When you’re first getting your feet wet with the game, you have the luxury of learning a hero and seeing what items the shop has to offer. While you likely won’t be able to purchase the highest-tier gear right away - as you won’t earn enough coins during gameplay - you’ll begin to get an idea of what items you should be building toward. Playing as a tank? Health and defense items make sense, though you’ll also need some enhancements to attack speed and attack damage. Building a straight-up damage dealer? Attack speed, vamp attacks (i.e., get a percentage of your life back on every hit), and attack damage are your best friends.
The game does offer a list of “recommended” items for each character to buy, but these aren’t always the best ones to get. They may get your through all three levels of Amateur difficulty, but once you move up into the Pro and Master leagues, the game changes radically. This is where Bloodsports.TV’s “meta” game resides and where the co-op experience shines.
The Champion and Boss mobs in Bloodsports.TV are tough, and they only get tougher as the difficulty increases. Champions are essentially mini-versions of the player heroes. Some of them can heal their comrades, others are deal out a lot of damage to individual targets, and some are designed to be a threat to the towers and bots that aid in your defense.
Individually, they are easy; combined, they are a threat. At the higher difficulties, groups of these enemies will spawn at different areas on the map, meaning that your team of heroes will need to split up and coordinate their efforts to bring them down. In a way, these fights remind me of boss encounters in an MMO raid. Dealing with them effectively involves a mixture of strategies. Often, you’ll want to have the tank turn the boss away from the rest of the group so that damage is (mostly) being dealt to one target. The healer can focus on keeping the tank alive, and the controller interrupts or mitigates the boss’ special abilities, while the damage dealer goes all-out.
Throughout all of this, the key to victory lies in communicating with your team and figuring out what items will benefit everyone the most. You may be the damage dealer, but you still need to able to take a hit, as you may need to fill the role of the tank in some situations. Picking up a few items that increase your health, armor, and deflection stats ensures you live longer in later waves and give the healer less to worry about. Healers need tech (i.e., energy) regeneration gear, but they also need items that increase movement speed so they can zip back and forth between groups.
Players that think beyond their own stats and point totals to help out the team as a whole are rewarded with victory, while those that are more selfish will likely face defeat. Fortunately, all of my time in the game thus far has been a positive experience in that regard. There always seem to be players looking to hop into a game, and those that do are typically focused on winning as a team, rather than winning as an individual.
Bloodsports.TV has turned out to be one of the most refreshing co-op experiences for me so far this year. The mechanics and gameplay are nothing new, but they are executed so well that I find myself hopping into matches whenever I’m looking for something fun to play. The Path to Glory challenges offer something to shoot for beyond just “beat the bad guys,” and it feels like there’s room for the game to grow with new maps, enemies, and heroes.
There are some issues with the game - like the look and feel of the UI, crucial stats getting lost amidst a cluster of health bars, and the occasional drag of repetition - that stick out from time to time, but these are quickly forgotten once you clear a difficult wave or kill an especially tough boss.
After all, nothing beats that elation you feel when you win a hard-fought battle with a group of friends.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up with your friends to form a murderous crew and choose from a wide variety of deadly Gladiators, each with their own unique abilities and play style. Work together to shoot, smash, stomp, electrocute, drain, and melt your enemies. Or support your fellow Gladiators through healing and buffing up their skills!
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.