Blood Is Love: Bloodline Champions Videos

All you need is blood.

EDIT: Man. Not three hours after I posted this, Funcom confirmed the release date for Bloodline Champions. It’ll be out in late December or early January.

First Bloodlines, now Bloodline. A very bloody Friday morning this is turning out to be.

Excellent DoTA-inspired multiplayer arena battler Bloodline Champions is currently undergoing a lengthy beta, and developers Stunlock are holding down the fort by releasing videos covering select champions from their game. There’s no quicker way to understand BC’s emphasis on player skill than to watch a couple of these, and note how each class’s abilities all seem to have a knack to them. It’s a game that lends itself to beautiful, beautiful plays.

The latest video’s of the Astronomer, a tricky healing/debuff type.

Then’s we’ve got the tricky Nomand, with her tricky boomerangs. She was my favourite when I played the beta.

Mm. I do like a girl who can control her wind.

Who else? Tricky toughie Thorn. I hate this guy.

Then they’ve also done the Ravener, Spear Master, Gunner and Alchemist.

I previewed BC for Eurogamer a few months ago, you can read my analysis here. I expect I’ll be doing some more coverage here on RPS when the game comes out, whenever that is. Stunlock are staying very quiet.


  1. zergrush says:

    Getting in this game’s beta was the only good thing I got from playing Age of Conan.for a month.

    It’s pretty awesome, very skill-based but with a generally non-obnoxious community.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Heh, I didn’t play Age of COnan, but I received a beta invite as well. Not sure why, I’ve never even come close to a Funcom title.

  2. Andy says:

    I know I sound crazy, but I’ve always wanted a game that was basically WoW Arena’s but without having to level up for 10 days to get there. Just give you a character and let you choose some abilities. I haven’t had many more intense gaming experiences than chasing Druids while my Paladin friend desperately tries to keep me above 100hp.

    So this looks like it might be that!

    • zergrush says:

      There’s no equipments, no builds, no auto-targeting, almost no healing and no mana pool, the skills are all cooldown-based.

      The only way to win is playing better than the opposing team =)

    • Atic Atac says:

      Guild Wars?

  3. stahlwerk says:

    What the hell just happened to the CMS? The css was all borked and I could see someone else’s email address in the comment form. WordPress Snafu?

    Sorta on topic: Why not go all bloody hattrick on us and craft a fine Bad Blood retrospective, also known as the fallout before there was fallout (but after wasteland).

  4. juri says:

    I have a beta key, but I won’t be able to use it, so if anyone’s interested – DHU5E3UDW46NKVWX

    • RogB says:

      nice one.
      I’ve just tried this but it wont validate, maybe someone else got there first (and didnt reply). :(

    • Lilliput King says:

      Now, why ever would someone do that?


  5. Navagon says:

    This does seem to be a fair bit more diverse than a lot of the DOTA games in development at the moment. There are a lot of those though… It’s only a matter of time before one has Nazi zombies in it.

  6. radomaj says:

    Gunner is my favourite character. She can rocket jump!

  7. fuggles says:

    yes, yes, very demigod. Funcom – give us the longest journey comics or conclusion please, thanks!

  8. Lilliput King says:

    But is it art</strike any good?

  9. Xocrates says:

    I actually kind of surprised by the amount of people that seem to really dig the game. I got in the beta somewhat randomly (I was an invitation because I tried Anarchy Online years ago after it went free to play) and found the game so shallow and awkward to play that I gave up after a couple bot matches.

    To elaborate: The controls are all over the place (you use WASD to move and buttons all over the mouse and keyboard to cast spells), every single attack is a charged attack, including your basic attack (meaning you have to stop moving to attack) which makes the flow of battles rather weird.

    The whole game felt weird. They took the heroes of dota, maxed out their abilities, changed the controls and placed them in tiny arenas. To me, it lost everything that makes the Dota style of games interesting and doesn’t flow well enough to work as a straight forward deathmatch game.

    To each their own, I guess.

    Also, don’t compare this to the dota-style brand of games, please. Other than an approximation of the heroes this is as similar to dota as dota is to a regular RTS.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      “I played bot matches”

      And therein lies your problem. It’s a game built for competitive eSports, of course it’s no fun if you’re not playing against humans.

    • Xocrates says:

      To clarify on the “shallow”: I’m not saying that playing the game well is simple or that there aren’t interesting and strategic interaction, I’m saying that the game lacks variety, mostly because the arenas are too simple and there doesn’t seem to be much on the way of games modes.

      Maybe they fix that before release, maybe not.

