The Starting Line: Bloodline Champions Out

By Quintin Smith on January 13th, 2011 at 6:15 pm.

All you need is blood.

Out, and still doesn’t have any good screenshots. STUNLOCK STUDIOS! Stop making my life difficult. I could make your life difficult, you know. “Stunlock Studios Celebrate Bloodline Champions Going Gold With Rare Nordic Tradition Of Eating Forty Kittens”. That’s a headline. I could do that. Actually I couldn’t do that, it wouldn’t fit on one of our posts. But you get the idea. I am a powerful man.

Aaanyway, this mighty thoroughbred of an arena-battling game is as accessible and intense a way of spending 10 to 15 minutes as I’ve ever seen. I’m going link to my Eurogamer hands-on preview of Bloodline Champions once again, though I’ll be putting together a wot i think for RPS next week.

If you want to play Bloodline Champions (and you should! it’s good!) you have three options, neatly summarised here. Here’s my own, even more succint summary:

(1) Play the game for free, with the two biggest limitations being that you don’t get to play as all 16 different Bloodlines and you don’t have access to bots. I call this option “The Fagin”.
(2) Buy the Champion Edition for £25 (plus an extra £7 if you want the 4 extra “Bloodlust” Bloodlines). I call this option “Buying The Game”.
(3) Buy the elite Titan Edition for £70, getting yourself a discount in the in-game store, the Bloodlust Bloodlines, access to all future Bloodlines, and an increased rate at which you gain Bloodcoins (an in-game currency) and a load of other, smaller things. I call this option “Have you considered subscribing to RPS?”

It’s worth noting that not one of these editions nor the in-game store offers anything resembling an advantage in battle, so less of the grumbling, folks. Also, anybody who buys either editions of the game before February 1st will get the pre-order bonus of a load of new skins and a new title.

Lastly, who wants to see the new trailer? Ah, g’wan. It has a man pronouncing “jetpack” as “yetpack”!

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28 Comments »

  1. Freud says:

    Was this the one that is more skillbased (ie, stuff happens where you aim) compared to the other DoTA-wannabes?

    • JeCa says:

      Yea, if anything (from what I remember of the beta) it mostly resembles the “Warlock” custom map for WC3. There’s no autoattack and no mana, instead every bloodline (hero) has 7 spells with various effects and cooldowns and an ultimate which can be used after inflicting a certain amount of damage without dying. All these are skillshot spells, with preset damage and effects, not a single random number as far as I could spot.

    • Lorc says:

      And, especially notable, no levelling. All abilities are unlocked at all times (though some require charging).

    • Premium User Badge

      Maltose says:

      Bloodline is to DotA/LoL/HoN as CoD is to Arma. Bloodline is a lot more twitchy than DotA, which are more strategic.

    • DestinedCruz says:

      Warlock was so insane, but was only ever fun for about twenty minutes at a time.

  2. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    More bloodlines= more tactical choices? That would equate to an advantage in a battle, overall.

    • FalseMyrmidon says:

      I think bloodlines are just characters. Not sure though.

    • JeCa says:

      Exactly. And having more of them available when you assemble a team can definitely be seen as a tactical choice-related advantage. Doesn’t seem that major though, if the “full” game has 16 available and there are a total of 4 extra to be bought with money (provided they’re balanced of course).

  3. Hallgrim says:

    Going to try this myself later, but if anyone knows how long an average match takes, I’d appreciate the info :)

    • Jockie says:

      Tried it briefly, average match was around 5 minutes. They might be longer when things get more tactical, but it was just random ability spamming when I gave it a go.

    • LukeAllstar says:

      3vs3 is best of 5 with a time limit of 2 minutes (after that, sudden death comes, which is a circle that gets smaller and smaller and damages you if you are outside of it)
      so in the worst case scenario its about 5 X ~2,5 minutes, so around 13 minutes for one 3vs3 match (not considering the loading and waiting and stuff)
      average 3vs3 match is ~1minute with about 4 games played, with all the little waiting inbetween, average match takes 5-6 minutes i’d say

  4. Friend says:

    I’ll admit I’m biased, since I’ve been playing it since the first closed beta phase (and was one of five or so Americans invited from a pool of several thousand applicants), but this is a great game. The balance is good, the gameplay exciting, and the “oh shit, did that just happen?” moments numerous. Seriously, its weakest point right now is that there simply aren’t enough people playing it. So go forth and change that.

    Few extra notes:

    -Average match length is about 5 minutes for arena (primary gamemode), and 10-15 for Capture the Artifact and Conquest.

    -Do play the tutorial first, and then stick to custom games for a while. There’s a learning curve that might not be readily apparent, but it’s rather daunting what veteran players can do to unprepared new players.

    -Though I’m not too much a fan of the prices in the store, BLC sells power no more than LoL does. Don’t worry about purchasing an in-game advantage with money.

    -The game can seem confusing at first, with all the abilities, and what seems like all the faceroll button mashing going on. It’s not that way once you get used to it. There is a clear difference between the facerolly type, and the type who knows which abilities to use when, and can actually aim.

