A world where men and women carry magic in their blood, and spilling it can unleash terrible power
Episode One: “Gad of the Iron Arm, a ruthless Blooded leader, is performing what appears to be a human sacrifice. A force of Black Monks of the Angels, including the novice Jered, are poised to attack and capture him.
But neither Jered’s actions nor the outcome of the raid go entirely to plan…”
Bloodspell is Strange Company’s first feature-length Machinima animated film and uses the Neverwinter Nights game engine.
I started Bloodspell Episode 1 with no real idea of how it would look, feel or sound. Would it look like a game cut scene? Or actual footage of a game?
As it is built within the game environment of Neverwinter Nights, it does come across as a bit ‘computer gameish’ - but having said that, it doesn’t really detract from the whole experience. For example, when initial credits are rolling, and we pan down a street, through a door and down a corridor, there is a spooky, unknown essence about it. The music adds no end to this, and the ‘camera’ movements play out well. I can’t help wondering if the music was written for the visuals, or whether the visuals were written around the music. They synch in so well. And if you know me, you’ll know I love this kind of music. So to see it in a fantasy animation, actually being put to use with the visuals - it looks pretty fantastic.
It is obvious that being episode one there are some initial teething problems: some of the animation seems clunky, the dialogue seems cliched somewhat, there are sound effects during battle which don’t reflect what is seen on the screen and one troublesome part where the Bloods line up in front of Jered, looking at him, but fail to see the backup team arrive behind him. I’m guessing that the crossbow was fired quickly, through the door behind Jered, before the Bloods saw them, and then they entered at which point the camera cuts to them behind Jered.
The story itself was well put together and is obviously trying hard to do character introduction and story progression. It ended on a suitable ‘cliffhanger’ which will definitely make you want to view episode 2.
Each episode will be reviewed seperately to allow a more indepth view of each release.
If you look closely at the end credits, you’ll notice that Charles (Charlie) Stross of Accelerando fame has a voice part across the episodes.
Bloodspell : Reviews of other episodes and background information.