Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft
|Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft|
European PlayStation cover art
Players choose a hero or villain to control. The heroes are Luthor the paladin, Darius the gladiator, Erland the elven archer, Torgo the dwarf, Ignatius Max the halfling thief, Xenobia the amazon, Red Cloud the Abber Nomad shaman, and Shinesta the elf princess. The villains are Ardrus the skeleton warrior, Balok the black knight, Kaurik the warlord, Stellerex the wizard, Sasha the werewolf, Nym Pymplee the mad goblin, Urgo the margoyle, and Balthazaar the Headsman.
Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft was developed by Take-Two Interactive. Creator/producer Rick Hall stated, "There are a lot of big guns out there and we noticed everyone's games are martial arts-based, but there weren't any fantasy-based fighting games. I'm a big D&D fan, so I thought that would be fun."
The game was originally unveiled as an exclusive for the 3DO M2 console under the title Ironblood. However, Take 2 Interactive later announced that the game would first be released for the PlayStation, with versions for the M2 and PC to come later. At this time they revealed that they had always intended the game to be a multiplatform release for Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and M2, and even started work on the PlayStation version first. They explained that they had only announced it as an M2 exclusive because at that time 3DO was the only one of the three console companies to have approved the game. However, they also mentioned that while the M2 version ran at a resolution of 640 x 480, hardware limitations meant they could only get the PlayStation version to run at a resolution of 512 x 240. The Sega Saturn version was officially announced, but eventually cancelled.
According to Take 2, Iron & Blood sold above 150,000 units by the end of October 1996 and accounted for 32.0% of its revenue during that fiscal year, the total of which was $12.5 million. The company's total income in that period was $349,074.
Iron & Blood received mostly negative reviews. Covering the PlayStation version, Electronic Gaming Monthly's four-man review team praised the large lineup of fighters and said the ability to earn new magic abilities in fights is innovative, but heavily criticized the fighting engine, citing jerky controls and a lack of technique. Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot outright panned the game, complaining of jerky controls, poor animation, and camera angles which make it impossible for the player to consistently know which button to push to go in the desired direction. A Next Generation critic instead praised the animation and graphical detail, but argued that the fighting lacks innovation. He summarized, "The combos are limited, the special moves are cliched, and without any noticeable enhancements brought to the actual fighting, the action feels passé. The digitized speech and special effects are average, and the techno soundtrack seems laughably anachronistic against the medieval visuals." Scary Larry remarked in GamePro that "There's no strategy (we beat the game using a single button) ... Fighters get hit, then end up with their backs to an opponent; you hit a walled ring that can hurt you more than the enemy; and the moves are basic."
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- Gerstmann, Jeff (December 1, 1996). "Iron & Blood Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
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- Jebens, Harley (February 9, 1998). "Take 2's Mother Lode". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 5, 2000.
- "Quick Hits: Iron and Blood". GamePro. No. 101. IDG. February 1997. p. 74.
- Rausch, Allen (2004-08-18). "A History of D&D Video Games - Part IV". Game Spy. Retrieved November 17, 2012.