's not game-breaking at all, it's very duable, you just need to learn how it works, it's just very very annoying.

Highly recommended. Briliant game that is, without a doubt, worth a buy.
If you enjoy RPGs so hard you want to comete genocide, this game is for you.

I hope this is helpful. I am dead tired, superbly happy after finally defeating thew last boss and finishing it, but primarily tired.
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469 of 602 people (78%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2015
In Bound by Flame you'll control Vulcan, a mercenary in a world where the Lords of Ice seek to destroy humanity and seize power through their undead and demonic armies. Events see you becoming the host of a demonic entity that promises you great powers if you let it take some control over you and said powers might be the only thing that'd defeat the Lords.
While not an horrible game Bound by Flame is sadly plagued by several cliches in its story and characters while sporting a combat system that is a bit too clunky for the challenges you'll be facing.


-most character and monster models are pretty detailed, the hero character stands out as his/her armor and weapons change depending on what you equip and what upgrades you craft

-great soundtrack

-if you accept its influence the gradual changes in the hero's body and voice as the demon takes over are quite interesting and well represented

-lots of weapons/armor to find or buy, all of them can also be upgraded

-good amount of skills/skill upgrades to choose from when you level up: you'll have three main "classes" (warrior,dual-wielding ranger and caster) and can spend points wherever you wish while freely switching between each during combat


-dull story, lots of cliches in the plot

-dialogues are, for the most part, just boring and drawn-out: there's also a few attempts at humour that are way out of place

-companion characters are unoriginal (elf archer, somewhat evil female witch etc)

-story decisions don't matter that much and you'll still be visiting the same locations with only a few quests changing slightly

-world graphics are pretty average and boring, colors feel a bit washed out and lights are too harsh

-animations are ok in combat but look quite wooden during cutscenes

-level design is boring and uninspired, most consist of a few areas connected my corridor-like paths, there's also little in the way of embellishments leading to them looking bare

-voice acting is quite weak overall

-companion AI is bad, they seldom dodge and are happy to stay in AOE damage: enemy AI can also sometimes act up

-combat system is decent per se, but you'll be asked to face several enemies at once and go through parries/attacks/interrupts with good timing if you want to live: sadly while the enemies attack quickly the controls don't feel responsive enough to make things work well

-combat difficulty is a bit all over the place requiring silly workarounds by using the enemy AI against itself to make things easier: last boss is also laughably hard unless you use a certain strategy to beat it

-little variety in enemy types and models

Bound by Flame feels like a missed opportunity to be honest as, while the premise sounds interesting, the plot itself is so similar to many other games/movies to soon become uninteresting: things are made worse when said plot is delivered by poor voice actors behind characters that are quite flat and nondescript.

A generic and dull story might be forgiven if the game gave you a good time during combat but sadly it falls flat even there: you'll often face too many enemies at once and their attacks can frequently interrupt yours or stun you thus leaving you unable to defend yourself, this'll be a quick death on anything but the easiest difficulty level. Some spells or abilities also take too long to cast considering how quickly you're supposed to react, 3 seconds to cast a war cry as a warrior? No thanks.

So to make things easier you can-and it's actually encouraged- cheat the enemy AI by pulling one of a group or, if it fails, fighting a bit and then retreating until they disengage so that you can wait for health/mana to recharge and attack again. This isn't really fun and clashes with the sense of grandiose that a supposedly badass, demon-possessed hero'd be feeling.

I can't recommend the game as I feel there are way better options if you're looking for a good story, good combat or both: as said it's not horrible and it works for the most part but it's so generic, dull and frustrating that even on sale I'd recommend it only for someone desperate for an action RPG fix and willing to overlook its many blemishes.
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367 of 473 people (78%) found this review helpful
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 15, 2014
(TLDR? This review is also available in video format below for your convenience.)

Developer Spiders is a small studio that isn’t lacking ambition, after what was considered a major disappointment with Mars War Logs, they’ve tried yet again to craft a title whose quality is equal to its ambition with their new fantasy action RPG; Bound By Flame.

