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Xbox Live Arcade cover
Developer(s) Climax Group
Microsoft Studios
Publisher(s) Microsoft Studios
Composer(s) Aaron Miller[1]
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) April 25, 2012
Genre(s) Action, hack and slash
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Xbox Live Arcade

Bloodforge is a third-person view hack and slash action video game developed by the Climax Group and Microsoft Studios. The game was released on Xbox Live Arcade on April 25, 2012.

The game follows a relentless and enigmatic barbarian named Crom, who lusts for revenge against the Celtic gods that betrayed his life of peace. Making him savagely murder his own family, successfully altering his fate so that he may return to a life of war on his hell-bound quest for vengeance.[2]


Crom (right) and the goddess Morrigan (left).

Crom is an extremely powerful and brute warrior who abandoned his life of battle to dwell in comfort with his beautiful wife, Alena. The story begins with Crom hunting in the woods, he successfully kills an elk with his crossbow, and begins his journey home. He carries the elk to an opening, where he then sets it down and rests against a large boulder. Exhausted from his journey, Crom falls asleep, and dreams a horrific encounter with Arawn, the king of the netherworld realm of Annwn. Fearing his fate with the God, he hastily returns home, only to find his village burned to ashes, and his wife Alena, savagely attacked by demons. Crom, consumed with rage, decimates the intruders, and begins searching for his beloved Alena, he encounters yet another horrific demon inside the hut. He relentlessly drives his sword into the demon, which grotesquely transforms back into his wife Alena. Disoriented and stricken with grief, Crom soon realizes his terrible mistake. Crom collapses into a deep sleep lasting several days. He awakens to find an unexpected visitor, a giant wild boar. After the battle with the starving beast, he encounters the repulsive witch goddess Morrigan, who then leads him to the shrine of his ancestors, where he finds a rare and mysterious gauntlet. She informs Crom that if he wants to exact his vengeance upon the god, he must traverse the Bloodforge. Crom, beset with treacherous rage, accepts his overturn with fate, and unleashes his unrelenting fury on all those who oppose him. Crom ventures off to discover the Bloodforge, massacre countless legions of demons, barbarians, monsters, and butcher the very gods who betrayed him.


Crom (middle) fighting a group of enemies, with his gauntlet obsorbing a decapitated foe's blood.

Bloodforge is a hack and slash action game in which the player must combat his enemies with an array of weaponry. The player uses an equipped weapon to attack the countless opponents until they are defeated or get until they get disoriented (signaled by an icon on the head), Where Crom can then perform a gruesome finishing move on the opponent. This gives the player more Blood which is the currency in the game. The more damage done to the enemy, the more Blood that is spilled, thereby rewarding the player with excessive amounts Blood currency. Blood can be then be used for purchasing upgrades for special abilities. The main weapons of the game are a crude-like sword, war hammer, claws, and the crossbow. All which have 3 available weapon upgrades. The Health Bar is shown at the top left of the screen in green, along with a Rage bar in red. Health and a variety of Runes can be found in breakable cairns, the player can also find Mana runes which recharge Crom's Rune Bar.


Bloodforge was developed by Climax Group who collaborated with Microsoft to work on the game. Bloodforge would only be released on Xbox 360 for the Xbox Live Arcade. After the game was completed, Microsoft decided to publish the game themselves and complete it under Microsoft Studios. Bloodforge was then released on April 25, 2012 on XBLA.


Critical reception towards the game was generally unfavourable; receiving a rating of 42/100 at review aggregation website Metacritic.[3] On July 27, 2012, Microsoft Studios and Climax Group released a title update addressing numerous criticisms, dramatically improving the camera, re-balancing difficulty and correcting issues with awards and achievements not unlocking.[4]


  1. ^ "Composer Profile: Meet the composer behind XBLA‘s Bloodforge". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Metacritic staff. "Bloodforge for Xbox 360 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  4. ^ Christine Mitchell (2012-08-27). "Bloodforge reforged with new title update". xblafans. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 

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