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Bound by Blades Review

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Bound by Blades

Bound by Blades is such an enjoyable but challenging boss rush game, but it gets easier with leveling up your hero, getting better gear, and leveling up your pet. It has no missable achievements and one online co-op achievement that only takes a few minutes. It takes around 11h to 100% Bound By Blades.


Approximate amount of time to 100%: 11h
Estimated achievement difficulty: 4/10
Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
Is there a good guide available: No, but you don’t need a guide
Multiplayer achievements: Yes, there is one online co-op achievement
Missable achievements: No
Grinding Achievements: No, but you’ll be grinding for gear
DLC-Only achievements: No
Speedrun achievements: No
Time-gated achievements: No
RNG-achievements: No
Does difficulty affect achievements: No, but I believe that some end-game can only be done on the standard difficulty
Unobtainable/glitched achievements: No

Bound by Blades is a fun action game in which you fight 10 bosses and their variations. It has a fun battle style where you move between the corners of the screen to avoid getting damaged while still attacking the boss. You can build up heavy attacks by doing 3 quick attacks shorty after each other. You also have the option to block or parry. Each boss has their own style and attacks and they are quite different from each other. There are 3 classes in the game. From what I saw they don’t feel that different but their animation is, I have played with the hunter through the whole game and loved it.

There is this game loop that a boss will give you resources you can use to make and upgrade gear to defeat the next boss. In the beginning, this wasn’t needed that much, I think I fought the first 3 bosses without much new equipment and didn’t upgrade that much, only for what I had the resources, but the further you get the more it is needed to make that new equipment and farm the materials for the upgrades.

You can also let a pet join you in battle, after each battle (no matter if you won or lost) you can feed that pet 4 times to make it stronger. I would highly recommend doing that each time, it doesn’t seem to make that much of a different from fight to fight but in build up and it will help out a lot later on.

I had a lot of fun playing Bound by Blades, although I found it very difficult and had a moment where I wanted to quit, but just grinding levels/gears and pet levels helps out a lot. What I would have done differently looking back at it is, my build was strength, mostly only strength because of achievement with s+ ranks, which I’ll tell later more about. I would advise not to do this as you can always respec your stats and later on with higher levels/higher gear and more experience with the bosses themself will make it much more doable to go for the s+ rank, so don’t bother with that when first going through the bosses, just be able to kill them for the materials to make new equipment is what is important at first. If you struggle with a boss, go back to the previous one to farm those materials as well as get experience to level up.

I thought I was playing on the easy difficulty, I thought that made sense by farming materials, but there was this bug that easy difficulty and normal were just the same difficulty. I still think that if it worked as indeed an easier level this might have been a good plan, but on the other hand, the endgame content would be much harder for which the easier difficulty doesn’t count. So I can’t tell you for sure if it is easier and faster to start on the easiest difficulty or not.

Some of the other things I noticed and have questions about questions are that the board where you select what to fight always goes to the highest boss or level, I would like it if it just remember what I fought the last time because if it wasn’t that last boss but something before that, there might be a good reason why I did do that. just a small Quality of Life feature I hope the devs can and will add. What I also found odd is that when you lose a fight, your mentor (that is missing) will let you know how disappointed he is. Don’t expect any words of encouragement from him, he is very grumpy and he didn’t look that way when you saw him first in the game, not to this extent at least. I would have preferred no text than text like “It’s not you, it is me for believing in you” or “Even on my old age I would fight better than you” and stuff like that. I can understand that in a challenging game like this you don’t want to cuddle the player with texts like “Don’t give up” but this is on to other end of the spectrum…

Achievement wise the game can be a bit challenging, but everything can be fixed with just grinding levels and gear, but maybe for good players that isn’t even needed? I’m not a hardcore gamer, I normally don’t play that kind of game, maybe that was also why at some point I didn’t think I would be able to 100% this game, but I was wrong, I just needed some more patience.

There are achievements for playing through all the content, which are 10 bosses, then those same 10 bosses while they got more abilities and hit much harder, getting through 25 levels of a dungeon where you fight more bosses back to back without getting the experience or materials in between. But there is a break between each level, so it isn’t too hard. After that endless mode unlocks and you have to complete 5 levels on endless mode, aka get so far that you have received 5 chests with loot.

There is an achievement for getting an s+ ranking on each boss fight on their normal difficulty as well as their higher difficulty, this will be one of the more challenging achievements, but just wait till you got pretty far into the game and it isn’t that hard as it looked like in the beginning. To get an S+ rank you’re not allowed to get hit, and I hear that you have to beat the bosses within 2 minutes, I’m not sure about this as with my only strength build I never needed more than 2 minutes. For this challenge, it would be wise to equip the trinket which gives you a small chance to auto-dodge, so that if you made a mistake there still is a small chance for an auto-dodge. It is one of the trinkets you can make early on but don’t underestimate how useful it is.

Last but not least, there is an achievement to beat the final boss (on normal difficulty is fine) with an online co-op partner. I did this last but seeing how co-op played most of the game would be so much easier in co-op than it was solo. Only the higher difficulty of that cat kind of boss sucks in co-op as it does an ability where you leave behind 3 puddles that does a lot of damage, but it does that on both players at the same time and it can lead to having a puddle with that in all 4 spots so you can’t stand anywhere save anymore. Gladly for the achievement, you don’t have to fight this boss in co-op but if you play through the game in co-op, you might need communication on where to stand and where to run when it does that specific attack, otherwise you’re screwed.

All in all a lovely, but challenging game. I had a lot of fun while playing through it I just needed a bit more faith in my own abilities and believe that even I could get all the achievements in a challenging game like this since it wasn’t only based on “get gut” but also a lot could be easier with just grinding levels, gear and feeding your pet.

Assemble Entertainment


This review for Bound by Blades was written on 26 November 2022, based on the current Steam version of the game which has 15 achievements at the time of writing this review. This information can be outdated, for example, when the developer adds or removes achievements or releases (new) DLC.

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