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 (25 reviews) - 72% of the 25 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (1,945 reviews) - 66% of the 1,945 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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Mostly Positive (25 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
Not perfect by any means but a very decent and very interesting RPG from Spiders Studio. Middle Markets games are almost exstint these day and Focus Home Interactive are one of the few (if not the only ones) that giving small devs with small budgets a chance to shine. A VERY rare sight to be seen in the Modern Gaming Industry.

A mix of Dragon Age and Fable, your choices influence yourself, your party as well as the rest of the world. Bound by Flame perhaps has the deepest weapon and armory customization I've seen in a long time and it is most welcome. Every weapon and peice of armor is unique and can be tailored to your needs as well as style. Combat can be a little clunky at times but Bound by Flame relies more on tactics rather than straight hack n Slash. Defintely recommeded if on sale.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Graphically the game delivers the minimum for a product which came out in 2014. Sometimes it is ugly, characters are not looking too good either, but creatures and environments have enough detail and quality. Performance could be better. Lights and shadows look good on ultra. The detail of distant objects is not really a concern as the game mostly takes place in closed spaces. The game cannot compete with any of the high budget titles, but it does an acceptable job.

In terms of world design Spiders went on the same route as before. The world consists of multiple areas. These areas feature tight corridors with occassional open spaces which usually serve as an arena for bigger fights. Like in many other streamlined game movement is highly restrained, you cannot fall from cliffs or walk into tight places. Geometric collision therefore is pretty dull, most of the foliage and different type of objects along the way function as an invisible continous wall which prevents the player from wandering off the path. This method really cripples the sensation of exploration. Not every game needs a totally open world, but these extremely limited corridors are the worst. If you do not wander around in one of these hostile areas then you can find towns where you can talk to people, take on quests, trade and the usual stuff. These settlements are filled with people but they are just props without too much complexity. You can talk to some of them but only the important characters have anything to say. The main plot of the game is a pretty generic tale of war against an undead army lead by the ice lords and an unknown force that will help humanity face the threat closing up on them. That force is a demon inside the player's character. Whether it is good or bad is uncertain. Unfortunately, there is not a single aspect of the story which holds a candle for more profound ones. I have to mention that dialogs are poorly written and the cutscenes/conversations are cringeworthy sometimes. Story is not a strong part of the experience. What I would add to this section as a positive is the mood and design of the world. It is dark fantasy with less shiny armors and weapons. Pretty grounded. I really like this style, much more than those extravagant artistic color pallettes. I would say that the equipment design is good, with a couple kinds of armors and weapons with distinctive look. Almost every piece of equipment can be altered, reinforced with materials giving it even more variability.

Unfortunately, there is something which is beyond the capabilities of the developer. Combat is simply a mess. It has the usual functions like light and heavy attack, parry, some kind of dodge and even a guard break kick. You can also switch between two styles one being faster while the other being stronger. Spells are also there. You can throw fireballs, defend yourself with a fiery shield, launch a wave of fire or enforce your weapon with flames. The combat still feels clunky and hard to endure. Parry feels overpowered and lazy, while the dodge move is only available in the faster stance, where it is still more a sidestep than an actual roll. Enemies are like sponges, while you can only take a few hits literally before dying. In combat life regeneration is present. I still do not feel comfortable enough during these fights to have any kind of fun. It is hard to see what attack comes up based on animations and sometimes the camera and target lock are acting weird too. I usually hold up my defence and wait for my partner to finish up the job. Because you can have someone beside yourself. As you can expect these companions are dumb as hell. You can give them basic orders like be defensive, aggressive or just let them figure out what is the best for the situation. They die quickly but respawn out of combat with full health. You can talk to them and they react if something in a conversation hits their ears. There are a bunch of them for every purpose like close and ranged combat or healing. With them enemies could be exploited as you can defend yourself for a long time while your companion can shoot them afair for example. Of course this is not that simple. Sometimes a foe goes and attacks your pal or he/she simply walks into the battle. With all that said I still hate this system. I tried so many games with so many types of combat but Spiders' is really one of the worst. It is always the same, never really improving. Not neccessary hard in a classic sense, just hard to control. For me raising the difficulty only helped. What is not helping is the fast enemy respawn. You simply cannot clear an area before some of them respawn. And believe me these areas are really not that big. The day/night cycle is also fast, maybe the respawns are tied to that. As the combat itself is boring and unintuitive these grindy battles are just a waste of time. Most of the time you are better off dashing through if you do not want to get a few extra experience points. I think that the leveling system is actually good. There are no basic stats like strength or dexterity but the player character has three development trees for each of the areas used in combat. These being slower and faster stance, and pyromancy. You can decide what you want to strengthen. There is enough opportunity to max out at least one of these trees. In addition there are pearks which can get you more health, item drop chance, extra weight limit, cheaper traps, etc. You get separate points for these while you still have to accomplish certain goals like opening 10 chests. This system is pretty basic but I never had too much problem with it in previous Spiders games. Last thing that I want to mention regarding gameplay is the dialog system. It is also basic but acceptable. Most of the time you have a menu with lore questions, a "show your wares" option for craftsmen and the occassional quest-related stuff. I mostly have problems with the writing not with the way conversations work. I did not talk about quests, but there is not much to say really, other than it is a simplified design. There are main and sidequests. Gather or kill stuff, speak to people, run back and forth.

