Bound by Flame is out in the wild, and while it’s a decent RPG from a rather small studio, it does suffer from a few designs flaws that hamper the experience. Based on my playthrough I’ve come up with six tips to hopefully make your Bound by Flame experience a more rewarding and enjoyable affair. Outside of the combat tips, none of these recommendations require skill of any kind, so they should be easy to implement into your playthrough. Head on down below to learn how you can get the most out of Spiders Studio’s ambitious fantasy RPG.
1. Play on the “Recruit” Difficulty Setting
Before you roll your eyes just know that I’m not a fan of changing difficulties halfway through a game, nor do I usually like to use the easiest difficulty setting, but the combat in Bound by Flame is so unforgiving it’s nearly impossible to beat even common enemies without multiple deaths. Even on “Recruit” you’ll die more times than most other RPGs you’ve played combined, so save yourself some stress and just start on the supposed easiest setting. There’s an achievement/trophy for beating the game on Captain, but that task should only be approached after your first playthrough.
2. Don’t Rely on Button Mashing or the AI
Bound by Flame features some of the most brutally challenging combat out there, which is due to the fact that the enemy AI is rather punishing. The old button mashing method that has worked in other franchises is useless in this game. If you use that tactic even the most basic of enemies will send you to an early grave. You must learn to time your attacks, defend incoming attacks, and then counter those attacks for any chance of success. Employ a strategy for each and every battle, and never rely on your AI companion, because they’re useless for the most part.
3. Keep Sybil as Your Companion
Throughout the game you will be able to take AI companions with you to help aid in your quest to thwart the Ice Lords. For the most part these companions are useless in battle, but one in particular does have some value. Sybil has the ability to heal you, which you will always need because Bound by Flame is punishing. You can even toggle her combat mode to just focus on healing you, so at all costs try to keep her with you for the entire game. Just be careful of your dialogue choices, because you could end up closing her thread out sooner than you thought.
4. Focus on One Skill Tree
Bound by Flame offers three unique skill trees that you can spend points in to increase Vulcan’s abilities in his Warrior and Ranger stances, as well as his Pyromancer talents. I opted to spread the love between all three, and found by the end of the game that it was a disservice to do so. By focusing on maxing out one particular skill tree you can ensure that you tip the scales of power in Vulcan’s favor for a particular skill. This way you’ll at least have one solid set of abilities over a sampling of each.
5. Pay Close Attention to All Dialogue Options
There are many choices presented to you in Bound by Flame that can greatly alter your experience. Unfortunately, these types of choices are never really of the black and white variety. Sometimes even casual responses to dialogue options can lead to side-quests getting closed, or the story advancing in a direction that you didn’t want it to go. Read every bit of dialogue, and if you’re still unsure back out of the conversation and do some research. I missed over 15 side-quests by making quick decisions that I didn’t think would affect the story, but they did and it left me feeling bewildered at times. Choosing the right dialogue can also open up more side-quests.
6. Do Side-Quests First
Namely for the reasons mentioned above, you should definitely do all of an area’s side quests before moving on to the main missions. In each major Act I missed multiple side quests because I made a dialogue choice that closed them out, which in turn robbed a fair amount of gameplay hours from my overall experience. These little adventures can yield big time XP gains, so they’re well worth pursuing to help beef up Vulcan’s stats.
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