Set in the kingdom of Vertiel, a region besieged by a massive undead army that’s invading from the north. A group of mages known as the Red Scribes think they’ve found a way to combat this threat and are fast at work performing a ritual. You assume the role of Vulcan, a member of the Freeborn Blades, a mercenary group that has been hired to protect the Red Scribes while they conduct their research. Things are quickly interrupted as a Deadwalker army attacks their position and amidst the carnage, something goes wrong with the ritual resulting in Vulcan becoming possessed by a Fire Demon. The Demon talks to you throughout the game, offering advice or seeking to manipulate Vulcan; ultimately playing a part in the game’s moral choices as listening to the Demon can make your character appear more demonic, bolstering magical prowess at the expense of your character’s well-being or you can choose to ignore the Demon and preserve Vulcan’s humanity. Regardless of your decision, it’s clear that Vulcan is the only one able to stand up to the Ice Lords, a group of warmongering necromancers that control the vast undead armies.

Upon starting the game, you’re greeted with a brief character creation screen which only gives you a few very limited options in terms of designing your character before being awkwardly thrust into an awful tutorial section. This tutorial simply acts to highlight all of the flaws of Bound by Flame along with constant interruptions explaining the game’s various mechanics. You’ll immediately notice a lack of pacing, awkward dialogue and voice acting as well as an unmatched feeling of linearity. This leads to a very poor first impression, however gritting your teeth and pushing through this period of misery has its rewards as the game shows signs of competency later on.

After completing the tutorial, the half-baked writing immediately improves giving rise to an interesting narrative with surprisingly strong character development. Similar to The Witcher 2 and other titles, you’re faced with moral decisions that can have an effect on the game however these changes are fairly minor comparatively but still add some elements of re-playability. The decisions aren’t cleverly thought out or morally ambiguous like The Witcher 2, instead there’s generally a clear good and evil answer. This still did well to hold my interest and watching Vulcan gradually lose his humanity in favor of becoming more demonic and powerful was a welcomed addition to the game.

Along with Vulcan, there are several companions that accompany him on his journey. These characters have been greatly improved from Mars War Logs, each having their own developed story however their proficiency in combat remains the same, often dying very quickly and doing very little to aid Vulcan. The option to romance these characters also exists depending on which gender you made Vulcan however there is little development between characters and much less chemistry making romance seem like it was only added to cover all of the features offered by superior RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

Not content to simply borrow the moral choices featured in The Witcher 2, the combat is more or less identical, with two different primary melee attacks along with traps and magic. Parrying and dodging also plays a vital role. The combat while simple is quite satisfying and requires a bit of skill and timing to master. While nowhere near on the level of Dark Souls, it’s still quite solid for an RPG. The RPG elements are surprisingly deep as well, offering three different talent trees along with an in-depth crafting system. There’s a warrior stance that has Vulcan don a 2 hand sword which boosts his parrying and defensive abilities while his ranger stance equips 2 daggers, drastically increasing his speed and stealth capabilities. The third talent tree is directly related to the Demon inside of him, which consists of boosting his magical prowess and fire abilities. Playing on the normal hawk difficulty will provide a reasonable challenge and despite being simple, the combat is definitely the highlight of the game. It isn’t without flaw though as parrying or dodging an attack perfectly will result in Vulcan performing a counter-attack which can sometimes be a detriment to dodging or running away in general. Despite this, the combat is still satisfying and I never felt bored throughout its brief campaign.

The soundtrack is quite unusual, focusing on a lot of vocal chants mixed with percussion. It still fits the game well and adds to the overall experience. The rest of the audio is hit or miss though, particularly the voice acting. Some characters play the part well, while others are abysmal. It’s hard to tell whether it’s the actor’s fault or just the writing in general as the dialogue can be laughably bad at times. It’s inconsistent in general, particularly the tutorial which almost made me stop playing the game entirely while at other times, I found the narrative, setting, and characters to be engaging. This inconsistency is even apparent in Vulcan’s personality as he can sometimes act like a jerk with no rhyme or reasoning behind it. It leads me to believe that Spiders suffers from having one or two incompetent writers or maybe it’s just a case of poor translation. If this wasn’t enough, the audio can glitch out at times, often causing characters to repeat the same line over and over again.

