Review – Bloodhound

The arrival of the DOOM reboot in 2016 was the kick in the butt the first-person shooter market needed. It proved there was an audience craving for fast-paced, arcadey, unrealistic, and ultra-violent alternatives to the Call of Duty and Battlefield games plastering the industry. We then started to see a ton of retro-inspired shooters which would have never been developed if it wasn’t for iD Software’s surefire hit. But for every Prodeus or Dread Templar, there’s a Necromunda or Postal: Brain Damaged. It was inevitable that the scene would eventually get saturated by an excessive amount of titles, and I guess Bloodhound is proof of that.

Bloodhound Revolver

I have a question. Who’s actually holding the revolver?

Bloodhound is not a bad first-person shooter. Far from it. It’s actually decent. As previously mentioned, there’s the insultingly bad Necromunda: Hired Gun, a worse game made with an even larger budget. The problem with it lies in its lack of standout features. Its entire marketing campaign centered around its edginess, its level of violence, the fact it was plastered with satanic imagery and nudity. It proudly boasts nude statues in its main menu, and the option to censor its nudity is almost featured like a badge of honor. Sure, fine, you’re edgy and violent. But what else do you have to offer?

The answer: a mixed bag of a game. I think its main issue is that too much focus was dedicated towards it trying to look as edgy and mature as possible, but here’s the kicker… we’re not in 2001 anymore. In a post-Hatred and Agony era, it’s hard to use shock value as a selling point. DOOM and DOOM Eternal are as over-the-top and ultraviolent as games can be, but their presentation aren’t their main selling point. Their gameplay, level design, amazing controls, music – those are the things we love about them. Bloodhound doesn’t particularly fail in all of these departments, but with the exception of the visuals and controls, I don’t think it has managed to focus all of its efforts where it should have had.

Bloodhound Censorship

Dude, you don’t need to censor the poor girl’s back. Unless she also has boobs on her back.

For instance, let’s talk about the visuals. In theory, this is where Bloodhound shines the brightest, with its satanic, grotesque, extreme and (not quite) erotic imagery. I have previously mentioned about how proudly the developers tried to boast the fact the game has nudity right from the get-go. While, sure, the visuals are occasionally creative, the lighting effects are crisp, and the framerate is absolutely excellent, some other elements feel unfinished and cheap. There is no weapon wielding animation. You don’t even see a hand onscreen, for instance. If you wield a revolver, you will only see the gun onscreen, something not even GoldenEye 007 forgot about in 1997.

Bloodhound Sawed Off Shotgun

Aren’t those the shotguns used by Overwatch’s Reaper?

Regarding the sound design, this might actually be one of the most disappointing aspects about Bloodhound. Given the DOOM influences, heavy metal riffs are to be expected, and they do not disappoint… when they are played, that is. The music only kicks in during brief combat sections. For the rest of the runtime, just atmospheric noise. Not particularly bad, though.

Now, when it comes to sound effects, this game is a disaster. With the exception of gun sound effects (which are there, but aren’t very impressive for the kind of over-the-top action Bloodhound aims to offer), the rest of them are basically missing. Whenever enemies spawn onscreen, there are no sound effects; I only realize they show up because the heavy metal kicks in and I start losing health (they almost always spawn behind me and start dishing out attacks). Their attacks make no sound, and not even the enemies themselves utter many voice samples. Demons barely scream, for instance. It almost makes the game feel unfinished as a result.

Bloodhound Bosses

My weapons glow red while I’m in this game’s equivalent of a “rage mode”. Don’t ask. Still cool, though.

The atrocious enemy spawn system and its placement directly affects the overall level design. The levels themselves aren’t terrible, even if, for the most part, they are very linear. They do look creepy, derelict, and get increasingly macabre the more you play. The issue just lies in how clichéed these combat sections end up being. You walk down a corridor until you reach a slightly more open area. Walk to the middle of it, enemies spawn in front of and behind you. Kill them, proceed through some corridors until you find the next combat section. Every now and then, you will need to acquire a key or a special item. Upon finding them, the game will almost always spawn some extra enemies behind you. Rinse and repeat until you fight against a boss.

Bloodhound Baby Demons

Oh how much I hate these baby demons.

That’s a shame, because the combat itself is not bad. The arsenal of weapons at your disposal isn’t huge, but there are some banger weapons you can have fun with. From dual-wielding SMGs to a rocket launcher, a minigun, and even a chainsaw that also spits out fire (that is the most metal s*** I have ever seen). I am just saddened that the combat lacks a bit of weight. When I wield something as absurd as a skull-clad bazooka, I want to feel like my shots are destroying everything in sight. They just don’t. With that being said, I can say the combat was meaty enough to keep me playing Bloodhound for much longer than initially expected.

Demon Angel

You are either a demon, or an angel. Can’t be both. Make up your mind, bro.

Bloodhound isn’t a bad first-person shooter, but it’s a wasted opportunity. It could have been much better if the developers hadn’t focused so much of their efforts in ensuring the game would be as edgy, grotesque, and (non) erotic as possible. The foundations for a good DOOM-esque shooter are here, but the terrible enemy placement system and lackluster sound effects brought the combat mechanics down several notches. Bloodhound just feels a bit too rushed, a bit too janky, a bit too unfocused. It also made me realize the retro-inspired first-person shooter scene is getting too saturated at this point. For as much as I love this subgenre, there’s just so much I can stand before I start feeling nostalgic for military shooters from the early 2010s.


Graphics: 7.0

The edgelord visuals are not particularly amusing, but Bloodhound does feature some creative designs and animations. The weapon wielding animations are not good at all. Lighting effects are also crisp, and the framerate is excellent.

Gameplay: 7.0

The combat is decent enough, but lacks a bit of weight. The level design is fine, but the enemy placement is terrible.

Sound: 6.0

I appreciate the heavy metal soundtrack, but the lack of other sound effects makes the game feel unfinished.

Fun Factor: 6.5

I think that there was too much of a focus on being an edgy shooter first, balanced shooter second. Whilst the combat can be fun at times, the enemy placement is annoying and predictable. Bloodhound feels a bit rushed and janky. It’s not terrible, but there are loads of better shooters out there.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Bloodhound is available now on PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Bloodhound was provided by the publisher.