Blood Will Be Spilled is a 2D side scrolling, turn based tactical combat platformer, based in the Wild West and hand drawn in a spaghetti western style. This frontier is inhabited by insects and you play as Jack, a gun-slinging mosquito who is on the hunt for revenge. This game has everything; shoot-outs, bounties and gun tricks. You just have to choose whether you are, The Good, The Bad or The Ugly as you seek out those who have betrayed you.
This game has a lot of good, not least the art work. This hand drawn game is breathtaking, right down to the little details. It gives off a really authentic Western feel with it’s frontier towns and waste lands – credit must be given to the artists on this. The little nods and puns in the game are also cool, such as the Indians being called Indiants (they’re all ants) and the priest being a praying mantis – this did make me smile.
As for the narrative, the more you play, the more you become invested in Jack’s story. You can see and feel the thought process and effort put into this game, especially in the shoot-outs – they can be intense depending on which tricks you have and which route you are using. Once you get into a flow it can be really enjoyable, learning to use the different skills to take out you enemies and trying to pull off that one awesome trick shot. However some skill require blood which you can acquire by sucking it from an enemy, but you have to be careful that you don’t leave yourself open when seeking some out.
There are a few gripes I did have with this game and it is mainly about the shoot-outs. They are great like I previously said, but once you get to your seventh and you have only been playing for half an hour they can become frustrating. As this is a turn based game it’s not a case of going all gun-ho, it’s all about strategy. You only get two actions per turn so when you go up against six enemies and they get a total twelve turns to your two, it can become very long winded. You will spend a lot of time waiting and this game has a lot of these larger group fights.
Then there is the button layout and controls. I played on the Switch and I mean once you get the hang of them it becomes easier, but its still not great. For one, if you wish to use your gun out of combat, the aim and draw control is on the same joystick – you have to draw by moving the joystick to the left, and then – keeping it there – move up or down to move your gun. The amount of times you will move that joystick ever so slightly to the right after you have lined up your shot only to end up holster your gun before you can get a shot off will become frustrating. The jump and run buttons are right on top of each other, there is little gap between them and you will end up jumping at the wrong time when you are running, potentially leading you to your death.
There is one thing I just could not get on with in this game and that’s the move mechanic in a gunfight. The reason I could not get on with this is because you have to choose a direction to follow on a pre-determined path, so this ends up limiting your movement choices. This lack of freedom can cost you two action cards if you move too far from where you started. It does add to the strategy but it can end up making the fights last too long, especially when you also have to wait for the enemy’s movements. Then there is the crashing and freezing. The amount of times I have had to restart a mission from the last checkpoint because it has crashed, or hasn’t recognised I have completed the task became infuriating. This game has forced me to restart it more then I have had to with any other game I’ve ever played. It kinda makes you want to put the game down and not pick it back up, which is a shame because when the game runs smoothly it can be really entertaining.
Overall I think Blood Will Be Spilled is a good game. The story had me invested from the start and the graphics and art work is amazing, it’s a shame it let itself down with certain movement mechanics and its freezing and crashing issues. I would give it a score out of 10, but I feel this might dissuade some for playing it. The gripes I had shouldn’t overshadow, what is, in essence, a good game – just with some minor annoyances. If they fix the crashing and freezing, I recommend you to take a look.
However if it wasn’t for the bugs and crashes I’d give it a: