Bloodline Champions

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Overview

Bloodline Champions Overview

Bloodline Champions is a team based PvP MMO where two teams of up to five players on each side battle it out on various arenas. Gameplay in Bloodline Champions is fast paced and the controls are very similar to those found in a FPS. Besides being team oriented, the game is also highly skill based. There are no critical hits, minimum/maximum damage ranges, or other random elements. Each hero (called a champion) has its unique set of skills and victory is determined by proper teamwork and execution. While the game will be free to play, free users will only have access to 4 heroes at a time. Access to the full set of features and hero roster will require one-time purchases and a premium subscription.

Healing Champions - Alchemist, Psychopomp, Herald, Astronomer

Ranged Champions - Igniter, Gunner, Nomad, Engineer

Tank Champions - Glutton, Vanguard, Inhibitor, Thorn

Melee Champions - Harbinger, Spear Master, Ranid Assassin, Ravener

Bloodline Champions Screenshots

Bloodline Champions Featured Video

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Full Review

Bloodline Champions Review

By, Jaime Skelton

The blend of casual gameplay and intense PvP has made MOBAs – multi-player online battle arenas, also known by AOS (Aeon of Strife) or DotA (Defense of the Ancients) games – increasingly popular. Bloodline Champions is published by Funcom (known for Age of Conan), and gives a slight spin on the traditional setup found in League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth. With a somewhat simplified take on character management and gameplay, Bloodline Champions may make a great entry point for the less serious arena player.

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It’s Easy Being Green

A new player who enters Bloodline Champions for the first time will be met with a pop-up encouraging them to take a brief tutorial. This is, of course, highly recommended for any player. The tutorial explains the basic menus of the game, and then places the newbie into a simple combat tutorial with a ranged character where skills and hotkeys will be introduced. Players of games like League of Legends will find the controls very similar, while the first-time arena player will find them fairly intuitive, designed for simple keyboard movement and skill use, while the mouse is used for targeting.

Choosing Your Bloodline

Like other free-to-play DotA-style games, Bloodline Champions offers a selection of characters – here, known as Bloodlines – to play for free, with the rest available for purchase. There are twenty-one Bloodlines split across four archetypes – melee, range, tank, and healer. Each archetype is designed to a different role: melee is designed for up front, quick damage; tanks are designed as a combination of crowd control and damage; range is designed for ranged damage (often with AoE); and healers are designed for healing as well as crowd control. Each character within these bloodlines are relatively balanced with skill selection, but some characters do prove a little stronger in certain game modes or team combinations.

Unlike other arena games, however, the selection of which of these characters that are available for free changes on a weekly basis. Four bloodlines – one from each archetype – are available for free each week on a set rotation. This means that for the first few weeks you play, you’ll be getting used to each of the characters and learning their skills as well as how they work in a team. Each champion can also be purchased permanently through either Funcom Points, virtual currency paid in cash, or through Blood Coins, in-game currency earned through playing matches.

The Ultimate Skills

Each bloodline champion comes with a set of six regular skills and one skill called an “Ultimate Ability.” Two basic skills (bound to left and right mouse buttons) have short cooldowns and offer the character’s basic abilities. The remaining four skills have longer cooldowns, but offer much more powerful attacks, crowd control, or additional healing. Most skills either help the player gain energy (a resource used to activate skills), or use a portion of the energy a player currently has.

The ultimate ability is a bloodline’s unique ability which can make a major impact on the battlefield. In order to be able to use this ability, the player must build up their energy bar to 100%. Using this ability will also use up all the energy, but can provide a major turning point in a battle.

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Size Matters

Besides their skills, bloodlines are defined by their four basic stats, which are unique per each character. Health represents how much each bloodline can take before it dies, while recovery health marks the amount of health that character can be healed when it loses health – any healing done past this point is wasted. Movement speed reflects how fast the bloodline runs, making some characters a little faster than others. Finally, a bloodline’s size – the literal height and width of the character on the screen – defines each character’s ability to block, as well as how easily they can be hit.

41144  500x375 bloodline champions bloodline spear master

Bring It On: The Arenas

Once you’ve hammered out the basics, it’s time to jump in the game. Games are created in the Bloodline Champions lobby, where players have the choice of creating single player games – set against bots with half the earnings of a regular game – or creating or joining a match in progress with other players. All game modes can be set to anywhere from 1v1 to the traditional 5v5. None of the game modes feature the traditional set up of towers, lanes, altars, or NPCs found in League of Legends or similar games.

There are three game modes. Arena is a basic “fight to the death” game, where players can join in on one of several relatively small maps. Arenas are held for a number of rounds, and the first team to win the set amount of rounds for the match wins the match. This mode is the most popular mode, especially in the regular multi-player lobby. Capture the Artifact is a “capture the flag” style game which grants points to the team who controls both their artifact and the opposing team’s. Conquest mode offers three locations that a team must control in order to win, while guarding against the other team.

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Ladders and More

Naturally, a competitive PvP game is going to feature more than just random matches and a single player mode. Each player gains experience as they play games, as well as ranking based on their general skill level. These are then used to help players enter Ladder Games, which let players go either solo, in pre-made teams, or in a tournament, against other players of equal skill. These ladder games are more rewarding and also grant an additional currency, tokens, which can be used for special purchases in the game’s marketplace.

Final Verdict: Good

Bloodline Champions is a great game for the more casual gamer, and for those who find the strategy and teamwork required in other DotA-like games frustrating. While teamwork is still required to succeed in any match (excluding 1v1), less depends on a single player knowing their role and strategy on each map and with each team composition. Because of that, Bloodline Champions is gentler to pick-up teams.

Still, Bloodline Champions’ simplification of arena games – a lack of talents or a choice of skills, lack of useful equipment, and a reduced element of strategy – also makes it less appealing. The game play can become quickly repetitive, and with little to show in the way of progression – other than gaining rank to access more difficult arena matches – Bloodline Champions makes a better pick up PvP game than something to spend regular time on.

Screenshots

Bloodline Champions Screenshots

Videos

Bloodline Champions Videos

Bloodline Champions Gunner Profile

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Bloodline Champions Alchemist Profile

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Bloodline Champions Ravener Profile

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Bloodline Champions Spear Master Profile

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Bloodline Champions Thorn Profile

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Bloodline Champions Beta Trailer

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System Requirements

Bloodline Champions Requirements

Minimum:

Intel Pentium 3.2 GHz CPU (or AMD equivalent)

Nvidia or AMD/ATI video card with 128MB RAM and Shader Model 3 support (GeForce 6000 series or ATI HD2000 series)

1GB RAM on Windows XP, 2GB of RAM on Windows Vista/7

Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista or 7

Direct Sound audio device

*ATI X1000 series has limited support

Recommended:

Dual Core CPU

Nvidia or AMD/ATI video card with 256MB RAM and Shader Model 4 support (GeForce 8000 series or ATI HD2000 series)2GB RAM

Windows XP, Vista, or 7 (with full service packs and updates)

Direct Sound audio device

 
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