    -You don’t have to mash buttons to use abilities– if you hold down the appropriate button, it will automatically cast when the cooldown is up.

    I’ll sort of hover in this thread, vulture-like, for a while if anyone has questions about the game, though. I’m not a fanboy for it by any means, but I would like to see it do well; the developers have poured a great deal of heart and mind into this game, and it has a lot of potential.

    • Plivesey says:

      Thanks for your thoughts and advice, certainly made me interested in giving it a go. I’m a massive fan of League of Legends (but not the original dota), and will certainly try this when I can.

      One question I do have: it mentions no levelling up or anything, but is there any sort of ranking for the accounts? Like, as a newbie, I would mostly get placed with other newbies in matches and such?

      Cheers.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Yes, there is both a player level which only indicates the overall experience of the player as opposed to his skill. Don’t worry, you won’t get thrown in with veteran players ready to hack you to pieces.

      I really recommend Bloodline Champions if you are into competitive online games. The gameplay is fast-placed but very fluid thanks in part to the control scheme. This said, there is no mana (as it was already mentioned) and your abilities are all cooldown-based. Given that even a simple heal is a projectile that should be aimed, you shouldn’t be surprised if you cannot land every hit at first. The interactions between the skills are simply delightful and you will learn new things every time you play.

  5. Joe Maley says:

    so it’s like playing wow arenas, except you don’t have to spend countless hours leveling and grinding bg’s for gear…

    hot dog!

  6. WMain00 says:

    Isn’t this just League of Legends…but not?

  7. Kryopsis says:

    If you are even remotely interested in the game, there is simply no reason not to play it. While I was playing the beta, I recall the developers considering having weekly ‘free’ champions that can be played by anyone who did not purchase the game, much like League of Legends. This said, that’s probably the extent of the similarities between Bloodline Champions and League of Legend. There are no creeps or gold or experience points or items (besides purely cosmetic ones). The balance is exemplary (although I’ve never seen a particularly good Engineer) and despite the name of the developing company, steps were made for stunlock to be an impossibility. It isn’t quite an accurate comparison but I would argue that Bloodline Champions has more in common with Super Smash Bros. than DotA, League of Legends, Demigod or Heroes of Newerth.

    • LukeAllstar says:

      Word!

      Only thing they have in common is the top down perspective (and maybe the art direction, and that they are called champions)
      i even think it has more in common with team fortress then any of the dota derivates (think of tf2 in top down, and instead of a jump (spacebar) you have a movement skill

    • Lilliput King says:

      I was surprised by how consistent the art direction for Bloodline Champs was, incidentally. Got this kind of American Indian nomad tribe feel going on, and it really works.

  8. Severian says:

    I tried this a few weeks back and it just didn’t grab me. I definitely agree with other commennters that this has more in common with Super Smash Bro’s and team-based FPS’s than any of the DOTA-ilk. Personally, I missed the strategy of creep-harvesting, item purchasing, leveling, etc. and didn’t like the combination of top-down perspective with fast-twitch gameplay. Same reason, really, that I couldn’t get into Alien Swarm.

    But then again, I’m a Demigod fanboy, so my opinion is almost certainly worthless.

  9. Spectre-7 says:

    Installing this as I type. I’m really surprised at the cool reaction it’s getting most places, since the opinions I’ve heard have all been very positive.

    • Spectre-7 says:

      …and I can happily report that this game is indeed fun! It’s a little chaotic at first, and there’s a lot of complexity to the bloodlines and their powers, but it really starts to click after a few hours. I’d still be playing right now if the servers weren’t down for maintenance.

  10. mda says:

    I hear playing this from Australia is just a lagfest… boo :((((((

    Sounds right up my alley otherwise… bah

  11. RaytraceRat says:

    Tried the free version yesterday evening. I love the art direction and quirkyness of characters. Got loads of fun. Never played any other DoTA type of game though, so can’t compare.

  12. djun says:

    “It’s worth noting that not one of these editions nor the in-game store offers anything resembling an advantage in battle”

    Given that you are locked out from 20% of the Bloodlines if you don’t shell out the extra £8 (it’s £8, not £7), how does this not constitute an ‘advantage’ for paying for a different edition? Certain lineups are going to be stronger than others, and if you are limited by the Bloodlines you can choose then surely that is the definition of a disadvantage…

    • Friend says:

      Nah, those four bloodlines are available for purchase in the store as well. The thing about them being included in a preorder package is that they were the first set of new bloodlines released after the the payment model was announced, and so they were packaged separately as a sort of preorder bonus.

      They are available for purchase regularly like any other bloodline now, however.

    • djun says:

      Well that’s precisely my point. Some players are given an advantage because they pay £8 more than others. Though it had no effect on the available Bloodlines, if any of these newer ones are viable for any given setup, then by restricting them you necessarily place a player at a disadvantage. Essentially it’s allowing price to dictate the competences of the player.