Bloodline: Heroes Of Lithas Is Just Another Mobile RPG, Despite Its Lineage



I spent a lot of time with a preview build of Bloodline: Heroes of Lithas over the past week. I fought hordes of enemies, ruled my kingdom, courted a mate or two, and raised heirs resulting from these courtships. On the surface, the game has all the hallmarks of a typical mobile RPG: multiple currencies, menus on menus, and rudimentary auto-combat gameplay with an occasional touch to activate a character’s ultimate attack. Start digging below the surface, though, and you’ll find… nothing, because that’s all the game is going to do.

You start Bloodline by creating a character: you choose from a few predefined races, do some light customization, name your new hero, and assume the throne of your kingdom. At first, there’s not much to do in the realm itself, so you set off on your journey through history, accepting missions and fighting through the hordes.

Now Playing: Bloodline: Heroes Of Lithas Official Trailer

Don’t blink when playing these missions or you might miss the action. It’s a slight hyperbole, but not much; the missions pass very quickly. Both factions attack each other mindlessly, dealing damage with each attack. Eventually, the squares of your party members light up one by one and you tap them to activate that character’s strongest move. Once the enemies are defeated, you see a victory screen, maybe watch a “cutscene” of two characters talking to each other while reading their dialogue, then move on to the next fight. There’s no meat on the bone, just mindless observation with the occasional tap as you wait for the last enemy to fall so you can move on.

As you progress through these missions, you unlock more of your kingdom, with its resources contributing to your story efforts. You help make decisions in the Senate that help the city, you manage districts and collect taxes, and you fight other players in the arena and interrogate prisoners in the dungeon. The realm is an engine, and you, the player, are its ignition… but it’s a shame that the engine runs on little more than menu management. If you see a red mark on any of these areas, you enter, tap what needs to be mined, and exit, and even then all you do is collect one of the game’s myriad currencies: gold , bread, diamonds. , etc.

The only Bloodline mechanic hangs its hat – it’s in the title, after all – is the ability to develop a bloodline of your heroes by courting companions. These companions are unlocked through daily login events, completing missions, or other means, each waiting for you in the designated Companion menu. Raising heirs is neat, as you shape how the child grows through one of three actions: training, learning, and studying. Of course, these actions are again just a matter of tapping, but at least there’s some agency to how the child grows. Some children need more actions than others – a child I gave birth to needed 75 actions before they grow – and the time it takes to raise them is artificially inflated by the game’s timers, so even the mark mechanic couldn’t avoid the moving shenanigans.

I’d appreciate the bloodline aspects of Bloodline more if the courtship phase wasn’t so…weird. When you open the Companion menu and choose a companion, you have the option to give them gifts, increase their charm level, and produce children of a higher rarity. When you’re ready, hit “Short” to start a little cutscene where a curtain closes and reopens, with the chosen companion appearing, saying a very nerdy one-liner, and then the baby appears. The whole thing looks disgusting, especially the forced one-liner. Another mate in my game (the one holding handcuffs for some reason) says, “You’re very good with a bow, I wonder what else you’re good with?” I’m no prude, but a simple closing of the curtain followed by the appearance of the baby would have gotten the message across.

Bloodline: Heroes of Lithas looks like the type of mobile game you’d see in a Facebook ad. There’s very little substance here, you just tap menus, unlocking more currencies so you can unlock more menus to add more currencies. There are adventures and fights to do, but the way it plays out feels like the game just wants to finish the fights so you can get back to the menu. Ironically, Bloodline is a relic of a later age, as mobile gaming has begun to evolve beyond those kinds of currency- and menu-laden experiences. It may be time for a new hero to step into this bloodline and prepare it for the new era.

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