Forged of Blood has been in development for more than two years. Right now, it is available in pre-alpha version and we have the chance to take it on a ride. Let’s take a look at the preview!
Forged of Blood is developed by Critical Forge, a game developer based in Jakarta. Twice already they exhibited Forged of Blood on BEKRAF Game Prime, in 2016 and 2017. They also exhibited it on PAX East.
Forged of Blood calls itself as a turn based tactical RPG. It has similarities to XCOM series, especially XCOM 2. In this game, your goal is to conquer all the territory in the strategic map. You have a base in a form of castle to recruit soldiers, buy upgrades, forge weapons, and create magic.
The back story of this game is quite interesting. It is about a power struggle to unite territories that rebelled from your main character’s kingdom, and other factions/races. You are acting as a prince, the brother of the king who is also a commander of the army.
Cover Is Love, Cover Is Life
Looking further into the gameplay, Forged of Blood uses agility as the main state to determine character’s turn. More like Final Fantasy Tactics than XCOM, it divides turns into two phases (player and enemy). The higher your character’s agility, the faster he will get to his next moves.
Delving into the character, Forged of Blood offers really wide possibilities for you to forge each of your soldiers. There are of course some faction bonus and disadvantages, but basically, you can forge any characters any way you want.
There are many weapon choices that you can pick, such as a short sword, long sword, short bow, long bow, a throwing knife, etc. Each of them offers a different set of skills and strategies. For example, with the long sword, you can attack diagonally adjacent square while short sword can’t but it has more speed; throwing knife offers little damage but have bleeding effect; etc.
Actually, I haven’t tried the character-building stuff, but I was given some soldier archetypes or preset characters. There are (I don’t remember the exact archetype names) a short-bowman, a throwing dagger guy with speed buff, a long-swordman with high damage but low accuracy attack, and a long distance walker short-swordman.
When I played the demo, I was up against enemies with the same number and archetypes. For an alpha version, the AI is quite clever, especially the shortbowman who was very mobile and kept good distance from my soldiers. He did a lot of damage to my characters, but I prevailed. I won the game without any casualties. It is very important in the full game to have no casualties, because there’s permadeath looming.
Like modern turn based strategy games, covers and environmental barriers are very important in Forged of Blood. Different level of terrain can cause a character unreacahable to attack by melee or missile. You must have a clear shot from your bowmen to make an enemy available to shoot at. Covers such as trees, rocks, and bushes also can make your attack accuracy decline.
A good grip of the game map is very important in Forged of Blood. I think it is one of the main things you need to harness in order to win (like I did when I won against one of the game creators, Milo, ahem).
So far, the game mechanics (and the high chance of missing your attacks) are similar with XCOM, but with more emphasis on melee combat. There will be magics though, which they didn’t implement to the build I played. And adding magics to the fray will definitely throw more complexity to the gameplay.