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Blood Knights Box Art
System/s: PC, PS3, X360
Developer: Deck13 Interactive
Publisher: Kobalt Games
Genre: Action/RPG
Players: 1
GD Score: N/A
Press Scores
Release Date:
N. America: Nov. 1, 2013
Europe: TBA 2014
Australia: N/A
Japan: N/A
ESRB: Mature (Blood, Violence)

The Vampires Are Coming. Bring a Friend.


Author: Nicholas Greene  

Deck 13's Blood Knights bills itself as a co-operative hack 'n' slash / action RPG, somewhat akin in spirit to an older property of theirs: Lara Croft: Guardian of Light. Set in a mystically re-imagined Middle Ages, it tells the story of Jeremy Keane, a vampire hunter who's fallen on some hard times. Essentially, that's a way of saying that he's falling into a blood-bond with the Vampiress Alysa (a former nemesis of his), and he has been turned into one of the creatures he's spent his whole life hunting.

Also, the world's kind of ending, and they need to stop it. 

The design of Blood Knights will likely bring to mind such games as Diablo and Torchlight, though with a certain degree of twitch gameplay that gives an almost arcade-like flair to the experience. It's a top-down action-RPG with huge piles of loot. On the surface, that sounds like a pretty generic title, but that's not where Blood Knights distinguishes itself. Where it really makes itself unique is in its focus on co-operative gameplay.

Blood Knights (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Preview Screenshots

The two characters, a melee beatstick and a ranged glass cannon of sorts, are designed from the ground up to work with each other, with abilities and powers that play off one another, leaving plenty of opportunities for griefing, to boot (the characters can lift up and throw both their foes and one another). One of the most interesting mechanics, however, lies in how health is tracked. 

Blood Knights (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Preview Screenshots

Since both characters in Blood Knights are vampires, their health is measured in blood. When one character starts to get low, the other can literally spray their blood across the battlefield in order to heal their comrade.

The inventory system is also pared down a bit from more traditional dungeon-crawler type games, with a number of shortcuts to make it easier to sift through piles upon piles of trash loot (for example, a button that lets you sell all your unwanted stuff directly from the inventory), with much deeper RPG elements than usual. Each character has their own fifteen ability skill tree, as well as three attributes (strength, health, and luck) to level up every time the character locates five "blood coins".

Blood Knights (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) Preview Screenshots

To give you a better idea of how Blood Knights runs, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance was cited as a major influence on the game design, and the way the game plays brings to mind titles such as Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. While we can't say for certain quite yet (the demo was too short to judge, one way or another), Blood Knights may also feature co-op puzzles similar to those in Guardian of Light.

While Blood Knights certainly can be played solo, at this point it looks like it's chiefly designed to be played with a friend, and there's nothing wrong with that. For those of you interested in giving the title a go, it'll be hitting store shelves sometime in 2012... likely close to Christmas. 

Posted on 11/12/2012 | ? COMMENTS
Nicholas Greene

A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.

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