If you’re looking for a good 3D platformer to get stuck into, Blue Fire seems to be one of the most talked-about games in the genre right now.
Right from the off, it is evident the inspiration for the game lies somewhere between Hollow Knight and the Zelda series, but with its own cutesy art style and ideas. Despite the obvious talent behind its production, it doesn’t really feel like it stands up to what it wants to be – there are a few drawbacks.
The story isn’t anything compelling. It lacks any real substance or purpose. We awaken as a small blade-wielding hero, whose mission lies within the derelict kingdom of Penumbra. Using the two swords strapped to your back, and a chain of fluid movements, we embark on a quest to cleanse the kingdom of corruption, primarily by helping some gods defeat other gods.
Despite a lack of depth to the story, Blue Fire provides players with an abundance of fun in its gameplay. ROBI Studios has clearly taken inspiration from a few different games, but its comparison to Hollow Knight lies mainly within its movement mechanics.
The movements are sharp and responsive, and as you progress through the game, you can expect to unlock new moves and skills similar to what you would expect with other 3D platformers – wall-run, dash, and double-jump, etc. These moves are vital to completing the game’s puzzles and challenging obstacles.
You’ll also unlock new abilities and gear for your hero, as well as hearts that work towards extending your overall health. Unlocking hearts is one of the most fun aspects of the game. You need to enter Void Challenges, which are essentially special areas you need to overcome in order to unlock a heart at the end.
The combat itself doesn’t really provide a challenge – it’s more the moving obstacles that make it harder to take down enemies. The boss fights are a nice addition, as well as using the different abilities which are unlocked, but the real challenge is within its platforming elements. While it may be challenging at times, it’s hard not to admire the fluidity of Blue Fire’s controls.
Blue Fire doesn’t throw everything at you at once, it allows you to build your way up, so you’re able to get a feeling for the controls, before it throws more challenging gameplay at you in the form of more complex obstacles and boss fights.
Despite the game’s beautiful art style, fluid movement, and challenging platformer gameplay, I can’t help but feel like it’s fallen short of what it could have been. A deeper storyline would have been more compelling, and would have given the miniature hero some kind of purpose behind his quest.
It’s not long before the game starts to rely on backtracking too, making it a bit of a tedious experience in places. That said, it’s still a game worth playing if you get the chance.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox one, PC
Release Date: February 4, 2021
Developer: ROBI Studios