Indie darlings have a way of just showing up unannounced. Such is the case for Blue Fire. Describing this title will leave some confused but others intrigued, so join us in explaining what this is and SPOILER ALERT… why should own it.
So what is Blue Fire?
Imagine playing Celeste in 3D but now we add in quests, elements from every Metroidvania, and the aesthetic of Hollow Knight. Still not convinced? Add in Zelda-esque intrigue and we have 2021’s first indie you should not miss. Like Dead Cells and Hollow Knight before it, Blue Fire respects its forebearers while taking the next step to make it current and relevant. Story-wise, you are in Pnemumbra and must balance the dark and light. Unique, no, but how it is delivered and the twists and turns along the way will make this a story worth reading. Follow the main quest? Then you will have a straightforward adventure that will let you see the sights and absorb the world. Completionist? Then BF is for you. Scattered throughout the word are hidden nod void blocks that test your ability to platform, read the world and solve the puzzle.
And yes the rewards are worth it.
Audibly, and for those keeping score at home, this marks the first time we address sound first, Blue Flame is a masterpiece. The haunting score mixed with the chants sets a stage of intrigue and anxiety. The low almost sullen tones lull player into a sense of fear and anxiousness not all that common in today’s titles.
The lack of voice work is negated by the overly expressive blips and bloops that radiate from the in-game characters. Everyone you interact with is expressive via the text, but more importantly the pitch of their accompanying sounds.
Visually Blue Fire evokes all of the feels.
The feels you may have had when firing up Windwaker for the first time. Low poly models painted with the right amount of white and black to accentuate the shadows. Admittedly there is a scene early on that evokes Breathe of the WIld and just like with the story, less is more here. The stark contrast between Black and white plays heavy into the Hollow Knight argument but is balanced by a colour palette that changes depending on your location in the world.
Control-wise, BF is butter. Yes, being a 3D platformer at its core the camera will fight you from time to time, but in terms of just control players are presented with one of the smoothest titles to ever grace the switch. To be fair the forward lunge associated with an attack can be cumbersome but is workable. The subtle nuance included is welcomed and frustrating. While many blame games for hand holding, Blue Fire explains the mechanics of a button but the rest is up to you as a player. How can this new skill compliment an old one? That is up to the player.
Obviously, we’ve remained quiet as to the story.
Those fond of Breathe of the Wild will be happy to see that BF has gone the temple route. Clear each temple freeing the trapped spirit to improve your chances of surviving this dangerous world. The devs have done a great job making the world a character itself. Each new environment is a new challenge filled with a mystery not dissimilar to the characters you encounter.
Should Blue Fire be added to your collection? Yes. Many will scoff at it being a 3d platformer while others still will ignore it because of the term Metroidvania. On both ends, you are doing yourself a disservice. Blue Fire is an amalgamation that gamers have been waiting for. A whole that truly is the sum of its parts. In the end you have a title with intrigue, lore, depth and enough replayability for completionist to keep coming back.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 04/02/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: RPG, Action, Platformer
Developer: ROBI Studios
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop