Bloodroots Review – Wilder West

Have you ever seen an old cartoon where a fight breaks out and the brawlers turn into a cloud of punches that flips tables and breaks everything it touches? Bloodroots, a breakneck action-puzzle game from Quebec developer Paper Cult, lives inside that cloud. A short, speedy tale of mayhem and revenge, Bloodroots dares you stab, bludgeon, squash, and otherwise murder dozens of thugs with the ruthless efficiency of the Wild West’s greatest outlaw and the zany gusto of Bugs Bunny trolling Yosemite Sam. Whether you do this for the sake of its well-written story and/or the thrill of a score chase, Bloodroots can be stylish, graceful (once you know what you’re doing), and surprisingly easy to pick up despite demanding a tremendous attention to detail. In its pre-release state, however, its most elating moments are easily and frequently disrupted by technical issues, keeping you from really hitting your stride as often as you should.

Bloodroots puts you on the warpath with the Wild West outlaw Mr. Wolf, who’s out for revenge against his gang, the Blood Beasts. The Beasts, who all wear animal skins and go by Reservoir Dogs-style code names like Mr. Boar and Mrs. Crow, betray and nearly kill him after murdering an entire town in the name of their new leader, Mr. Black Wolf. From the moment he recovers from his attempted assassination, Mr. Wolf has one goal: to kill his former gang and anyone who gets between them.

The story, though simple and predictable, is made compelling through strong dialogue that forges complex characters. Though Mr. Wolf rarely speaks, you learn a lot about him; his story and the history of the gang are told in carefully constructed interactive flashbacks and through his encounters with the Beasts. You don’t spend too much story time with any one character–this is an action game and the gameplay comes first–but in tracking down each former partner, you come to understand and savor your time with them. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in Bloodroots is a bad guy, but you come to see that every character has their own perspective on how the gang rose and fell. In hearing about Mr. Wolf’s past from the Beasts, in their own unique voices, you not only understand the situation better, but come to understand that there’s more in their lives than a single act of vengeance. That isn’t to say you won’t have reservations about your mission–they’re bad guys through and through–but you understand why they made their choices, which makes your hunt more satisfying.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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