Wales Interactive's latest FMV tackles one of the games industry's latest trends: battle royale.

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Wales Interactive has really settled into the position of the go-to FMV game developer. The team has created a bunch of interactive live-action stories, including the recent Night Book and March's I Saw Black Clouds. Despite already launching two games this year alone, the developer has a third on the immediate horizon, a game that buys into one of the industry's latest global trends: battle royales.


Known as Bloodshore, this title puts you into the shoes of the forgotten actor Nick Romeo, who has chosen to join the annual Kill/Stream programme (the name of the show that runs the battle royale) for a shot at the eternal glory that awaits the victor. The story follows Romeo's journey across the island and details his encounters with other players, as well as revealing that he has alternative motives for being on the Kill/Stream broadcast, motives that you begin to learn will change the way the world operates if they come to light.

Unlike a traditional BR, Bloodshore approaches the topic in a little more controversial manner. In a lot of BRs, the idea of a group of individuals fighting it out like gladiators to be the last man standing is quite a heroic feat. In Bloodshore, this is less of the case, as you begin to learn that contestants have joined the programme as a last resort, and that the company who runs the barbaric event shows no sign of empathy for human life, and are the reason behind countless deaths over the years that the show has been airing.

With this in mind, the game not only approaches how Romeo and the other contestants experience being in a dangerous battle royale, but it also takes a look at how the viewers and the community respond to the actions of the company running the show, as well as the revelations that unravel as you progress the storyline. In this manner, it's a unique look at the BR genre.

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As this is an interactive movie, the gameplay basically revolves around making simple decisions at various points, which in turn, will determine the next movie scene you get to witness. These decisions are common enough to make you feel involved and engaged in the narrative, and the number of alternative scenes that are available does mean that there are quite a few different stories to experience - even if they are all rooted by the same underlying storyline. But at the same time, the decisions are pretty basic, and will ask you to choose between saving one individual or the other, or rather side with one character instead of another, and at times I find them to be irrelevant and a chore.

And this isn't really helped by the Tracker that has been implemented to show how your choices are affecting your narrative. The Tracker is supposed to be a method of showcasing how your decisions have impacted the group, but quite frankly, if it wasn't a feature at all, Bloodshore wouldn't be losing anything. At no single point in my time playing did the Tracker influence or cause me to second guess a choice, and likewise, seeing a stat on the Tracker shift due to choice never made me regret a decision either.

It's also worth noting that while Bloodshore is a published video game, if you're expecting to find the next Brad Pitt or Cate Blanchett (and yes, on a completely off-topic note, I did watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button recently), you'll be sorely disappointed. The acting is not great, with some characters - particularly the Kill/Stream host - being aggravating to say the least.

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Yet, with this being said, the poor quality of the acting genuinely makes Bloodshore more enjoyable. With the concept of a lethal battle royale being broadcasted nationwide as the basis for the story, having a narrative and a cast that don't quite take the idea seriously make it more approachable and easy to digest and get into.


If you're wondering whether the fact that Bloodshore is an interactive movie means it doesn't have much replayability, that's both true and also false. As I mentioned earlier, the choices you make lead to different scenes and clips being shown to you, meaning you can replay and purposely make alternative choices to see what might change in the narrative.

All in all, I actually think that Bloodshore is quite a fun game. It's a story that can be enjoyed in around 90 minutes, unless you intend to go back and replay for alternative endings, and while it definitely won't drive the same award buzz as the latest blockbusters or biggest games, it will keep you entertained for an evening. It's daft, bizarre, and attempts to challenge the perception of killing arenas, and I don't look back at my time playing with any disappointment at all.

06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
It's fun to experience. Unique take on the way we perceive battle royales. Has quite a deep level of replayability.
Acting is pretty terrible. Questions don't really make you feel like you're in control.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

Wales Interactive's latest FMV tackles one of the games industry's latest trends: battle royale.

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