Ringed By Fire: Bound By Flame

While Mars: War Logs prepares to lumber into view, news reaches us today that Spiders Studio are also working on a larger project, Bound By Flame, an “action/role-playing game [that] lets you play a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in an ambitious Dark Fantasy universe”. The press release doesn’t specify whether the real-time combat can be paused but the words ‘Dark Fantasy’ followed by some wittering about sidequests, companions, romance and rivalry makes me think of Dragon Age. My brain has been sorely infected by a blight from long ago, truth be told, and the rumble of dark fantasy RPGs in the distance still sets me to thinking about copious blood-spatter and Marilyn Manson.

If you were expecting a video, even a cringe-inducing sexy-violent one, you’ll find what follows disappointing. It’s just a heap of words and they’re not even animated.

As a victim of this demonic influence, players will have to choose between the powers offered by this evil or to reject the demonic influence, developing heroic talents instead. Dangers, and enemies becoming more terrifying and fearsome in battle, will be temptations to acquire more power by giving up part of the hero’s soul to the demon. Progression of the demonic influence will be reflected by the transformation of the hero’s body.

That hero can be male or female, with a face of your choosing. I always press ‘randomise’ if I have the option because while a hero can choose which skills to develop, even the darkest of fantasy worlds tend to lack appearance-adjustment sliders. I’ll happily change hair, facial or otherwise, but I’m not too fussed about the face. I played through Mass Effect with a chap who looked quite a lot like Arsenal’s own Theo Walcott and that was just fine.

The screenshot above is the only image of the game that has been released, so perhaps you’ll want to look at it again?

I zoomed in a bit just to keep you on your toes. That’s a close-up of a Swamp Beast. Are you terrified? You should be!

Today’s screenshot introduces you to the terrifying Swamp Beast, but you will get to fight many other impressive creatures: shadow dragons, liches, undead, ice creatures… epic confrontations abound. Which path will the players take? Will they lust after the demon’s power and magic to annihilate their foes, or will they favor their combat skills and their bravery?

Which path will you take?


  1. GreatGreyBeast says:

    Swamp: Beast Logs.

    • Jesse L says:

      ‘Players will pursue their own personal tales of pulse-pounding vengeance using unique, powerful, and varied abilities such as Swamp Fury, Beast Wrath, and Log Rage.’

      ‘When your lust for vengeance burns…it’s time to Throw Another Log on the Fire! (TM)’

    • Kim-Dick says:

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      • Halbarad says:

        It depends how attractive she is and how far she’s willing to go in front of a webcam!

        All your spambot nonsense has led me to do is think of porn. ARE YOU HAPPY?

  2. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Since it’s got the words “dark fantasy” attached, people are bound to get all fired up about this game.

  3. DaftPunk says:

    Looking good by that screenie,they always have top notch art and graphics for such a small studio. Hope they polish the gameplay in this one,and try something new,don’t wanna play again something like Of orcs and men/Game of thrones.

    • DigitalParadox says:

      Yeah, I really wish that some of these concepts were being made in games by better studios, or that they would at least hire some competent designers.

  4. Ignorant Texan says:

    So, Fable:Chaos Rising?

  5. Shooop says:

    Never in any game have I seen a “get more powerful, get worse ending” mechanic working in a non-annoying way.

    It just doesn’t work.

    • Jesse L says:

      You have called it 100%.

    • Malk_Content says:

      Soul Nomad had a great system whereby if you were about to take a path that would lead to a different ending the game would warn you and remind you to make a separate save file. Then again those ones more often than not led to “you sacrifice your soul for ultimate power, watch now as the game ends because obviously with ultimate power there isn’t anything worth fighting.”

      • Shooop says:

        That’s exactly how NOT to do it. Well that, and preventing the player from doing it altogether.

        • Exkaiser says:

          Soul Nomad -also- does that, by having an alternate ‘evil’ storyline based on your actions- but you can’t access it until your second playthrough.

  6. cpt_freakout says:

    That bit of story reminds me of Mask of the Betrayer, and if that’s an inspiration then it can’t be bad at all. But, you know, Orcs and men / Game of Thrones.

  7. Haxavier says:

    Man, I saw that screenshot and the first thing I thought of was Berserk. The screenshot character looks like Guts, even.

    • Urist says:


    • Davie says:

      I wouldn’t mind a huge, bloody action-RPG in the Berserk universe. Problem is it would probably just look like a Witcher/Dragon Age knockoff at this point.

  8. BTAxis says:

    If it’s anything like Dragon Age, it’s not for me.

  9. Kein says:

    Obligatory FLAMEFACE or something.

  10. Hunchback says:

    Funny that “dark fantasy rpg” makes you think of Dragon Age, when there’s The Witcher …


    • Pintlemount says:

      There’s also Dark Souls in that dark fantasy RPGsphere.

  11. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Does action RPG automatically mean 3rd person with tiny cartoon dude? I fancy another big RPG but get on much better with first person. There seems to be a lot of 3rd personers around.

  12. squareking says:

    I am interested based on the screenshot alone. Because huge hulking monster.

  13. Mrice says:

    Arbitrary moral choice: The game.

  14. cjlr says:

    The rumble of dark fantasy RPGs makes ME think of Hawaii Five-O, actually.

    Three years on, and that’s still a guaranteed way to improve ANY trailer.

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  16. Sordarias says:

    Color me actually interested. May purchase both Mars and this one, moreso this one because it has character creation, and an interesting looking design. Don’t really care about the combat, honestly, if they can pull off some decent story, and the areas are interesting and designed pretty well — which, in Mars, I did get a sense that they can design levels decently, and the places are gorgeous, or aesthetic porn — then it’ll be worth my money.

    I honestly never tend to care about gameplay in RPGs. Most of them have been crap, or close to crap, even TW2 I felt the combat was just subpar, if better than most RPGs. Still, it’s the writing, the characters, the story, and the music and level design I tend to look for in RPGs. Different story if it’s an action game, like Metal Gear Rising. So yeah, looking forward to it.

  17. Prime says:

    Dear Lord but I’d kill for a decent Sci-fi RPG!

    i can only take so much of the Swords and Sorcery stuff before I paint my face blue and start hacking at things/people with kitchen knives. Is Mass Effect the only one out there??? SCI-FI RPG’S WHERE ARE YOU I WANT YOU

  18. kdz says:

    Dear developers,
    Please just make a Gothic or Risen with better combat.

    some guy.