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Bound By Flame, an impressive looking action RPG now on SteamOS & Linux

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Great news, Bound By Flame an interesting looking action RPG from developer Spiders and publisher Focus Home Interactive. I asked for a port in 2014, and now it's here!

Always fun to see an old port request thread on Steam revived, especially when it's created by me. Not claiming I had a hand in it or anything, but it's great. Times sure do change, I don't do any posts like that anymore.

It's 80% off until Monday, at £3.99 it was an easy purchase for me.

The good news is it states it supports both AMD and Nvidia GPU's, so hopefully it works well on both.

Some initial thoughts
I must say, I never actually expect them to port this. It was a complete surprise, and I haven't really heard anything since it popped up on SteamDB back in July.

Issues
If you have more than one monitor like me, prepare for an annoyance. Like many games (sigh!), it will load up on one monitor with half of the screen cut off. This is due to it picking the resolution of both monitors. You can find the config file in your home in the BoundByFlame folder it created (also annoying). You can set it to 1920x1080 or whatever you want, but this will get reset when you load up the game.

Even setting it to windowed mode, this is then reset eventually and the game will again go into fullscreen at both monitors width as my resolution, cutting off the screen.

I turned off my second monitor, tried again, all the same issues. It's like their config file is for show.

I managed somehow to get it to change resolution, and i alt+tab to find it changed my desktop to the same low resolution...this is not going well.

Eventually, I was able to force it into windowed mode by use of black magic, frustrating guesswork with key-presses and my tears.

To be frank, their game is utterly broken with more than one monitor.

I have emailed them, and tweeted to them. So hopefully someone will take notice.

More issues
The game will not pickup your gamepad automatically, I had to go into the settings and manually select gamepad or else on the on-screen prompts were for mouse and keyboard. It kept switching back to keyboard too, but it seems changing it in the main menu made it stay on gamepad controls.

The initial keyboard setup is terrible, you will have to rebind your keys. Move forward with Z, what? WASD or get out.

Performance - Take it with a bag of salt, as I am testing with an Nvidia 970.
I couldn't test at 1080p, as apparently that resolution doesn't exist in their options menu if you have more than one monitor, but testing it on the next one available with all settings on highest, I didn't encounter even the slightest stutter. As far as performance goes it seems to be a really great port.

Gameplay
I've now played 117 minutes according to Steam, so take my findings on it what you will.

It's very much geared towards the combat, as the dialogue is quite terrible and the plot seems to be a little predictable. The voice over is a bit jarring at times, but bearable.

I actually quite like the combat if I'm going to be honest, it's a good bit of button bashing. You have two different stances you can switch between at any time, each has it's upsides and downsides. You can go heavy and slow with a sword, or quick and light with your daggers.

I really like the use of slow motion here and there during certain bits of the combat, it looks good and it's quite exciting. I can easily see the novelty of it wearing off though. The combat does get a little awkward when there's multiple enemies around, and you can only parry in certain directions which you need to pick as a skill when levelling up.

What does let it down a bit (in addition to the terrible dialogue), are the character models, which in comparison to the demons look rather bad. The demon enemies do look good though, the first boss in particular I think looks fantastic.

There's some noticeable graphics issues with feet and such going through the floor at times, nothing game-breaking, but it looks dumb.

Also the camera, oh dear the camera. For some reason the camera will zoom in and out of its own free will at times, leaving me at a distance from the action. Quite weird.

Final thoughts: If you like action-orientated RPG games, for the current price it's pretty much a no-brainer for me. I wouldn't dream of buying this particular title personally at full price after playing it, so I can only recommend it at the current price.

I can see myself playing it in small blasts, but it's not a game I can see myself spending tons of time in at once. It feels quite shallow due to the dialogue, small skill selection and slightly awkward combat.

About the game
You are a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in a desperate world ravaged by seven Ice Lords and their Dead-Army.

In this RPG where all your choices lead to consequences, you will have to choose between unleashing the powers of the beast within and rejecting the demonic influence that wants to claim your humanity.

Freely develop your abilities and combat style through three skill trees: swing the heavy weapons of the Fighter, wield the sneaky dual daggers of the Ranger, or use the devastating flame spells of the Pyromancer.

