How do you play retro games?

BloodNet (DOS)

65
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  -Chris (7365)
Written on  :  Aug 09, 2000
Platform  :  DOS

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by -Chris
read more reviews for this game

Summary

Should have been a book.

The Good

I love Bloodnet for a simple fact: The dialogues are brilliant. Well written and full of slang and dry humor, they sketch a clear picture of the speaker's personality. The game more or less revolves around talking to lots of people, and those conversations are the prime source for the dense atmosphere. As if Microprose's graphic department wanted to underline this point, they made the portrait pictures displayed during the dialogues stunningly beautiful. After that, they obviously lost interest. Most backgrounds and sprites are not only ugly, but even unconsciously funny.

The Bad

I loathe Bloodnet for a simple fact: The game mechanics are awful. I could ramble about the awkward interface or the unpredictable battles, but there's a much, much more important spoiler: Maneuvering yourself into a dead-end is as easy as pie. Whoops, sucked the blood out of a plot protagonist by mistake? Can't solve the game, restart. Argh, forgot to take this essential item after a key battle? It's been removed with the dead body, restart. Sell important objects, lose needed party members -- the game won't even warn you. There's plenty of ways to happily walk into your doom in Bloodnet, and I could not even say the designers did it on purpose: It's a mix of carelessness, poor balancing, bad playtesting, and exaggerated ambitions.

The Bottom Line

If you're a fan of great dialogues and a credible cyberpunk atmosphere, play and enjoy Bloodnet. But have a walkthrough ready. You'll need it. Pros might want to look into Bloodnet for another reason: It's one of the few games that comes close to being truly non-linear. This is a astonishingly thrilling experience, despite the awful gameplay. Try it!