Blood Spear, the game made by a group of Canadian students

Blood Spear, the game made by a group of Canadian students

Blood Spear

Made as a school project by a group of students from the Montrael programming school (ISART Digital), Blood Spear garnered good acclaim once it landed on Steam this summer. With these premises, it is not surprising the embryonic nature of the project: we are talking about a title that can be completed in half an hour, with a story and a progression system just sketched out and simple mechanics, but not for this trivial. Yet this little more than a free-to-play tech-demo could be the seed of something more ambitious in the future of its authors.

For this reason we tried Blood Spear and decided to tell you about it. .

Inspired by Dark Souls

The fortress where Blood Spear is set The setting is typical of a medieval fortress infested with monsters and undead (to get an idea you can think to the Walls of Lothric Castle from Dark Souls III), well done even if a little lacking in detail and not too original. For the technical part, the developers have relied on the fourth version of the Unreal engine, with overall commendable results considering the lack of experience and limited budget. The initial phase deserves a special mention, in which knights crawling in blood, attracted by the plaintive call of the weapon, protrude towards it. A scene that recalls the twelfth canto of Dante's hell, in which the violent try to get out of the Phlegethon, with the player who, in the guise of a centaur, rejects the damned who surround him. The textures are good even using the maximum resolution (4K), the soundtrack is not very bright, the female voice of the possessed weapon is apt even if a bit banal.

The protagonist of the game is a bloody spear capable of taking possession of the lifeless bodies of the knights. As such she is immortal: if the character who wields her is irreparably wounded she will be enough to wander around the level until you find another corpse to take possession of. Another peculiarity of the Blood Spear is to constantly consume the vital bar, making it necessary to constantly search for enemies to be killed.

Among their ranks we find mainly skeletons, some armed with bow and arrow, others, more leathery, with shield and sword, and beholders floating in midair. The clashes are all in all simple, but they cannot be faced lightly and above all without having carefully observed their positioning. There is also a boss at the end of the level, whose attack scheme is rather scholastic, but not trivial for this.

PC System Requirements

Test Configuration

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Memory: 32 GB of RAM Video card: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

Minimum requirements

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system Operating system: Windows 10 Processor: Intel® Core ™ i7 Memory: 8 GB of RAM Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580 DirectX: Version 11 Memory: 2 GB of available space

Recommended Requirements

Processor: Intel® Core ™ i7 Memory: 8 GB of RAM Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX Vega-56 DirectX: Version 11 Memory: 2 GB of available space

The launch ... it launches. That's it.

A dark environment of Blood Spear The combat system is unusual, in fact there are no hand-to-hand combat. The spear can only be thrown, more or less violently depending on how long the right mouse button (which also acts as a zoom) is held down, while the left one is used for quick attacks. There is no need to go and retrieve the weapon, because once fired it regenerates. Another move is to create a shock wave by planting the weapon on the floor, an action that is only useful to cause enemies with shields to lose their balance, leaving them vulnerable to the tip of the spear. There are running and sprinting which, unlike attacks, consume vigor and therefore require reload times, but there is no jumping, somersault and the ability to crouch.

One of the most serious defects of Blood Spear concerns the aiming of the enemy, because the spear follows the movement of the player even a few tenths of a second after it is detached from the warrior's hand. In addition to clashing with the rhythms of the game, the lack of precision in the control system is annoying especially in the phases with the greatest number of enemy presences. Forum reports point the finger at understandable poor optimization - some users have verified that GPU usage is consistently 100% even in menus, which caused some sort of covert mining program to fear, which in reality does not. is present. With our configuration there was nothing to report: good stability and also the constancy of the frame rate.

Blood Spear suggests some potential, but it is unlikely to turn into a complete project. The authors have made it known that they are looking for new challenges, perhaps by marrying into some important software house, and there is no concrete intention in continuing the work on Blood Spear, which still remains an excellent example of how talent can make up for all 'experience. |

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