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:
Mostly Positive (42 reviews) - 71% of the 42 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (1,989 reviews) - 66% of the 1,989 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 8, 2014

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Recent updates View all (5)

January 21

Linux Update

Hey RPG fans!

An update for the Linux version of Bound By Flame is live with several improvements:
- Fix of several crashes with some specific equipment (PS3 pad, Microsoft keyboards with a Joystick...)
- Native support for PS3/PS4 pads
- Fix of an issue with some specific keyboards

Thanks for your support!

Have fun in Vertiel,
Spiders & Focus Home Interactive

11 comments Read more


“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”

Just Updated

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
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Mostly Positive (42 reviews)
Mixed (1,989 reviews)
Recently Posted
Berzelus (Erm)
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
I fired up the game only for the Steam cards and forgot it open. I tried it later on and it feels a bit reminiscent of Dark Souls. It's rather simplistic, with silly names, dialogue and story (Your character is called Vulcan and at some point complains that he's burning, yeah, great name choice), however it's enjoyable if you don't have anythign else to play. The cutscenes are unskipable though, which can be annoying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 16.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
good B level action RPG. Fun combat, quite challenging. Decent Tolkenesque story/setting. Good graphics for a budget game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 19.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
The game is kind of a mess to be honest. It certainly has some cool ideas, but there are just so many things wrong with Bound by Flame. Its a low budget action RPG disguised to look like some triple A Bioware type game. I was pretty excited when I first bought it, and I foolishly thought that it WOULD have a more higher budget feel, but after a few hours of gameplay I soon saw this game for what it really was. It's not all bad, and I do commend Spiders for their effort. I think this studio has a ton of potential and could someday very well be the next Bioware or something. However, the negatives outwweighed the positives for me with this game. The combat is...kind of terrible tbh. Incredibly unbalanced. Making enemies way harder than they should be. The voice acting ranges from average to mediocre for the most part. The companions are completely usless and for the most part uninteresting. They either do very little damage, or heal very small amounts of health. The story itself is fairly short. Though it does have some kind of cool moments. I do like the choice system. The story centers around your character being possessed by a flame demon. Throughout the game, you can either give in to the demons will(making yourself take on the demons appearance in the process, which has its benefits as well its consequences) or you can choose to fight it and keep your humanity intact. Thats about the only cool part though in my opinion. The story itself is not aprticularly interesting.

I know It says that I am not reccomending the game, but I do think Bound by flame may be worth a playthrough if you enjoy these types of games and are willing to overlook a lot of the rough edges. Its not the worst thing in the world. It certainly has its enjoyable moments. Just don't expect too much
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 18.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
Product received for free
I liked the combat a lot, but the story wasn't really there for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cthulu Seemonster
( 7.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Very good and story rich
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
games gives too much options and makes demon powers sound bad, ♥♥♥♥ the rules become evil and burn ♥♥♥♥ trust me
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 15.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
So, I saw that Technomancer was coming out soon and decided to give this game a shot before it came out to see if the developer was any good. Sadly I probably wont buy Technomancer because of this game.

Pros - Weapon Customization, Story has decent premise, Interesting idea for main protaganist, decent art.

Cons - Animations are god awful, Voice acting is meh to bad, combat is god awful (Granted I was a warrior, I can see the combat being alil better as a ranger with a dodge.) Characters are forgettable, story even with a decent premise fell short, Serious lack of enemy types.

My biggest issue with this game is the tedious nature of the enemies, especially the minibosses/bosses everyone of them has an AOE and they can end up just spamming it over and over again so it basically goes like this, run in and hit the boss 2-3 times depending on weapon than run out rinse repeat for 3 minutes and that if they are alone. Everything has so much life that you question how your character is supossed to be powerful, you hit like a freaking mesquito with a 2 hander.... Anyway I trudged through this game all the way to the last boss, and when I got the last boss to 20% and died because I grew tired of the tediousness of the fight I decided its just not worth my time, Ill just go watch a youtube video if I want to see the ending.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
Painfully bad.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 16.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
The game is interesting and fun, but way too short. I ws expecting to fight multiple ice lords, not just one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
This game is a very basic RPG; it’s not necessarily ground breaking, but its functional and its actually pretty fun if you don’t mind the bad voice acting.

If you like games like Gothic (1,2), Two Worlds (1, 2), Venetica, Risen etc.... You will defiantly find some fun in this game.

Please ignore the haters of this game, they are most likely newly RPG fans who just jumped in on the band wagon after The Witcher 3 and expect every single RPG to meet a crazy high standard.

Please understand there are very small studios that also make great RPGs.

Anyways, give it a try, the game isn’t even that expensive, and it’s not Buggy or Broken, it’s a great RPG.