    • Xocrates says:

      @TotalBiscuit: I’m aware of that. My problem is that I simply did not enjoy how my character controlled and how attacking/casting spells flowed. Which are factors independent of whether my opponents are Human or not.

    • zergrush says:

      “Also, don’t compare this to the dota-style brand of games, please.”

      Like you just did? It’s not similar to any AoS, at all.

      But it’s weird that you had a problem with the hotkeys, didn’t you use them on dota? It works the same way, except that them being standardized makes it way easier to play with different heroes.

      At first it was a bit difficult for me to get the timing of casting / moving right, but after you learn to manage the delay and move at the right time it gets easier.
      It’s just a simple arena-based action game. Control-wise it plays a lot like a MMORPG arena. If you liked wow arena and stuff like that, you’ll probably like this game.

    • Xocrates says:

      @zergrush: Well, I guess I did compare to the dota-style, though to be fair the reason I did so was to point out the games were nothing alike.

      Regarding hotkeys: You’re assuming I played (mostly) Dota. I did not. I played a bit years ago and the hotkeys were always a problem. Most dota-clones use as skill hotkeys QWER (LoL and HoN) or 1234 (demigod) which are not only standardized but placed in such a way you can comfortably place a finger on top of each key.

      BC requires not only the WASD keys, but skills require QERF space rmb and lmb. It’s too many keys, too disperse, for it to flow well. Learning to use them effectively requires a dedication the game doesn’t give me a reason to have.

      Also, I never played WoW arena and have no interest to.

      Maybe it’s just a case of different tastes on different people, but the game seriously failed to do anything to entice me.

    • zergrush says:

      To be fair, I found it easy to use the hotkeys because they were among the ones I used in WoW =)
      And a lot of people on the beta seem to have some arena / pvp / MMO background.

      But yeah, it’s considerably hard to use a lot of hotkeys for people not used to it, and the game doesn’t do much for making itself more acessible to those.

    • noerartnoe says:

      “BC requires not only the WASD keys, but skills require QERF space rmb and lmb. It’s too many keys, too disperse, for it to flow well.”

      Za? Disperse? Last I checked they were all within pretty easy reach considering the wasd controls… Index finger easily reaches ‘erf’, ring finger should have no problem hitting ‘q’. And – I don’t know about you – but my thumb is automatically on space whenever I use a keyboard(I automatically put my left hand on the wasd keys).

      I guess if the keyboard isn’t qwerty or you’re left-handed it might be a different matter…

      The only problem I had at first was remembering to actually use the hotkeys and not just lmb & rmb.

      Then again it might be, like you said, simply a matter of taste…

    • Mr.Grim says:

      This is more like mmo PVP arena’s than Dota or things like that.
      Also, only about Half the Bloodlines need to stop moving to cast things, so it sounds to me like you only tried the default tutorial bloodline, and only a few matches with bots at that.

      wasd to move, pretty standard.
      qerf, space, m1, m2,…. thats a grand total of 7 keys to learn. Far far less then almost every PC game made in the last 10 years. Sounds to me that you came into this expecting a different kind of game, then became dissapointed.

    • Xocrates says:

      @noerartnoe: Actually the disperse is partly a personal preference, being less about whether or not I can reach them and more about whether I would expect them to be there. In this particular case, I find the positioning weird, though I doubt they could reasonably be changed without some fundamental rework of the formula.

      @Mr.Grim: wasd + qerf + mouse buttons + space = 11 keys you must be able to press at a moment notice. And last I checked I had 10 fingers.

      The problem isn’t the amount of hotkeys, it’s the reaction time required even at the lowest level of play. Even in games with more hotkeys you either don’t need all of them at a moments notice or they’re shortcuts, not the primary method of activation (as is the case of RTS. Using Hotkeys can be vastly superior, but you can do pretty much everything with just the mouse).
      What BC does is the equivalent of an FPS where you need a different button to fire each weapon you’re carrying.

      Maybe it’s a matter of getting used to it. It likely even is, but like I said the game gives me no reason why I should care. I don’t think it’s a matter of me expecting something significantly different, it’s just me not liking their particular implementation.
      But if you people say it works, I have no reason to doubt you. Just don’t expect me to join in.

    • Koozer says:

      After playing a couple of bot matches I found the controls a bit fiddly too, using QWER, and DF now and then is so much easier in LoL. I can imagine it being a thousand fold easier using a controller though.

  10. Lilliput King says:

    But is it art any good?

  11. Pijama says:

    Well Quintin, what can I say. Putting that Tzimisce bugger on the front of your post has made me angry, you know?

    And you know what is the solution?

    HAMMERTIME. (and fortitude)

  12. Pijama says:

    For some stupid reason, two posts with BLOOD in the titles has nullified the effect of my anti-psychotics.