Recruit companions who will live, love, hate and fight alongside you against the dreadful creatures of Vertiel, in real-time epic battles based on tactics and reaction.

The bigger the danger, the greater the temptation to draw on the demon’s power at the cost of your soul… which way will YOU choose?

I will be livestreaming it here, so be sure to come say hello.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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58 comments
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PublicNuisance 5 Dec, 2015
I picked it up for the sale price. I played Mars: War Logs and while it wasn't spetacular it was worth the sale price and this is worth it to show the support for the Linux version.
Nel 5 Dec, 2015
@metcart
I just did another 2h play time, and didn't encounter that camera bug again.

I did 3 game sessions so far:
1. Didn't notice anything on first one
2. Got plagued with camera bug. Changing SC config, removing SC dongle, playing with mouse, restarting game, then steam, then computer... didn't help.
3. Was perfect. And was unable to reproduce that bug by any means.
Devlin 5 Dec, 2015
Quoting: Nel
Quoting: LiamThe initial keyboard setup is terrible, you will have to rebind your keys. Move forward with Z, what? WASD or get out.

Quoting: DevlinI just bought it and tested it 5 minutes, the keyboard and mouse control that comes by default is just painful to use and doesn't work very well, I cannot understand the reasoning behind not using "standard" K&M controls like WASD for movement.

Because it's a french studio and we have AZERTY keyboards here in France. Standard KB+M controls are ZQSD and not WASD.

So now you're getting a taste of your own medicine, when WE always have to rebind every fucking single game to ZQSD again and again (for more than 30 years I play on PC). And I don't talk about those game devs who think how futile is to let people remap keys. :><: :><: :><:

I think I need to relax a bit. ^_^

Thank you for the information, I had no idea, at least now the default key bindings make sense.

It shouldn't be too difficult to have different mappings based on the keyboard layout, but I assume that is just easier to do and test a QWERTY layout and left the configuration of other layouts to the users.

Following with the topic I have had time to test it with the gamepad (a Logitech F510) and the controls, including the camera, worked flawlessly, it's a much better experience than the K&M combo.
STiAT 5 Dec, 2015
€5,99. Bought :-) .. let's see what the game is like.
marcelomendes 7 Dec, 2015
Another beautiful game on my library? For the price (80% off), I can't say no! BOUGHT! :)

EDIT:

Well, after downloading and try to play for awhile, I ended asking for a refund. The game run the first cut scene in slow motion (with no option to skip) and I got a black screen right after. Since I've no problem running other games (even Shadow of Mordor or The Witcher 2) I'm not going to struggling myself trying to solve those issues.


Last edited by marcelomendes on 7 December 2015 at 3:00 am UTC
STiAT 7 Dec, 2015
Okay, that game really surprised me. I didn't know at all about it, and it's a good game. For those who like action based RPGs, it's a steal at 80 % off.

Very good storyline, very good implementation, very deep and nice characters. I yet have to figure out how to seduce them though ;-) ...

For my taste, a bit branching is missing. I guess they have that at personal relations, since I didn't seduce anyone yet. I've two playthroughs now, and the balance is a bit ... well, not too well done, since ranger seems to be overpowered to the other two choices. But this game is way deeper (RPG-whise) than I expected, and a lot of more fun than I expected considering the reviews.

I'd rather compare it with The Witcher 2 than with a crap title. They put a lot of love in there, and it shows off. After I've bought it for the "steal" of €5.99, if I knew what they created, I'd even have paid full price. But I didn't know the game until two days ago.

Performance whiese it's okay, and I've had 5 crashes by now (21 hours playtime, the 2nd playthrough was way faster than the first :D), but due to their savegame policy (autosvave very often), it's no issue if you have a crash, so it's a small annoyence I can just ignore, especially since it happens just occasionally.
coryrj19951 8 Dec, 2015
Woo! Finally got it downloaded and what a game to test out my new graphics card! So far I really like the game, I know what I'm doing all day tomorrow :P I'm having decent performance, a few stutters here and there but overall pretty smooth on ultra :D (I love this 970)
ziabice 9 Dec, 2015
This game seems really bad optimized: with Radeonsi it struggles to reach 30fps at 720p with low details. Tried it using Wine and it works like under Windows: FullHD, everything maxed, high FPS.
I'm confused!
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