Bound by Flame Review


I have got to say, the prospect of RPGs on the PlayStation 4 has me a tad excited. The likes of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are a while away though, and the library isn’t exactly fit to burst at the moment. Enter Bound by Flame, an action RPG that aims to keep fans of the genre occupied until the big hitters arrive. Does it do exactly that, or is it one to avoid like an open flame? Read on to find out

Game: Bound by Flame
Developer: Spiders Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Reviewed on: 

BBF box


Bound by Flame puts you in the role of a mercenary called Vulcan tasked with putting an end to the raging war caused by the deadly Ice Lords and their army of Deadwalkers. Without spoiling too much of the story, Vulcan gets possessed by a demonic creature who is trying to replace him and take over his body. You know, hence the title. Wink wink! The story features some depth, offering you many choices as you progress. Vulcan’s relationship with the Demon is also portrayed quite well, with each character playing off each other very well. The tale can get a bit confusing at times, but on the whole it’s pretty good. Well, as far as RPGs go anyway.


I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried out the last-gen versions of Bound by Flame so it’s hard for me to compare them to this PS4 incarnation. That said, it’s a decent looking game, with some impressive details. Forests, swamps and towns, they all look nice enough, but it’s fair to say there are better visual showcases on the PS4.

That said, the characters and enemies (especially the bosses) are well detailed, looking like something out the next Elder Scrolls title. Sadly though, That aside, Bound by Flame suffers from quite a few frame rate issues, so much so that at times I thought the game had froze or the PS4 had crashed. Hopefully there is a patch on the way!


Bound by Flame’s audio is very much a mixed bag. Some of the script is downright hilarious. I mean, come on, there is no better sound than hearing a Scottish fella shout ‘arses’ and ‘arsewipe’ on a regular basis. On the negative side of things, the overall quality of the voice acting is pretty bad, almost ruining the story at some points. It’s safe to say, I found myself skipping quite a bit of the dialogue in the game after about half an hour. Apart form that, the background music and sounds in Bound by Flame are pretty good, complimenting the somewhat dark and serious tone well.


Labelled as an action RPG, Bound by Flame lives up to the its billing quite well. Both gameplay elements work in harmony with each, resulting in some fun moments as you progress. I would liken the gameplay and the battle system that lies within it to an Elder Scrolls title, but just a bit more simplified. As you move through the game, you’ll level up by defeating enemies and gaining points. These can then be used to develop your skills in battle, or also in a ‘Feats’ system. These Feats will give you extra abilities that will aid you along your quest, whereas the aforementioned points can be used to develop skills over there different classes – Ranger, Warrior and Pyromancer. The Ranger is good for quick  attacks, Warrior for stronger ones and Pyromancer places a focus on magic. So the usual really!

I found the Ranger class to be the most effective out of the three, and made sure that all of my earned points went towards me becoming faster and more efficient with attacks. This allowed me to dodge incoming attacks (in slow motion too) and take a stealthy approach in certain situations, something I more than recommend.

In addition to all the fighting, you are able to craft items in the game, giving you the ability to enhance your weapons ahead of big battles. Enemies always seem to drop loot, so looking around after you win a battle will more often than not pay dividends in terms of you getting some useful goodies. Gold is also key, so hold onto it and save up as even near the start, weapons and armor are very expensive.


Bound by Flame will certainly keep you occupied for a quite a while. Multiple hours will easily pass by if  you happen to get into the game, especially with the numerous side quests the game has to offer. Unfortunately, the quests you do can become quite repetitive along the way, usually tasking you with looking for someone and then take on a bunch of enemies plus a boss. It’s not a simple game either as even on the easier settings you’ll find yourself restarting quite a bit. The strategic approach is the best one, trust me. All the above said, it’s clearly missing some online functionality though. Not only would’ve some online co-op increased the replay factor of Bound by Flame, it would’ve made the overall gameplay more enjoyable too.


Bound by Flame is a somewhat enjoyable RPG, giving you the ability to play out the story as you’d like and mould your character as you see fit. It’s crying out for some online functionality though. The boss battles are good, but would be much better if you could tackle them with a friend or even another random human player. Maybe with the sequel, eh? Either way, Bound by Flame is a decent RPG that will provide quite a few fun moments without ever really going into the amazing or excellent territory. If you’re looking to play an RPG on your PS4 while the big hitters are still being developed, Bound by Flame should do while you wait.


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