Bloodsports TV: Review - Games Weekly

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Bloodsports TV: Review

The elevator pitch for Bloodsports TV must have been something along the lines of, “Imagine a MOBA that’s also a Tower Defence game that’s also Smash TV but with a reality TV spin”. That one line pretty much sums up Bloodsports TV. It’s a co-op tower defence that utilises MOBA style controls and upgrades set within a reality TV show format. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster when it comes to concepts, with the disparate parts fit together pretty well, and only occasionally does it run amok and cause problems.


Set in the post-apocalyptic Sweden of Fatshark’s colourful but ultimately fairly unimpressive tactical RPG, Krater, Bloodsprts TV sees players taking the role of a violent reality TV star fighting waves of villagers to protect a missile counting down to launch, the conceit being that it became difficult to find opposition for the show, so instead of recruiting fighters for the waves the producers instead threatened villages with destruction via missile and their only hope of defence was appearing on the show and trying to stop the launches. It’s a cute concepts and works well in the Krater universe.

The “heroes” of the piece control much like the heroes of a MOBA. Click to move, the character automatically attacks nearly enemies and hotkeyed special abilities operate on cooldowns. Experience unlocks new abilities and between rounds players can use the cash they have accrued to buy new weapons, armour and gear. Each character can also teleport back to base to heal by hitting a hotkey. So far so familiar. Instead of having a multitude of characters, Bloodsports TV instead only features four of the archetypes commonly found in MOBAs - Slayer (DPS), wBruiser (Tank), Regulator (Crowd Control) and Medikus (Healer). Each archetype starts with two characters with another two that can be unlocked later. In a five-man group the resulting mix feels more akin to an RPG party than a MOBA team. Limiting the number of archetypes and characters.
  Imagine a MOBA that’s also a Tower Defence game that’s also Smash TV
Battles are fast and fun, and thanks to the tower defence style map design, welcoming to new players. Maps range from corridors to open arenas, each requiring their own set of tactics. Each map features one missile silo and multiple spawners that spit out defensive robots to aid the player in the defense of the missile. Unfortunately at the time of this review, finding a multiplayer game is something of a rarity, even with the drop-in, drop-out nature of the game.

Bloodsports TV can be played single player but that brings with it a host of problems that, whilst not gamebreaking, still detract from enjoyment. Playing a map solo essentially rules out the two support classes, Regulator and Medikus, and removes any real tactical thinking from the game, rendering each wave little more than a rush to do enough damage to bring the marauding villagers to their knees. It’s still playable and often fun when going it alone, but without other players by your side it quickly becomes more of a slog than a joy.

7/10

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