Blood Alloy: Reborn

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Blood Alloy: Reborn Game Poster Image
Action-heavy sci-fi game feels incomplete at best.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

Human vs. robots; lack of backstory gives no explanation why main character is fighting, though it seems as if something has caused robots to wipe out humanity.

Positive role models & representations

Main character (cyborg named Nia Rhys) fights for her life against attacking robots. No context to base positive, negative aspects of character.

Ease of play

Controls are fairly complex, require a number of buttons to be pressed simultaneously with razor-sharp timing. Keyboard use is a mess; some improvement with controller.

Violence

Nonstop action when trying to survive as long as possible, earn highest score before dying. Visuals are somewhat pixelated; enemies all robots that explode, disappear when defeated.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blood Alloy: Reborn is a downloadable science-fiction-themed arcade-style action game. Players battle against robots in a futuristic setting, using guns, homing missiles, and swords. Although violence is key to gameplay, with players scoring points by eliminating enemies, defeated foes simply explode and disappear. There's no blood or gore. There are a number of control options available but none that would qualify as easy to pick up and play, frequently forcing you to hit combinations of buttons with precise, razor-sharp timing, Keyboard input is overly complicated, requiring a controller to make significant progress in the game.

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What's it about?

In BLOOD ALLOY: REBORN, players take control of the cyborg Nia Rhys and her BLade Assisted Surface Traversal (BLAST) system as she runs along the floor, up walls, and across ceilings, with boosted speed and agility. Armed to the teeth with guns, swords, and various explosives, Rhys takes on waves of the robotic forces that are taking over the planet. It's nonstop action and a high-speed race for survival against overwhelming odds, all in search of that ever-elusive higher score.

Is it any good?

Sometimes a game comes along that knows exactly what it's shooting for and dives right in, guns blazing -- and then comes a game with a weird sort of identity crisis that's never quite sure what it's supposed to be. Apparently, Blood Alloy: Reborn is meant to introduce players to a larger game universe and a deeper, action/adventure game that's still in the development stages. But instead of simply releasing a demo to showcase what's coming, the developers took what they had and tried to turn it into a full arcade shooter. The problem is, with only three stages, no backstory, and a complete change of direction, the game still feels like a rushed demo at best and an unfinished mess at worst.

The worst part about Blood Alloy: Reborn is the controls. It's easy to see that the default controls are meant for a different style of game. The best comparison would be to imagine trying to use a racing wheel to control a shooter. The keyboard/mouse combination on the PC is a convoluted mess that leaves your fingers tied in knots, while moving to a gamepad only slightly improves the situation. Even after you start to adjust to the controls, nothing ever feels natural. Though there's potential buried somewhere deep in Blood Alloy: Reborn, it never sees the light of day. Hopefully, if the Blood Alloy universe is expanded, future games will better understand what they're trying to be.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in gaming. How much does it change the impact of violence when it's against nonhuman characters? 

  • Talk about technology and entertainment. Why do many stories feature robots taking over humanity, and do you think people could ever be completely replaced? What are some more positive uses of robotics and technology?

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