The music in the game is decent. It might have a few tracks that I would listen to outside of the game, but mostly they are there to enforce the atmosphere, nothing more. Sounds of the environment and effects are also pretty standard, they are there but nothing extraordinary. Voiceovers are varied. There are a few characters whose lines are well acted, their tone is just right, and of course there are those random people around the world who are really terribly voiced. As I mentioned the lines written are pretty stupid at times but I concentrate only on the quality of the voice acting here.

Content-wise Bound by Flame is a somewhat shorter experience with pretty linear areas to explore. The number of available equipment while being decent with all the variations possible by modifications still not going to amaze everyone. I would not necessary think that either the story/world or the gameplay would worth a replay. In my opinion it is already good enough if you endured one playthrough. There is not enough new stuff for a restart.

Overall, Spiders once again made a generic game with a generic story in a generic (fantasy) world with really unbearable combat. If you liked Mars: War Logs for example then you might going to have a good time. Personally, I hated the same things about that game. In the end I still feel that Mars had better combat (and maybe story and world design too). You can argue that we should respect and support smaller studios but I think that there is no place for such biased opinions when comparing games to each other. You cannot give a higher score to a game if it is worse no matter how much it costs or how little its budget was.

Graphics: 7/10
World Design: 6/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Sound: 7/10
Replay Value: 6/10
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3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
TLDR: Bound by Flame is bound by design 4/10. Why they think this is a good combat system and even used it again in their newest sucky game Technomancer is beyond me because nobody likes that game either.

First, I have around 15 hours in this game and Steam is displaying my time played incorrectly. Second, they thought they were clever with their combat system from Mars War Logs but it sucked and they went ahead and put it in this game anyway. $40 new (I paid $20) for fifteen hours of completely linear gameplay with no reason whatsoever to play the game ever again after you beat it is a joke. I paid $20 and feel ripped off. $10 would be more fair. It is one of the most frustrating games I have ever played because the combat is just not very good at all, just weird, and I was not often enjoying it until the last boss. It is so bad that I said F it and am now looking for a trainer to cheat and beat the boss then uninstall this dog crap for good. I was doing well, eventually beating all of the enemies in the game but this game is just unacceptable on the last battle and I am in no way ashamed to say I am just tired of this game and am getting a trainer for it. I do not care. The only thing I am ashamed of is to say I wasted $20 on this game. I have no doubt that if I actually tried a few more times I could beat the last boss but I am just so sick of this I do not care anymore. Every battle is insanely hard, and not exactly always in a good way. The game can still manage to be fun if you are a very skilled gamer and have a astronomical amount of patience, and I do not have much of the latter. The fetch quests and general running around is insanely boring and feels pointless even though it isn't. Everything is incredibly easy other than the combat. Find something, click mouse 1 to pick it up, take it back to person, add some dog crap awful combat mechanics in, and there you go. Oh and by the way, even on the LOWEST difficulty, the last boss fight is nearly impossible. I had said before that the worst final boss fight in the history of video games was Cavestory+ but this one takes the cake. Whatever tiny bit of fun I was having throughout the game was crushed when I got to the last boss fight. It blows my mind that it is not the chief complaint about the game among all of the user reviews. The combat in the game sucks. Even fights against weak enemies put you at such a disadvantage that it will be a chore to beat them, and it is all because of the controls, how you feel like you are fighting on the moon but the enemies get to attack at normal speed.

Oh and a problem equal to everything else is how short it is. It is supposed to be a $40 third person rpg and it is only about 15 hours long and is 100% linear with no point ever playing through it twice, not ever. It is a 100% ripoff. The other problem is that the skill trees completely suck, all three of them. They barely add any improvements to your character and the improvements that the skill trees do add are stupid and nearly useless. And when you get new weapons and armor throughout the game, their stats only increase a point at a time. The one-point increase that a new piece of gear gives is negated by the fact that enemies gain strength as the game goes on. The weapon and armor that I ended the game with felt the exact same as the basic ones I started with, because they basically are. You never do more dmg, you never prevent more dmg, and the skill trees offer nearly no help.

Seriously fk this, this game is a prime example of why piracy exists and why not nearly as many people pre-order games as they did five years ago. If the devs for this game are smart they will do it right in the future and scrap this game's awful combat system, if they even made enough money off of this game to make anything else.

4/10 combat engine
0/10 last boss fight
3/10 skill trees are nearly useless
0/10 armor/weapon upgrades because of enemy strength scaling negating any improvements
3/10 length. actually since it sucks so bad I give the length a 9/10, should've been even shorter lol
5/10 overall

They need to seriously scrap this game's combat engine and make a new one for their next game.
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
A combat focused game with horrendous combat.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
584 of 670 people (87%) found this review helpful
115 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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466 of 600 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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369 of 476 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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86 of 97 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
74.6 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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121 of 152 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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417 of 601 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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Recently Posted
62.3 hrs
Posted: October 16
First off, my actual game time is about half what's listed here (left it on while afk etc.) and even then that encompasses one complete and one ~90% playthroughs.

