Rainblood: Town of Death is a dark, suspenseful RPG with a gripping story and compelling battling.

Originally a hugely successful indie RPG in China, Rainblood: Town of Death has now been translated into English. The game follows a mysterious warrior who arrives in the small town of Pang to find all its inhabitants have either fled or been killed by a deadly virus.

Town of Death is one of the most entertaining RPGs I’ve played in a while, featuring great turn-based battling and a solid – if occasionally confusing – storyline. It may prove a little too short for most RPG enthusiasts, but there’s still plenty of quality exploring and fighting packed into those few hours.

The game begins with our protagonist Soul entering the doomed town of Pang. He has been given just 51 days left to live, and in this time he must deal with some unfinished business. The town appears deserted and desolate apart from a few remaining survivors, and Soul soon learns of the part The Organization played in the fate of Pang Town.

 Town of Death

The story starts out cryptic and continues to be so throughout – as questions are answered, even more are added to the fray. It’s a little tough to follow at times, but with perseverance there’s plenty to enjoy, with a couple of twists and turns along the way.

Soul’s journey consists of exploration, with turn-based battles thrown in every now and again. These battles are really fantastic for a number of reasons – firstly, Soul starts the game at level 89, hinting that he has already seen lots of bloodshed and is a very seasoned warrior. With this in mind, it’s understandable that controlling him feels incredibly powerful, as he cuts enemies down with one blow and deals out extreme damage.

Battles aren’t too much of a grind, either – since the main levelling up is out of the way, the focus can be placed firmly on feeling powerful and experimenting with your range of lovely special moves. Special boss battles also feature now and again, and require you fight tactically, using each of your powers to their fullest ability. These battles are on a par with some of the best RPGs out there, asking you to really think hard about your plan of attack. Skills can also be upgraded to make Soul even more stupidly powerful.

Town of Death really looks the part, with bleak hand-drawn settings and fantastic animations. You can really feel Soul’s pain through the dreary tones of the town and its surroundings. It should be mentioned that this game is really quite graphic, with Soul cutting enemy soldiers to shreds and leaving trails of blood all over the place. The animations are comic in design, but still look pretty gruesome.

While the story is great to follow, it’s very much on the short side. A single playthrough will clock in at around two hours of play, or three if you manage to find the available side-quests. Fortunately there are a variety of secrets to be discovered, but even after that it’s still a very short journey indeed.

 Town of Death

The game is also rather buggy in places, mainly due to a strange control scheme. Either the mouse or the keyboard (or a combination of both) can be implemented, but each has its own pros and cons. One particular nuisance occurs after dialogue – the keyboard controls will not work immediately afterwards, and you’ll need to click anywhere to activate them again.

Rainblood: Town of Death provides wonderful RPG gaming with a great storyline and paramount battling to boot. If you don’t mind the brevity of it all, this is well worth a playthrough. There’s a 30 minute demo available for those who are interested.