The visuals and environments are well done. It’s just a shame that the game is extremely linear as the many sidequests are usually confined to a small area, leaving very little room for exploration. There’s also the odd graphical glitch, such as disappearing textures and pop-in. Despite the graphical overhaul, the facial animations are on-par with Mars War Logs as characters will simply move their lips while giving a blank expressionless stare.

Borrowing from The Witcher again, the game tries to separate itself into acts. Upon arriving at a new location, Vulcan will be given a host of sidequests to complete while simultaneously progressing the main story until he completes the area and moves on. Unfortunately, the game is rather short for an action RPG, running around 15 hours if you complete all of the sidequests. The poor writing rears its ugly head once more before the game's credits roll, as there’s quite a bit of buildup, and without spoiling anything, the game ends rather abruptly when there easily could have been room for another 10-20 hours of content.

Ultimately, Bound By Flame is greater than the sum of its parts and certainly an improvement over Mars War Logs as it features a solid narrative, refined combat system and deep RPG elements. It’s a step in the right direction, although once again a bit too ambitious a project for Spiders to handle. Although it has many flaws, it is still an enjoyable experience but let’s just hope they hire some better writers next time.

This review is also available in video format if you don’t feel like reading all of this:

+ Interesting Narrative & Setting
+ Deep RPG Elements
+ Enjoyable Combat
+ Watching Vulcan become more demonic is great

+/- Dialogue is so bad at times it’s laughable

- Terrible Introduction
- Linear & Short Length in general for an Action RPG
- Poor Facial Animations & Voice Acting
- Audio bugs, texture pop-in and various glitches
- Abrupt conclusion
- Does nothing original

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294 of 378 people (78%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
38.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
Faulty's scorecard :-

1) Essential purchase
2) Recommended purchase
3) Recommended purchase during a sale
4) Not recommended unless heavily discounted
5) Not even recommended for Steam game collectors

The Demon Within

Bound by Flame, the new action role playing game from Spiders (the same people that gave us Orcs and Men and Mars: War Logs) is clearly a game made on a tight budget and you can see, feel and hear it as you play the game. It's messy, clichéd and incredibly rough around the edges but after playing it for a few hours you can immediately see that for all Spiders faults this is a company that passionately loves what it does putting what resources it has to rather good use and that is part of the charm of playing a Spiders game. If you are looking for a AAA quality role playing game made on an over-inflated budget with the promise of an open world (with ironically very little to actually do) then it's probably best you look elsewhere but if you are a gamer who isn't so easily blinded by the strobe-light of the big publishing houses hype-train, enjoy a tighter more focused experience then I would encourage you to give Bound by Flame a go. You may, as I was, be in for a rather pleasant surprise.
Taking on the role of a mercenary in a land that is ravished by seven power hungry and greedy Ice-Lords who command an army of the undead (you will only ever encounter one of them throughout the entire game), Bound by Flame plays out pretty much like a fantasy-lite version of Mass Effect with consequence and effect. Possessed by a flame demon it is up to you, the player, to harness the power of the demon and control it for the good of what is left of mankind or let the demon harness you in its own pursuit for world domination.

From a story telling point there isn't much new here on display that we haven't seen already in countless fantasy games, books or movies so in effect you won't really be playing Bound by Flame for its strong narrative. Characters aren't particularly well fleshed out and simply exist to fill in the genres staple trope of healer, witch, ranger and knight (of which you get the chance to toggle between as companions during your adventure through the lands of Vertiel). While the game may be lacking in characterization it certainly makes up for it with its zany and often offbeat sense of humor. Most of the people you engage with in the world will often say the most inane and ludicrous things which had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. This was something I was not really expecting, particularly from an RPG where you are once again cast in the shoes as eternal savior.

