BAD BLOOD / Origin / PC

Bad Blood is an early effort from Chris Roberts (Wing Commander et. al.) and while it shows his customary creativity, depth of game world/story and graphical refinement, overall it comes off as yet another example of a very good concept not being matched by very good execution.

The game takes place in a fairly generic post-apocalyptic Wasteland/Mad Max type setting. Judging by the slang of the game world I would guess it's meant to be Australia, but it's all deserts and shacks in the usual post-nuclear style. The one twist this one serves up is that you're playing as the champion of mutants (who look like fish men for some reason), versus the evil humans who have sealed themselves up in big cities and are now organizing themselves to wipe out mutants once and for all in a massive military campaign. As the best warrior of your tribe your task is to sneak around, find out exactly what's going on, and devise a way to put a stop to it.

You get a choice of three characters but the difference between them mostly has to do with conversation options rather than statistics (which are almost non-existent here.) There's a brawny mutant that takes more punishment than the others but who will usually be attacked on sight by human characters, there's a chick with an eye beam who can pass for human so long as she doesn't fire the beam while anyone is around, and then there's a fully human guy who was somehow born to a pair of mutants who can wander freely in the human towns but isn't much of a fighter.

The game display is an odd stylistic choice, a small TV displays the action while most of the rest of the screen area is taken up by non-essential graphics. It all looks very nice as the color of the sky shifts to reflect the different times of day, a water bottle drains to indicate your current level of health, and there's a list of commands (much fewer in number than the Ultima games) always at hand, but the sacrifice is the tiny play area in which you often can't see trouble coming adequately. I don't know if this was just a weird aesthetic choice or if it was done to save on processing power, but the latter seems unlikely as other Origin games like Times of Lore and Ultima were using engines similar to this around 1990. For some reason music will not play for me, if there is any, and the limited sound effects are all clunky PC internal speaker sounds.

With virtually no sound (worth listening to), a tiny play area, very clunky combat action and a general lack of focus combined with high difficulty, I didn't feel inspired to play very far into this one. I thought with some tweaking it could be really good - fan remake potential here - but as is it's just too tedious to deal with. The further niggles of seemingly not having a joystick option despite being fundamentally an action game, and deleting all your previous saves without warning when you start a new game, further put me off from recommending it.

Links :

* Walkthrough

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
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