    In other words, fail post is fail

  13. RogB says:

    ive never played a DOTA-type game or indeed knew what they were, really.

    this looks quite good (and like Andy above) reminds me a lot of mini-WoW pvp arenas.

    Looks intimidating though… Its easier to blend in as a ‘noob’ in a 20 man team than a 3 man team, i’d be afraid of being horribly abused by my own team…
    Is there any form of rank/tier matchmaking?

    • pakoito says:

      This is not dota, not even close. It’s Warlocks, if anything.

    • uNapalm says:

      There’s a grade system with each player having a grade that reflects their overall skill. The grades go from 1-15 (1 is the lowest grade) but I’ve yet to see a player higher than a grade 10. I’m grade 7 and anyone grade 9 or 10 tends to wipe the floor with me.

      You can restrict the grades that are allowed to join your match, so high grades can stop low grades from joining and vice versa. I often see matches that only allow grades 1 and 2 to join.

      Great game but it does have a steep learning curve, I would recommend sticking to one bloodline (class) until you get used to it, otherwise it’s very confusing early on.

    • noerartnoe says:

      @RogB: You could always create a team with people you know/that are just as new/aren’t twats.

      @uNapalm: The whole grade thing is great in concept, but becomes somewhat flawed when people with a lot of experience(no, not the kind that gives you “levels”) make new accounts to play in the lower tiers.

      Also, this: “I would recommend sticking to one bloodline (class) until you get used to it, otherwise it’s very confusing early on.” words of wisdom if ever I heard them.

  14. pakoito says:

    I remember playing this game when it was only an universitary project, before Funcom came pick it up.

    It was fun, I guess it still does.

  15. RogB says:

    any spare beta keys floating about?

  16. Unaco says:

    Hmmm… I forgot I was on the beta for this. Have had it installed, but un-played, for 2 or 3 weeks now. I’m only got an invite because I played Anarchy Online for 2 minutes 4 or 5 years ago, when it went free.

  17. televizor says:

    Went into it not expecting much but I couldn’t stop playing for 3 hours. I’m kinda sad it won’t be free because I can’t invest in more games. It would’ve been nice to be able to pick this up every now and then, like LoL.

  18. Mr.Grim says:

    I have been having a BLAST with this game for the last 3 months. I have a strong WoW arena background, but quit playing WoW for eva. This scratches that itch.

  19. Rane2k says:

    I have a beta key in case somebody wants it:

    (No idea why I got it, must have signed up for something else from Funcom at some point)

  20. atreides says:

    Really great game, diverse gameplay without idle action.

  21. Reddin says:

    I got a beta key for this a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t bothered trying it. And I doubt I will, but I might at some point..
    I probably only got it because I got a month key or something for Age of Conan or something, which I subsequently played for two hours..

  22. LOLPATROL says:

    The game is awesome. No more random number generators, and it is very satisfying when you hit with some ranged attack, because you actually aimed/estimated correct.

    I suggest getting a mate and playing some 1v1s and talk about the classes and find your 2-3 favorites and stick with them for a while when doing 3v3s.

    Be sure to press the “Camera” button on the top of the screen. That gives longer view as you can scroll the camera a bit.

    I really like the game so far. The controls and mechanics are really solid(unlike some comments suggest). My only problem has got to be the graphics of the heroes, the colours are a bit boring and it can be hard to tell the heroes apart at first. Plus it would be nice with some more heroes, but I bet thats coming.

  23. Melf_Himself says:

    I wouldn’t call this a DotA clone – looks like there are no NPC creeps to level up on. Is there even any levelling up? I scoff at puny non-level-uppy games.

    Also, you’re comin off a little fanboi on this one Quinns.

  24. Vaughn says:

    I played quite a bit of this so far. I think I was invited into the beta from playing Anarchy Online back in the day?

    I think it succeeds fairly well at what it is trying to do. Create a skill-based competitive top down action game. There’s no randomization, no equipment, nothing making you better than opponents besides skill and knowledge (how to counter, what attacks to use). It’s fairly deep and complex and you will lose at first guaranteed. I recommend sticking to one (of the many) classes until you get used to it, then move on to others. There’s a lot of attacks (7 total) but they are quite similar in style across each class – in that one is a buff, some are attacks, etc. – They still vary a lot between, but generally speaking they are linked.

    I’m not sure why people relate it to World of Warcraft (maybe because of the art?) but really it has nothing in common with any other MMO’s out there right now. Technically speaking, it could be considered an RPG of sorts, but there’s not much in that regard, it’s more of an action/shooter.