Bloodroots Review – Quick & cathartic carnage

Platforms:

PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4

Released:

February 29, 2020

Publisher:

Paper Cult

Developer:

Paper Cult


Posted March 2, 2020

Bloodroots is best described as a super stylish and fast-paced action game. It’s a violent affair where reactions are quick and the death toll climbs even quicker. Expect to leave a trail of corpses in your wake as you rampage through the Weird West.

Bloodroots is a fast-paced action game. It takes place over 3 acts, each divided into various chapters. The game will have the player character go on an absolute rampage, taking out bad guys in a single hit but susceptible to the same fate. In some ways the game is comparable to titles like Hotline Miami, with quick reactions, spacial awareness, and tactical thinking helping to secure your victory. The game plays like a blood-soaked dance. You never want to be standing still or you’ll suffer a time penalty, so instead you’re constantly moving and massacring as you attempt to clear an area as quickly and as stylishly as possible.

In Bloodroots, basically everything around you is a weapon. It’s a good thing too because weapons only have a limited durability so you’ll be required to swap things around pretty frequently. Weapons are plentiful and many contain their own unique properties. Some weapons can be thrown, others attack with a dash, others can be used to vault upwards, and there are even barrels or giant shoes that can be rode comically, squashing your enemies in their path. The variability of this weapon system is where the game really shines. Because whilst you’re unlikely to complete a level on your first attempt, the weapons keep things constantly changing and there’s always another path or angle of attack you haven’t yet considered.

Bloodroots is an incredibly stylish game. Playing through any given level isn’t just cathartic or challenging, it’s genuinely artistically impressive too. There’s a flow to combat and movement that’s hard to describe but enjoyable to experience. Animations are crisp and the game has a clear aesthetic that is instantly striking.

“The game plays like a blood-soaked dance.”

After clearing each area you’ll be judged with a score, allowing you to compete with your friends or take on the global leaderboards. Score will be determined by a number of factors including variability of your weapons, timing of attacks, and speed. It means the game is infinitely replayable as you go back to past missions and attempt to perfect your score. It’s fun too, because the longer you stay in any one area the more you notice different weapons and different paths that can be strung together for a perfect massacre. There’s nothing more satisfying than planing and perfecting your attack plan resulting in a stylish and elegant murder rampage. For this reason I do wish there was some video replay system to capture your past runs, although it certainly would be a big ask.

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The difficulty of the game ramps up pretty drastically as you move through the acts. Early levels were cathartic and fast whilst areas further into the game will begin to truly test you. It’s not inherently a bad thing, as I know many gamers will appreciate the challenge. I personally wasn’t a fan of the more difficult segments of the game however. Earlier levels had me in glee as I replayed them looking to perfect my score. Later levels had me frustrated as I replayed in desperation to try and complete them at all. Being 1 hit away from death at all moments made even some basic enemies troublesome to overcome. The speed with which you move through the game also meant it was hard to remain in control, an issue exacerbated by some of the game’s less than precise elements.

Platforming in particular proved to be quite the challenge in Bloodroots. The game plays in a fully 3D field with a decent amount of verticality involved despite the isometric(ish) camera angle. Making certain jumps proved to be nightmarish as the perspective created unintended challenges. With fast movement, dashes, different leaps from different weapons, and environmental effects such as ice impacting your movement, you’ll be falling off the edge to your instant death more often than is enjoyable.

Bloodroots isn’t overly long but the game length was more than satisfying. There’s a story that will carry you through the game but it certainly isn’t the most important or noteworthy element of the experience. Impressively, Bloodroots mixes things up as you play with boss fights or sections of game that differ from what came before it. I particularly enjoyed the moments where the game would spice things up, alter the perspective, or change up the playing field to keep things fresh and stylishly new.

Bloodroots

Bloodroots

PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4
Action

Positive:
  • Super stylish
  • Cathartic action sequences
  • Addictive gameplay and weapon loop
Negative:
  • Platforming woes
  • Frustrating difficulty spike
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7

Good

Bloodroots is an effortlessly stylish experience. It plays like a murderous dance as you dash and leap from one enemy to the next, creating a choreographed chain of blood and carnage. Swapping weapons on the fly makes for a satisfying gameplay loop that feeds into the tight controls and arcade style leaderboard. A few hiccups with platforming imprecision certainly didn’t enhance the game but it didn’t ruin the fun either. For the cathartic and violent game lovers out there, you should not let Bloodroots pass you by.



Elliot Attard

About the Author

Elliot Attard

PC gamer, TV show binge-watcher, music lover and elite member of high society (but not really) - Elliot possesses all of the qualities needed to project his word thoughts straight into your eye holes.