Bloodline Champions preview

It’s been compared to DotA and World of Warcraft Arena. But after spending some time in the beta, we think that Bloodline Champions is in a league of its own. The PvP arena game emphasizes skill and teamwork. Tailored and streamlined for competitive play by budding developer Stunlock Studios, Bloodline Champions levels the playing field by removing a lot of common tropes in the PvP arena genre.

Advantages based on character level or specialized sets of equipment are out. Random effects, like critical hits, are also absent, removing the luck factor. There’s also no target locking; every strike and spell needs to be aimed with skillful shots. You’ll move your champion about the battlefield with the WASD keys, but you’ll need to aim and hit your target by aiming with your mouse. The result is a game that looks similar to DotA or League of Legends, but instead plays more like a third-person action title. It also means that players always need to be on the move, ready react and change tactics based on what their opponents and teammates are doing on the fly.

The usual MMO character class archetypes are all here. When choosing your champion, you can select from various Bloodlines, which determine what kind of role you want to fill. You’ve got your tanks, melee DPS warriors, ranged attackers, and healers. But what’s cool is that there are a wide variety of different Bloodlines for each of the basic roles. An Engineer, who uses flamethrowers and jetpacks, will feel very different when compared to other ranged damage Bloodlines, like the Igniter, who specializes in more traditional crowd control fire spells.

We also like how Bloodline Champions’ new approach to healing classes. Your teammates can only be healed when they’re under attack, which eliminates the need for healers to constantly spam healing spells to keep their team’s health bars topped off. It works well with the game’s on-the-go pacing, allowing healers to be more reactive than proactive.

There are three main modes. Arena Mode is a basic team deathmatch. Conquest finds teams battling for control of control points spread throughout the map, and Capture the Artifact plays like a round of capture-the-flag. The largest match in terms of the number of people playing is 5v5, but if you want to play with smaller teams, you can.

We see great potential for Bloodline Champions. It looks like an up-and-coming contender could in the world of e-sports. But even though the game is being marketed as a title that will appeal to both hardcore and casual players, it’s the hardcore competitive gamers that plan to play seriously with friends while chatting on Ventrillo or Skype who will really like it the most.

But why wonder when you could find out if Bloodline Champions is right for you today? GamesRadar is stillgiving away closed beta keys. The best part is that if you register for the Bloodline Champions beta through our site, you’ll get an exclusiveGamesRadar-themed title that will stick with your account after the game launches. That's right. You can make GamesRadar's senior wildlife editor B. Buttercup proud by slaying non-horses with your 'GR Buttercup Rider' title.

Nov 18, 2010

Bloodline Champions closed beta key giveaway
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