hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Bloodmasque

5:00 PM on 08.02.2013 // Chris Carter

Microtransactions will suck you dry

Bloodmasque is a mobile RPG by Square Enix that allows you to scan your face into the game and hunt vampires with it. Yep, you can walk around showing off your mug for all the world to see through the game's online party share system, complete with multiple emotions, and utter campiness all around.

As you might have guessed, this gimmick can only go so far.

Bloodmasque (iPad [tested on an iPad Mini], iPhone [reviewed on an iPhone 5])
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: July 25, 2013
MSRP: $6.99

Bloodmasque offers up a decent narrative set over the backdrop of vampires, half-breed hunters, and a by-gone era set in France. It isn't the deepest story in the world, but the storylines and arcs remain interesting enough throughout the roughly ten-hour odyssey, and string you along with conflict after conflict as you build you hunter's gear and take on the next vampiric menace. You'll progress through the game by choosing missions from a main map, engaging in limited free-range exploration around towns, and entering combat, which I'll get to later.

As you can probably tell from the screens, the game oozes cheese from top to bottom. The voice acting is the definition of acceptable (and only half the game is voiced, presumably to cut development costs), but it gets the job done. When combined with the utterly campy ability to scan your face into the game, it somehow works.

So about that -- the main gimmick of Bloodmasque is the "masque" system, which allows you to snap a photo of yourself and place your face on the main character's in-game model. You can take a neutral picture, as well as a surprised/angry face, which makes for amusing moments at different points in the story. Unlike other low-tech scanning solutions, this actually pans out, and pretty much super-imposes your exact face into the game -- male or female.

So how does the actual game play? Essentially through a series of fights, all of which operate under the same parameters -- fight a couple of goons, then take on the main baddie, which is usually a vampire. Combat isn't deep in the slightest, but it's serviceable. In fact, it's basically just a dumbed down Infinity Blade, since all you really have to do is tap to attack, occasionally swipe left or right to dodge, and press an on-screen button to engage your super ability. As long as you're not looking for something earth-shattering though, this system isn't really a bad thing, as it's great to pick up and play, and can be put back down within minutes. It works.

So everything doesn't sound too bad, right? Well here's the really bad news -- the game is hard-locked to online play. While this may seem like a DRM issue, it's actually because the game allows for the recruiting of other real players, and as such, Bloodmasque is constantly updating data in real time to accommodate this "feature." You'll adventure with other people online, with their real faces, stats, and everything, which is a nice touch. But it's very unfortunate for those who don't have a stable internet connection at all times, especially since this mechanic could have easily been an optional addition and still allowed for a full offline game.

Bloodmasque would have been a great buy at $6.99 if you could put up with the aforementioned issues, but it has the audacity to feature a horridly designed microtransaction-based store. Some of the best items in the game can only be purchased with rubies, and the game gives out so few of them, you almost have to spend real money to keep up. In particular, wooden stakes, which are used at the end of each battle to eternally vanquish vampires, earn you superior rewards for using higher-quality versions -- which you cannot possibly afford consistently without doling out cash.

In many ways, Bloodmasque is a shame. It offers up a simple combat system that can easily be enjoyed in spurts, a captivating world, and a cheesy veneer that will have you laughing constantly at your ridiculous face in-game. But with the online requirement and microtransactions on top of the existing issues and premium price, it's a bit hard to recommend.



Bloodmasque - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Anyone here going to NYC Comic Con? Always wanted to go and lived so close, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Anyone here going to NYC Comic Con? Always wanted to go and lived so close, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Well I haven't seen any levels like this on mario maker so maybe it's unique the I'd is 55BD000000961CBA GIVE IT A GO and let me know what you think
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Stranger ... wadda you buying ? Want some crack ? Here ya go... [youtube][/youtube]
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
My brother caught me this Pokémon in our room yesterday. How should I name it? [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Yay, I got off of work early and may have Friday off! I have a sinking feeling I'm going to work 10 hours on Saturday as a result, though :/ We ran out of stuff to make stuff with so they must ship us stuff so we can ship stuff.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Yo yo I'm Marie and I got dat gangsta flow. High scores ain't no trip, cuz I whip that shit like Sonic quick. I-I mean no! I didn't say anything! Stupidrecordbreakingcombodolt. [img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Playing Shantae & The Pirates Curse, must say I'm loving it for the most part, barring the odd WHERE AM I D: moment
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Added a humble code to my steam account when I already had the game. Purely because the soundtrack was attached. Now I see it on 2 friends wishlists. They must never know.
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Okay so what 2, 3, 4 years later I bothered to finish. Now to write up that blog on why FFXIV lost my love by never challenging me and see if it's actually interesting...
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What's up with taking your phone or a magazine to the toilet? Y'all need more fibre in your diet, why should a toilet visit take more than 2 minutes? What are you people doing with your asses.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished Momohime/Jinkuro's story in Muramasa last night. I always liked that ending. I didn't know there were more endings, though. On to Kisuke's story!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
It feels like each day I get up, do the rounds of my bookmarks, and am immediately brought down by kneejerk hate: new stuff, old stuff, last nights stuff, 2moros stuff, a game, a film, TV. Critical thinking is fine, but dang, pure cynicism's winning :(
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

  Jul 26

Here's five new mobile games you should check out

New Prince of Persia, Bloodmasque, Game of War: Fire Age, and more

  Jun 13

Vampire Hunter-ify yourself in Square Enix's Bloodmasque

I'm getting that uncanny valley feelin' in my leg

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -