FMV games have long been a staple of my gaming collection and with Wales Interactive being the most prolific leader in the genre at the moment, I snap up each one with anticipation. Bloodshore is possibly their biggest budget FMV adventure yet and sends up the Battle Royale genre in a dystopian future.
You play as Nick, one of 50 contestants parachuted onto an island to then start killing each other for glory and 10 million dollars the next day. Your initial drop team contains a few key characters whom you’ll either want on your side or to avoid and your binary choices will affect your relationships with them. Tish and Otto are gamer streamers who don’t like each other. Gav is an extreme vlogger. Ari is a comedic YouTuber. Rhea is an MMA Fighter (who does no fighting weirdly), Scarlett is a model and Dev is a Bear Grylls wannabe. Your interactions with them help either boost team morale, love interests and so on but since there can only be one winner, it’s clear everyone will be dead at some point.
Whilst this is good fun, there is a hidden thrust that I really liked about Bloodshore and that’s its dystopian TV hell vibe. Nick is there to uncover the fact the game is fixed each year and so whomever you trust with info can backstab you. To add weight to this, you get ad breaks and terrible anchor interviews that feel vapid and like Twitch on Speed. You even get some dropouts flicking TVs to cheesy interviews with the show creators that evoke Alan Partridge. It all builds up a curious world to explore. There are some decisions quite early on regarding who to save and the whole middle third of the game can play out hugely differently depending on who you chose. I counted at least 8 ending variants depending on who I saved, how I built morale and how often I searched for ammo on people. Scenes are also skippable when you’ve seen them once too which is nice and Streamer mode pauses the game for decisions too.
Each playthrough takes about 90 minutes but you’ll have plenty of replays to see most of the game. A few times where threads rejoined you could see some shots were reused in a slightly clunky manner. There’s also a range of acting here with some characters feeling like a teen movie drama rather than killing each other and feeling vaguely real. I also guessed the twists and turns of where the story was going to go quite early on. It didn’t stop me enjoying the cheesy romp to get to the endings though.
Those quirks aside, this is a tightly woven but of comedy gore rated 18 battle royale x Running Man send up. It is certainly one of the best ones published by Wales Interactive to date. it is definitely a vibe though of straight to VHS 1988 trapping. If that doesn’t appeal, its charm might be lost on you.
A campy b-movie of joy, blood, silliness and dystopia wrapped into 90 minute journeys of fun.
Nails that b-movie vibe.
Very replayable due to big decisions taking place quite early on.
Skippable repeat scenes, streamer mode and Telltale-esque feedback icons to keep you engaged.
Lots of ending variants.
Some story threads don't quite join up nicely or use shots that feel more specific to certain story paths at times.
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