Microsoft Corp.’s Bloodforge for the Xbox Live division of the Xbox 360 is a decent hack-n-slash download that offers plenty to eviscerate in a dark, brooding atmosphere.

Developed by Climax Studios, Bloodforge is a third-person action combat title that includes various weapons and options to beat down a variety of goons. Crom, a warrior whose loved one is murdered, seeks revenge against the gods.

The combat system is versatile, with light and heavy attacks, jump, and various weapons like a sword, hammer, and claws. Options include a built-up Berserk Mode when enough blood is shed, and the Rune Attack for added strength to standard attacks.

Crom is defiantly capable of disposing of most enemies, while some larger foes require additional evades to conquer. The combo system is agile to allow users to bash one enemy to the next and finish off with a cinematic heavy attack. Enemies frequently spawn in the desolate world at will to make some stretches a bit repetitive.

Level design is straight-forward with users required to run from point A to B while being graded on each battle.

The title includes large boss enemies that require multiple-phases and quick-time events to fully obliterate.

Along the way Crom will find health and shrines where he can sacrifice blood for mana in order to perform Rune Attacks.

The title includes a small social element called a Blood Duel in which the user can compare the amount of collected blood or Challenges where users can create custom challenges for their friends to test.

The graphics engine is solid at 30 frames-per-second. The limited color palette and dreary weather effects impart an artistic, bleak existence, though the shaky camera effects can become disorienting.

The sound engine yields plenty of meaty effects from brutal bashes to limb decapitations. In addition, voiceover work is excellent to relay a tale of vengeance.

Bloodforge is a decent download bash for Xbox Live. While the title’s enemy variation can be limited, the numerous options to pummel the opposition is enough to satisfy a hunger for combat.

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