This game is the definition of mediocre. Like most people have said, it's needlessly, frustratingly difficult. I am a big fan of the Souls games. As such, I really enjoy challenge when it's well-executed. This is not one of those games. The difficulty springs from a number of poor design choices and the AI relies heavily on unblockable, hard-to-dodge knockdown attacks. The result is a lot of stunlocking and unescapable game over screens.

Other pain points:
- Not a great storyline overall. Sort of like a poor man's Dragon Age or Witcher meets Game of Thrones
- Pointless vulgarity in the dialog to spice things up, but it mostly just sounds unwieldy and out of place
- Voice acting for the most part is pretty bad
- The few interesting characters (Mathras mostly) don't develop much further than their initial concept. Other less memorable characters (Sybil, Ranval) have way too much dialog/sidequests
- The skill trees are wildly out-of-balance. Ranger is next to useless once you're out of stealth mode, warrior is meh, and pyromancy is god
- Traps and crossbows don't evolve much from the beginning of the game and become pretty ineffective by the end
- The only difference between difficulty ratings is enemy hp & damage, making Captain more tedious than actually harder
- The last boss is just plain stupid. I'm glad I switched to Recruit in the area before because Captain was too grindy
- Like most BioWare games, the ending still comes down to a dialog decision that doesn't take into account anything you did before that moment
- Areas have 0 verticality and just feel like corridors between encounter rooms

Now that we're through with that...the good stuff.

- Visually not awful for a game released in 2012
- Crafting system is well-implemented if a bit simple. Keeps you rom being overly dependent on stores/runs back to town
- The demonic transformation is actually well-handled and tastefully done. Characters react to your changing appearance, you become obviously more powerful the more you embrace the demon. Though I wonder how much more tedious the game would be if you resisted it, since the buffs it gives pyromancy makes the game bearable
- There are moments where I really felt like there were no good choices and that my choices DID make a difference (despite it being overruled by the blah ending as noted above)
- The weapons and some of the armor pieces look pretty cool
- Some of the characters are well-executed. While Edwen is pretty cliche (and clearly influenced by Morganna from Dragon Age), her dialog is mostly well-written and acted. Mathras is another standout character that I wish there was more development

Overall, get it on sale. Spend a couple days on it then uninstall it and never play it again. Also, unless you're trying to get 100% achievement with it, don't bother with any difficulty setting other than Recruit. Otherwise you're just wasting time.
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Kharn The Betrayer
7.9 hrs
Posted: October 16
Was having fun... until it decided to corrupt both my save file and my backup save file, that was fun...
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18.1 hrs
Posted: October 15
Streamlined game that scratches that rpg itch. The ending gets surprisingly hard and isn't particularly fulfilling but it's fun getting there.
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19.4 hrs
Posted: October 14
I would recommend this game on sale. Enemies can be spongy at times and you will generally drop pretty quick but combat overall is satisfying in my opinion. I enjoyed the protagonist male voice acting, but the females is horrible and often cringeworthy. This game has one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. Final boss has a sudden difficulty spike but is beatable. Game is relatively short (under 10 hours if you rush, 10-14 if you take your time), but the 2 stances and how/if you decide to use the demons power were varied enough for me to play through the game twice.
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2.1 hrs
Posted: October 8
Despite starting the game with the controller and it moving the character with the controller, you still have to manually change it to Xbox in the settings otherwise you are playing with a controller with keyboard button prompts

I tried really hard to like this game, I enjoyed the charactes one liners, I like the art style, I like the customisation, but mechanicly this game is crap and they allow the most basic enemies to kill you in a few hits to make up for the part of that lets the game down

With a mechanics overhall this could be a decent game, as it is now I just can't do it
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47.3 hrs
Posted: October 5
I got this on sale because of all the complaining about the combat, but I like the combat. I think the voice acting and demon
possession is funny. The game is fun! The upgrading system is good. Like the old style graphics. Think I will even give technomancer a try some day.
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Vault-Tec 101
0.3 hrs
Posted: October 5
great game
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18.3 hrs
Posted: October 4
This game is enjoyable and deserves a thumbs up. All these haters are just mad cause they got t-rekt. Even the metascore is misleading. 7/10
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20.9 hrs
Posted: October 2
I got this game as part of a bundle a little over a year ago and just now got to playing through it. I originally tried it out and thought the combat was too complicated so i quickly tossed it aside. After seeing a recent review where someone likened this to dragon age and given my love for that franchise I just had to give this another try.

The combat takes a little getting used to and the crafting system does as well but it's suprisingly simple once you've played a little bit. I did my initial playthrough as a rogue after hearing that it was a lot easier than the warrior. Essentially you stealth kill an enemy, flame on, kill things and move on to other things. The combat is very captivating and the storyling kept me interested the whole way through. Granted, it doesn't take much to keep my interested.

P.S. I've never written a review for a game before. I chose to break that habit with this game as i thoroughly enjoyed it and was suprised given the number of negative reviews on here. If you are in doubt, give it a shot.
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