The game also falters somewhat by recycling many of the enemies you encounter repeatedly only ever introducing one or two new enemies into the mix the further you explore. I can't really fault the game on this though given the limited budget the developers were probably working within. Some parts of the game also look incredibly rushed and I have a feeling this was probably due to getting the game out onto the new consoles as quickly as possible since both the PS4 and XBONE are still severely lacking in quality first party titles so a sale here should reap far more rewards than releasing when each new consoles product backlog is booming. With that being said though, Bound by Flame does look rather good in some of its incredibly limited environments.
Where Bound by Flame does shine is with its incredibly fast, fluid and responsive combat. Combat in Bound by Flame moves at a frantic clip and is a joy to play as you switch in and out of play styles (dual-wielding, warrior and pyromancer). It does take some time getting used to though which has the effect of making the earlier part of the game a difficult slog as you settle into a style that suits you best but once you master its intricacies and you learn when to parry and when to strike an enemy the game becomes incredibly fun to play. As you level up you are also given the choice to plow points into one of three skill trees that makes the game a little more easier depending on the route you choose.

I chose to invest most of my points into the ranger (expert) and pyromancer skill tree which made the game seem remarkably easier than it intitally was upon booting it up for the first time. Bound by Flame, whilst no where near Dark Souls level of difficulty, can at times be incredibly challenging and you will need to be constantly aware of the enemies surrounding you else you will get cornered and hammered to death within seconds. Some of Bound by Flames enemies are brutal and hit particularly hard and I found the ranger's doge ability to be a lifesaver during these intense sequences. You can also craft your own supplies and augment your weaponry and armour with items that give you stat boosts plus add certain magical types of resistance.

During combat you will often be accompanied by one of the companions mentioned above and you are given the ability to enter into a tactical menu (which slows the entire game down) while you issue orders to your sidekick during battle. This is not Dragon Age: Origins however, so don't go in expecting as intricate a system as that classic. I found that generally getting each companion to block most incoming attacks directed at them worked wonders in keeping them alive during battle so that they provided more aid than hinderance. Thankfully Bound by Flame allows you to save your progress at any given point so you will never feel like you are replaying swathes of the game just to advance. If I have a gripe here it's that companions can't really die and even if they fall in battle once the fight is over they wil be back up and running as if nothing had happend before. This was a slight disappointment as I was hoping that their losses in battle would result in their deaths which in turn would have some sort of impact on the game world and its storyline but alas this was not the case.
Bound by Flame is now my sleeper hit of 2014. I can whole-heartily say that I loved most of every minute of it (even with all of its flaws) and had I paid heed to all the negative criticism the game got I would have probably denied myself the pleasures of its rustic charm. While certainly no classic its definitely a game I can recommend to anyone who loves a challenging aRPG diversion and is the perfect title to tide you over until the next big RPG hitters arrives in the form of Dragon Age: Inquistion and The Witcher 3.

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88 of 99 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
63.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
I generally hate it when people reduce a work in any medium down to what it bears the most obvious similarities to. It strikes me as doing a disservice to the work, and more to the point, as being critically lazy. The problem when discussing something like Bound by Flame, then, is that you really can’t get around doing so, because it is very deliberately meant to be a low-priced spin on Dragon Age.

It’s got enough of its own merits that it comes off as a homage or a work by fans rather than a deliberate case of follow-the-leader, with a surprisingly funny script, although it completely loses focus as you move into the third chapter, and a combat engine that has some genuinely interesting ideas built into it. The problem is that it’s not quite done yet, although there’s enough here that a theoretical sequel could be something special.

The player in Bound by Flame is Vulcan, a build-your-own hero in the Bioware tradition who has given up his or her previous life to serve as a demolitions specialist in a mercenary company called the Freeborn Blades. The Blades, as the game starts, are one of the only surviving organized groups in the world of Vertiel, which is currently under siege by an army of undead led by the Lords of Ice. Most nations have fallen, with the elves left as the last civilization standing, and all the Lords have to do is cleanup.

The Blades are hired to provide security for another organization, the Red Scribes, as they conduct a ritual that’s meant to provide some last chance at survival, if not victory. Vulcan’s in the wrong place at the wrong time as the ritual concludes and ends up as the unwitting host of a previously-unknown entity: a demon with powers over flame.

