Blood Wake is a lightning-fast combat in a world with completely dynamic interaction between boats and water.
Vehicle combat games have typically made up a good chunk of any console’s library, but in the case of Blood Wake, the combat is taken to an atypical arena–the sea. Set against the backdrop of an Asian-themed locale where three different groups are vying for power, Blood Wake is a gunboat combat game that features good action, great graphics, and some of the most impressive water effects ever seen in a game.
Playing as Shao Kai, you are betrayed by your brother and left for dead. After being rescued by a rival warlord, you swear allegiance to that warlord and join forces with him. The story and setting are pretty original for an action game, but the animated cutscenes aren’t as engaging as they should have been; after watching the first few, you’ll find yourself skipping them and jumping straight to the missions.
Thankfully, Blood Wake scores big in this area. The missions run a wide gamut and will have you defending convoys, attacking enemy cargo ships, and collecting “payments.” And though the missions are well designed, occasionally combat can degenerate into you and the enemy turning in circles in an effort to gain the best firing angle.
Over the course of the game you’ll have access to over 10 gunboat variations, each armed to the gills with a wide variety of weapons. Though you can’t choose which gunboat you’ll use before a mission, the game does a nice job of giving you the boat that will best serve your purposes. Controlling the gunboats is fairly straightforward; but, since you need to contend with the physics of the water, some gamers may find the controls a little frustrating at first, especially when turning and moving forward after being stopped. Fortunately, after a few missions gamers will get their sea hands and the controls will become second nature.
Graphically, Blood Wake is extremely impressive. The gunboats feature lots of little details like cannons ejecting shells, the pilot moving in his seat, and the wood of the gunboat splintering damage as you take hits. The most impressive thing about Blood Wake, however, is its depiction of water. Waves crash over your gunboat, wakes impact how you steer, and torpedoes will send up a massive wave that will toss you into the air. It’s not just fancy special effects; the water actually dictates how combat unfolds. When fighting in choppy seas you need to make sure you fire when you’re at the top of a wave, otherwise your bullets will simply hit a wave in front of you. This is a nice touch and really show the amount of thought that went into Blood Wake‘s development.
Because of its fun gameplay and solid multiplayer component (four multiplayer games are included), fans of vehicle combat games owe it to themselves to try out Blood Wake. –William Harms
- Water effects are very impressive
- Fairly original setting
- Awesome graphics
- Lots of fun gameplay Cons:
- Gameplay gets a little repetitive
- Animated cutscenes aren’t particularly engaging