CROSSBOW: Bloodnight – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, First person shooter
Developer: Hyperstrange
Publisher: Hyperstrange
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

CROSSBOW: Bloodnight – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Fun and addictive gameplay
Bad: Limited appeal outside its niche audience
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s no secret that the Switch library has a few real stinkers. Sometimes, however, a title that appears less than impressive at first glance turns out to be a diamond in the rough. Developer Hyperstrange, known for POSTAL: Brain Damaged and ELDERBORN, is bringing its niche title CROSSBOW: Bloodnight to the Switch, and this just might be one of those titles that surprise you. 

Story

Apart from a two line blurb near the beginning of the game, that serves no purpose other than emphasizing how powerful a crossbow is, there is no story present in-game. Outside of the game, the eShop description actually makes a bigger attempt at fleshing out the backstory of CROSSBOW: Bloodnight, but this information never materializes inside the game, which is what really counts. 

Graphics

When it comes to visuals, CROSSBOW: Bloodnight manages to surpass expectations. While the in-game monster models aren’t particularly impressive, any lack of detail is obscured by the fast-paced nature of the game and the fantastic lighting. This is an excellent example of a game overcoming its graphical weaknesses in clever ways. One thing that did take some getting used to is the fish-eye like distortion that is present when moving your character. This can be a bit disorienting while you’re still getting to grips with the game, but once you’re used to it, it’s barely noticeable. 

Sound

Accompanying you during your massacre of the undead is a dramatic soundtrack that sounds like it was ripped straight from a cheesy horror movie. It’s appropriate background music for an over the top game like this. Interspersed among the choir-laden OST are the blood-curdling screams of the monsters that continuously attack you. The fidelity of these sound effects could have been upped a little but overall the game’s soundscape is passable. 

Gameplay

CROSSBOW: Bloodnight’s concept is as simple as it is efficiënt: you are dropped in an arena, armed with nothing but your trusty automatic crossbow. Waves upon waves of enemies will spawn and your task is to survive as long as possible. When you meet your untimely but inevitable demise, you’ll be scored according to how long you survived, how accurate you were with your crossbow and how many enemies you managed to drag with you to the afterlife. Based on your performance, you’ll then see how you rank on the leaderboards. CROSSBOW: Bloodnight’s biggest shortcoming is in its limited appeal. This is a niche title that more than likely won’t find a lot of resonance with a mainstream audience. That is okay, however, because if you happen to be in the niche that CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is aimed at, then you’ll absolutely love this game. Even so, this is a game that is best enjoyed in short bursts. Developer Hyperstrange took a simple idea and ran with it, but the downside is that this title lacks any real depth and there is very little to do outside climbing up the ranks of the leaderboards. 

Make no mistake though: despite the seeming simplicity, CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is challenging, addictive and most importantly, fun. The game wastes no time with tutorials, instead relying on you to figure out how things work for yourself. Thankfully, the limited scope of the game’s concept means that the control scheme leaves no wiggle room for overcomplicated actions. You move and aim using the control sticks, and use the right trigger button to shoot your crossbow. Apart from that, you can dash and jump. The crossbow’s ammo is unlimited but don’t think you’ll be able to beat the leaderboards simply by spamming arrows because as we mentioned before, you are also scored based on the accuracy of your shots. There is limited tactical depth here. You’re able to power up your crossbow by siphoning the spirits of your prey, as well as unleash more powerful charged attacks that have a cooldown and are best used at key opportunities. 

Don’t underestimate the game’s difficulty either. CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is a brutal game and you’ll be lucky to survive more than a few minutes. You only have a limited field of vision and enemies will spawn and attack from all directions. While your character can take a few hits, you’re not able to recover health and it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Speaking of enemies, there is a decent variety present here, especially given how short a typical game is. While the roster only boasts six enemy types, most players won’t encounter all six in a single playthrough. Enemies range from the ubiquitous zombies, to clouds of bats and grotesque fleshy cyclopian monsters.

Conclusion

CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is an example of a game where a developer takes a singular concept and just runs with it, with good results. The game might be shallow, but it’s also fast-paced, fun and addictive. We would’ve appreciated it if developer Hyperspace had put a little more effort in actually adding the backstory that is found on the eShop into the game, but that’s a minor gripe. Overall, you’re looking at a game that is well worth your time and money, especially if you happen to be in the niche that the game is aimed at.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
CROSSBOW: Bloodnight - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
SebastiaanRaats


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