The central ethical issue in Bound by Flame is how much free rein you’re going to give the demon. The more power you get from it, the more it changes Vulcan’s body; soon your skin darkens to black, you sprout horns, and you end up with parts of your body constantly on fire. If you side with the surviving humans and try to save as many of them as you can along the way, you deny the demon. If you listen to its advice and ignore all other concerns in the name of gaining enough power to challenge the Lords directly, you give the demon what it wants.

The demon’s abilities represent one of three skill trees that are available to you. The Warrior tree uses a single two-handed sword and focuses on damage resistance, sheer power, and delivering massive damage with a few slow swings. The Ranger tree combines stealth and rapid attacks into a sort of swashbuckler option, sacrificing damage resistance in favor of dodges and counterattacks. Finally, the Pyromancer tree provides you with ways to set the undead on fire.

You can switch between the three skill trees at will and improve each one point by point every time you level up. Each has an ultimate ability that’s unlocked when you invest at least 24 points into it, and heavy investment in a single tree makes the game a very different experience. In practice, you’re going to be a Warrior or Ranger with occasional points spent in Pyromancer, and both approaches are intuitive and reasonably fun with a little practice. The enemies telegraph their attacks far enough in advance that you can figure out ways to deal with them, and you have a number of alternate options like explosive traps and a crossbow that you can use to help even the odds.

If anything, the skill trees are too top-heavy. If you try to spread your points around, the early areas will prove difficult. You really want to improve Burning Weapon as fast as you can, because even standard enemies tend to have tons of health, and whatever you can do to whittle them down is worth doing.

In fact, one of the major criticisms I have of Bound by Flame is its difficulty. The combat system feels pretty good once you get used to it, but any enemy with the ability to knock you down can easily kill you, and there won’t be much you can do about it. Some kind of rapid recovery or roll would go a long way towards removing the frustration.

You can have a companion NPC with you for most of the game, but they’re usually not a factor aside from absorbing a few stray hits; enemies usually mob your companion straight away and kill him or her, then turn to you once they’re done. You have to work around that tendency for companions to be worth a damn. They all seem to have a death wish, and it’s rare that they survive even a simple fight. In short, Bound by Flame feels like it’s harder than it needs to be. Standard enemies are tough enough to kill you in a few lucky hits, bosses can send you flying or corner you with little difficulty, and it’s rare that a death feels fair.

The graphics don’t necessarily impress strictly from a technical standpoint. You won’t be wowed by intricate detail or uber-authentic realism. You might even find the dark, forbidding world oppressive. Even so, there are many who will appreciate such an atmosphere, as the ambiance fits the action perfectly, and the style is what you’d expect from a fantastical, medieval-type adventure.

The sound fluctuates between some generic hack ‘n slash combat effects and an inspired soundtrack that really takes shape during dangerous encounters. On the plus side, I don’t usually notice the musical score in such games, but I definitely noticed this one. It ratcheted up the intensity a few notches, and it’s not overly repetitive. The voice acting is largely forgettable, but overall, the audio and graphics work together to present the player with a world that demands our attention.

All in all, Bound by Flame is a really fun game taken down only by its not-so-great story and voice acting. If that’s something you can get past to play a good action RPG, then this is surely a game you should have no qualms about picking up. If you’re more inclined to wince and shudder at poor dialogue and acting, then I suggest you give this one a pass.
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125 of 156 people (80%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 15, 2015
Here's a simple pro's and con's list for those who want to know right away if it's their cup of tea...

-Decent voice acting on the most important npcs
-Very challenging on even the "normal" difficulty in combat
-Can decide whether to be "good" or "evil"
-Excellent music
-Interesting enemy types and companions
-Decent graphics

Now the cons...

-A wee bit short (only took me 15 hours doing everything for 1 playthrough)
-Some wanky animations and non-lazy animations (ex. many people in the towns don't even move...they look frozen)
-Cut Scenes can have clipping issues and the hero killing enemies sometimes looks weird to say the least
-End boss can be a MAJOR PAIN (make sure you stock up on healing and mana potions)
-Romances in the game are very short

Despite all these pro's and con's all in all the game is at the very least a solid 7 out of 10 when all is said and done...Worthy of your time if you like action RPG's that have challenging combat with a decent storyline...pick it up if you see it for $20 or less!
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