UPDATE 6-18-2016

well i beat the game at around 20 hours, its pretty short and the last act of the game is very underwelming. It feels like they ran out of time and money towards the end. so they just ended it like that. Youll see what i mean...

i still like the game for what it is,
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Bound by Flame it's another game made by Spiders, the same studio that brought us Mars: Wars Logs. Although BBF it's more ambitious it shares some of the same problems of it's predecessor. The combat it's functional some issues like the targeting system which can be a pain in the ♥♥♥ especially during the final boss, and camera does not help either although that in only noticable when you fight a big group of enemies in a small area.
You have 3 types of combat which you can choose from and you can switch between them anytime in battle making the fights a little more diverse.
The Rpg elements are there by offering you different specializations (warrior, ranger and pyromancer) and it has also a solid crafting system although it can be a little stupid because you can purchase all the components when you want without going to a shop...
The story it's decent, you are a mercenary that becomes possessed by a demon and now you have control this new power inside you while saving the world from the Ice Lords, along the way you have to choose if you want to resist the demon or let him consume you. There are lot of decisions that will change the outcome of the game as there are companions with their own personal backstories and beliefs.

So there you have it, Bound by Flame is almost like every triple A rpg nowadays but with a big lack of polish.
Go ahead Spiders, do another one.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
The game is kind of a mess to be honest. It certainly has some cool ideas, but there are just so many things wrong with Bound by Flame. Its a low budget action RPG disguised to look like some triple A Bioware type game. I was pretty excited when I first bought it, and I foolishly thought that it WOULD have a more higher budget feel, but after a few hours of gameplay I soon saw this game for what it really was. It's not all bad, and I do commend Spiders for their effort. I think this studio has a ton of potential and could someday very well be the next Bioware or something. However, the negatives outwweighed the positives for me with this game. The combat is...kind of terrible tbh. Incredibly unbalanced. Making enemies way harder than they should be. The voice acting ranges from average to mediocre for the most part. The companions are completely usless and for the most part uninteresting. They either do very little damage, or heal very small amounts of health. The story itself is fairly short. Though it does have some kind of cool moments. I do like the choice system. The story centers around your character being possessed by a flame demon. Throughout the game, you can either give in to the demons will(making yourself take on the demons appearance in the process, which has its benefits as well its consequences) or you can choose to fight it and keep your humanity intact. Thats about the only cool part though in my opinion. The story itself is not aprticularly interesting.

I know It says that I am not reccomending the game, but I do think Bound by flame may be worth a playthrough if you enjoy these types of games and are willing to overlook a lot of the rough edges. Its not the worst thing in the world. It certainly has its enjoyable moments. Just don't expect too much
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
640 of 724 people (88%) found this review helpful
112 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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463 of 593 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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365 of 470 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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291 of 371 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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86 of 96 people (90%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
50.3 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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123 of 154 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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416 of 600 people (69%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 10, 2014
Bound by Lies,

I had high hopes for this game. Me and a friend of mine saw it pop up on steam a while ago and pre ordered it.


The review will have some plot points as its one of the many issues with this game.

We were so disapointed, il let him make a review if he wants so I will tell it all from my perspective. The trailers have lied, the combat isnt adaptable or planned etc. Its broken. As a Warrior I found it boring and repetative, then with some enemies having the ability to not be stunned or blocked you come across enemies that chain stun you in a corner and kill you. Over and over. But I got over that, I carried on playing and found plenty of other flaws.

The ability of choise is an illusion, there are basically 2 options, become a demon and kill everyone you care about or stay good and I can assume not kill everyone. I became a demon and after that the game was basically set in stone. I had the odd decision to make, weather its to kill 1 boss and let others be killed or help in a battle. But it dosent seem to matter, the game is on rails and basically makes the decision for you and you companion is now screwed over, runs off and vows revenge. Which he tries to get but fails miserably, you dont even have the option to try and talk people down like in Mass Effect or get told the "Good" or "Bad" options, you get streamlined down a boring story that makes no sense. The characters are not likeable at all, you dont really care about who lives or dies, I just found myself frustrated that I couldnt prevent mit if I decided.

They also said that the classes are different and theres different ways to play the game, the only tallent tree I didnt fill was the Rogue tree and that was because it was pointless. II filled the warrior tree and used all of its 4 abities that were generic and boring, I had the Pyromancy tree half done so I gave my weapon flames and that was about it really.

From what I could see and heard from my friend Pyromancy is just throwing fireballs running out of Mana then giving your weapon fire and going into melee to be diisapointed as you suck in melee but have no other choise. I dont really have much more to say on this since I didnt play it to its full extent.

One positive of this game is that its incredibly pretty, they have done a fantastic job with the graphics and the design of the weapons and armor is great, you really do feel like a badass when you upgrade your gear through a very simple yet effective crafting system. Thats a couple of positives but you get the idea.

In summary, dont buy the game now. Its a badly thought out poor quality rpg that forces you to make decisions that in the end dont matter, get it when its on sale. I finished the game in 13 hours and for £25 I was upset about this. Id say its worth £10 max. My friend playing Pyro finished it in 7. I dont knkow if its me sucking taking that long or Pyros just easier.

Hope this was Helpful.
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