Bloodhound Review (PS5) – Naying For Blood

I’ll get straight to the point with this review – Bloodhound is a first-person boomer shooter straight out of the old-school Doom and Quake era. Fast traversal, punchy variety of weapons, health and armour meters, the whole sha-bang. Much like when I reviewed Postal: Brain Damaged however, it’s a formula that Bloodhound struggles to make the most of.

Almost immediately, the inspiration of Doom, or rather, the flagrant imitation of, is obvious. Inherently, that isn’t a bad thing. The problem that arose for me is that it simply doesn’t do it particularly well. Doom and Quake are famous for a reason, the mechanics are tight, the level design is superb and combat arenas put players through their paces.

On each of those facets, Bloodhound has significant cracks in its double-barreled shotgun that make it limper than a succubus’ rocket propelled body.

Blood-lack-luster

I doubt virtually anyone comes into a boomer shooter for any real kind of lore or story. If you happen to be the one unfortunate soul who does however, you’ll have the generous devil’s offer of nowt to dive into here. A short introduction cutscene lets you know you’re after Astaroth’s cult of demons, and that’s your lot. A very short snippet of dialogue bookends the game, before immediately cutting to credits.

So, story is as present as ice in Hell itself. No biggie, it’s all about the gunplay and lightning quick carnage afterall. I’ll start with a couple of positives. Firstly, the variety of weapons that are dolled out to you are great. The railgun isn’t really a rail gun, but it sure melts creatures of the underworld like you’d hope.

Forgoing the modern sensibilities of only being able to carry 2-3 weapons, you’ll have an arsenal of rocket launcher, chainsaw, shotguns, assault rifles, revolver and exploding crossbow. Ammunition for each is relatively limited, incentivising you to mix between them to face different threats.

Now the less so good. The weapon wheel is a chore to use no matter how far in you are. Clunky and prone to chopping around exactly where you don’t want it to go, it’s a pain. Doesn’t help that enemies can continue to attack while you’re in menu purgatory fighting for your life. Hell isn’t whips, chains and fire, it’s coaching your reticle to the weapon you want.

Bloodhound review

Bound For The Pound

The second major issue is the difficulty curve getting thoroughly stomped by the last two levels. Between the railgun, minigun and rocket launcher, you might as well become Diablo himself. I died once prior to the final boss on normal difficulty, and that was from jumping off a platform and insta-dying, not from combat. Judge me from that how you will.

Consequently, I’d recommend playing on hard, but this doesn’t so much rectify the lack of real challenge as it does expose it even more. The variety of demons you’ll slaughter is fairly decent, but the AI has the same number of brain cells you’d expect of a crowd of zombies. Find a doorway, wait for them to roll in and blast them to kingdom come.

There are some challenging moments. Often you’ll be locked into rooms or arenas with minimal space and occasionally a hazard or two. These moments can border on being fun, as you strafe and dash for your life, but more often than not it’s a leisurely stroll through apparently the depths of the foulest underworld.

Bloodhound has moments of capturing the enthralling, adrenaline-fuelled bravado of its inspirations, but they’re far too fleeting. Level design that relies far too much on simply walking down hallway after hallway and pulling levers doesn’t do it any demonic favours either. If I wanted a hellscape of lever pulling and monotony I’d simply go to work.

Bloodhound review

Hounded Out

In terms of actual gunplay, Bloodhound takes a bit of getting used to. Aiming can be floaty in feel, and hitting the flying baby demon… things… is downright aggravating. However, once you get to grips with it, you can find a semi-decent flow to your cleansing of evil. Bloodhound’s biggest problem is that its competitors by and large do it more proficiently.

I noticed this most in the boss battles, of which there’s five throughout the levels. A couple border on plagiarism (looking at you specifically: Nemezis), and once you have the railgun they may as well be basic fodder with a fancier looking health bar. However, the first two are more of a challenging spectacle, as you’re restricted to a smaller arsenal which prevents you mincing them within seconds.

Despite my many reservations with Bloodhound, it’s not a failure of a boomer shooter by any means. It’s firmly okay – mechanically it’s sound and it does endeavour to have some fun with its violence and gunplay. Musically, the rock and metal tracks that accompany your obliteration of Satan’s spawn are suitably headbanging worthy. It’s not on the level of Metal: Hellsinger, but it’ll give you some brief audio energy.

Visually, Bloodhound looks more like a PS2 or PS3 era title than a current gen game. I appreciate this is partially stemming from its art direction, channeling the retro boomer shooter style. Limbs will fly, blood will splatter, but it all appeared rather muted and lacking in impact for me. However, those with more nostalgia for the early 2000s will most definitely feel more at home with Bloodhound’s visual style.

Bloodhound review

Lesser Evil Blood

I finished Bloodhound in under 2 hours and quite honestly, I think that’s for the best on the balance of probability. That probability being, any longer and it would have worn out my patience. Less is more and in this case, Bloodhound’s brevity actually proves to be a virtue rather than a vice. Unlike most of the demons you slaughter throughout the run time, Bloodhound has occasional moments of redeemable quality.

Less fortunately, there’s not a whole lot of replayability. Sure, there are secret areas to uncover and hard difficulty to overcome, but after hitting credits I couldn’t really fathom going back in for a second serving of fire and brimstone. Unless of course that fire and brimstone was a platinum trophy, and even on prideful sin of which I’m often guilty, I couldn’t be any less motivated.

Should you be a fan of boomer shooters and have a couple of hours to kill, Bloodhound will deliver you a minor thrill. You know, the smaller rollercoasters don’t coax much of an adrenaline rush, but there’s a smidge of one. It’s a cheap and (somewhat) cheerful shooter that’ll fill an afternoon, but that’s about it.


Bloodhound takes inspiration from the Doom’s and Quake’s of the video game pantheon but fails to deliver anything more than lukewarm decency. The fires of hell are muted, dimly lit and unfortunately repetitive, holding back what may have been a more thrilling boomer shooter entry. A cheap and underwhelming way to spend an afternoon, Bloodhound offers something for retro shooter fans, but won’t be achieving true satanic infamy anytime soon.

Bloodhound is available now on PC via Steam, PlayStation 5 (review platform) and PlayStation 4.

Developer: Kruger & Flint Productions
Publisher: Kruger & Flint Productions

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.

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