Competition has often been the focus of the MOBA genre. Chasing the crowds and potential shown by genre titans like League of Legends, most MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games try to capture the same essence of competitive cooperation.
Bloodsports.TV aims to be a more co-op focused experience, mixing in the gameplay of horde-style shooters to create an interesting new experience. While still playing out like a MOBA, Bloodsports also adds in bosses and a host of enemy types to fight against rather than just the lane creeps most MOBA players are used to.
The world of Bloodsports.TV is a bleak, post-apocalyptic wasteland where the few denizens left enjoy watching other people get slaughtered in arenas by gladiators. It’s very Thunderdome, although the set-up is strange: the gladiators you play as are defending a missile silo, which nukes nearby villages. The villages get angry, send warriors to the arena to stop you, and you kill them for sport and entertainment. These aren’t your typical villagers, though: they’ll send hordes of foes, ranging from rocket-launching lunatics to semi-magical healers.
Waves of soldiers and psychos will come for the silo, but the variety among them is woefully low. By the third time you run one of the game’s maps, you’ll recognize all of them, know what they do, and even know what wave to expect them to spawn in. It becomes a series of executing the correct commands to kill the enemies, rather than having to play tactically and plan a defense around them. Bloodsports.TV attempts to create a team-based defense in each map, but in practice, it falls short of that mark.
On the team end, you have four classes to choose from, each with two gladiators to play as. DPS, tank, CC, healer – the basis of a good team is here. Really, though, diversity often doesn’t matter. If you have one of each of those classes, or even just have a tank, CC and healer, you can conquer pretty much anything Bloodsports.TV throws at you. The variety is very low, and characters have very few defining characteristics or moves. They all fall under the same “psycho-dystopic-gladiator” persona, and don’t hit that same stride in defining characters that makes so many MOBAs and character-based games so good.
The defense aspect is also very ambiguous. You have a silo in the middle, launching off missiles each round, that you must defend. Beyond that, you have a few towers to help out, but even on the higher difficulties you’ll be relying on your team rather than your few buildings. It rarely feels like a defense, and more like a farm-fest. Those who have played League or Dota know the catharsis of farming an entire wave of minions. That repetitive clearing of giant waves is Bloosports.TV in a nutshell. Wade into a sea of minions, dodge the few CC’s that they launch, kill the wave, repeat.
The shop that opens between rounds has a decent variety items to purchase with the gold you get from killing attackers, and most of those items will fall into the same vein of items that you would find in any competitive MOBA. Items mostly act as stat boosters rather than adding another tool to your arsenal, however, and there isn’t really a feeling of accomplishment in buying that first big item. It just means you have five more to buy.
Bloodsports.TV is an entertaining romp with friends for a few rounds, and pitching in for a pack on Steam is both cheap and will get you a night or two of some decent co-op fun. There’s just very little staying power, and barring future updates, it’s hard to see Bloodsports.TV joining the weekend multiplayer rotation for longer than a single weekend.