Entertainment

Bloodroots is like Hotline Miami with brutal lumberjacks – where axes, house plants and carrots are your weapons

I like to die. I want to start over. When these forces work together, your progress begins to form a satisfying cycle and pattern. A cycle of rapid regression and rapid trials. Each death is a painful but useful micro-lesson on how to avoid the failures that cause the dopamine cycle. With the exception of games like Super Meat Boy and Hotline Miami, few games have actually achieved that sensation, but Bloodroots, a completely relentless PC and console action game, is trying.

The problem with Hotline Miami, inspired by Bloodroots, is that I usually get into the routine, so die / retry cycles are usually created by myself. Find the character that suits you, the weapon or melee object you want to find, keep it the longest, and use it over and over again.

Bloodroots further deviates from Hotline Miami in style and settings. This is an old Western American revenge story of playing buffs like Hellwood, but somehow designed to avoid repeated safety. Weapons play a big role in keeping the gameplay loop cool, which we’ll discuss in more detail later. Alongside Hotline Miami, Quebec’s company Papercult evokes even more inspiration, from The Revenant to Jackie Chan. A feature of the amazing Jackie Chan battle sequence is how the set choreographs the objects around it. What really advances the game is how fluid it is to get one of the many potential weapons to continue improvising and fighting at Bloodroots.

(Image credit: Papercult)

I should play in the woods, but other environments are promised as the lumberjack continues his journey from the snowy mountains to the desert (yes, you can use cacti as a weapon). With attention to detail to make each weapon very different, Jackie Chan is a game that is always thinking about what to do next when running through enemies, not just the following: ..

Bloodroots will be available on PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC in September.


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Bloodroots is like Hotline Miami with brutal lumberjacks – where axes, house plants and carrots are your weapons

I love dying. Because I love retrying. When these forces work in tandem, your progress starts to form satisfying loops and patterns. A cycle of quick setbacks and rapid retries. Each death becomes a painful-but-purposeful micro-lesson in how to avoid failure releasing a cycle of dopamine hits. Few games have managed to truly get this feeling right, apart from the likes of Super Meat Boy and Hotline Miami, but the utterly-relentless PC and console action game Bloodroots is about to try. 
The problem with Hotline Miami – from which Bloodroots draws inspiration – is that its die / retry loop is usually one of my own making, because I fall into routine. I find the character that works for me, the gun or melee item I want to find and keep the longest, and I just use that over and over. 

Bloodroots deviates from Hotline Miami in more than just style and setting – it’s an old timey American West revenge story where you play a buff as hell lumberjack – but in the way it’s designed to stop you falling into the safety of repetition. Weapons play a huge role in keeping the gameplay loops fresh, but more of that later. Besides Hotline Miami, the Quebec-based Papercult talks me through even more of their inspirations, ranging from The Revenant (I’m promised a bear fight), and Jackie Chan. The hallmark of a great Jackie Chan fight sequence is how he weaves together the objects around a setting into the choreography. It’s this improvisation in Bloodroots that really makes the game, and how fluid it is to pick up one of the many potential weapons lying around to keep the fight going.

(Image credit: Papercult)
While I got to play through a forested area, more environments are promised as your lumberjack goes on his quest, from snowy mountains to deserts (yes you can use a cactus as a weapon). The sheer detail that’s gone into making every weapon feel so different makes for a game where you’re constantly wondering not only what comes next, but what you’re going to be able to do next, as you Jackie Chan your way through enemies.
Bloodroots launches this September on PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC.

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