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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?

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