Bloodsports.TV is a post apocalyptic gladiator show which hopes to offer something unique in a genre dominated by League of Legends and DOTA 2 but does it get the thumbs up or should it be fed to the lions?
You’ll be forgiven if you look at Bloodsports.TV and instantly think you’re picking up Borderlands: The MOBA. From the art style to the violent, apocalyptic setting and the masked psychopaths intent on causing destruction, I’d say that you would be entirely right in thinking such.
While the visual direction is familiar, also is the gameplay style. For those addicted to one of the dozens of MOBAs on the market, the comparison to them is pretty much a given too, but there’s a twist…
Bloodsports.TV is not your usual 3 vs 3 or 5 vs 5 matches where mayhem is wreaked on foul-mouthed players from teams of teenagers across the world. No, not at all. It’s an exercise in co-operation with a small team of players to defend your nuclear missile base – which is currently bombarding local settlements just for shits and giggles – against the angry citizens that decide to retaliate… And rightly so.
Unfortunately, the public are not just a bunch of swamp dwellers, turning up outside the silo with placards and shouting rhymes in unison to try to stop the chaos. Instead, they kit up in armour, grab axes, flamethrowers and missile launchers and begin to lay some of their own smack down on your operation.
All this retaliation is, however, much wanted by your squad of civilization destroying scum, as it also serves as a means of entertainment, being televised for the enjoyment of the pretty much violent minded. Ahh, post=apocalyptic fever does such wonderful things to the human mind.
Gameplay will be familiar to many. Choose your favourite particular class of mass-murdering, welding-masked nutjob from a range of four styles. Tanking, DPS, healing and support are catered for and each have their own bar of abilities, upgradable by earning experience from slashing, shooting or exploding the waves of enemies that pour forth to lay waste to your base.
There are the typical towers to defend, complete with minions that pointlessly rush forward as cannon fodder and distraction, while you whittle away the AI controlled enemy health, then wait for the next wave of assault. The main goal is to clear the base of the invasion mobs before they can reach your missile-launcher and obliterate it.
The unfortunate point is that the majority of the enemies are pretty much target practice themselves, especially with a full squad of online players. Even more so when the troop has a compliment of differing classes.
The only real challenge comes in harder modes, when the waves are no longer a group of stragglers with the aiming skills of an Imperial Stormtrooper from Star Wars, but a massive gang of them barge in, leaving you little room to maneuver and having to choose your cooldown-timed skills a bit more tactically.
After a few waves and depending on the difficulty chosen, you’ll encounter some smarter, more dangerous foes. Bosses come in a range of flavours, with devastating special attacks and need to be studied in order to beat them down to a pile of molten metal and putrid flesh. Some will lay traps that must be avoided or you’ll be paralysed and unable to retaliate. Others will mount AOE attacks that can pulverise a full team to the point of no return.
Ultimately, you’ll learn the patterns of these bigger bad dudes and they’ll offer as much challenge as the rest of the brainless minions that end up as a nightmare of a job for the silo cleaning team when the workers go home for the night.
Visually, Bloodsports.TV is pleasing enough. The cel-shaded combatants more than fit the bill for the job ahead, each player character having his or her own look. The environments are decently planned yet not varied enough to keep you interested for more than a week before you’ve seen them all a dozen times or more.
The upgrade system is almost a complete mirror to usual MOBA games, where you build up your stats by using a crafting style method. Adding one part to another part to make a better part and continuing in this fashion until you have an ultimate shield, weapon or helpful item that lets you fend off the opposition a bit quicker or allowing you to stay in the game with a longer health bar.
While I had a great time splattering protesting villagers over the shiny, steel flooring with a few friends for a weekend, Bloodsports.TV is the equivalent of playing a more in depth tutorial mission from the games that offer more challenge in the form of human opponents. There’s just not enough tactical outlook or challenge in blasting artificially intelligent grunts who just charge straight in and die for your pleasure.
Yes, there’s a challenge table that lets you unlock new characters and such, but there’s just not enough variance in the gameplay that you’ll probably soon end up moving on. That’s not saying that it’s a bad game… It’s just that you would probably have to be extremely obsessive-compulsive to want to beat all the achievements on the board by continually playing against the same hordes on the same maps for longer than a week or so.
Summing up, if you buy Bloodsports.TV, make sure you bring friends along and you can have a limited amount of full-on violent fun. If you’re just looking for something to have a blast on every now and then, this also might be a title to grab a hold of for the budget price of £6.99. You can’t really complain.
This review was based on the PC version of Bloodsports.TV provided by the developers.