Hot Blood PS5 Review: Retro Brawler Fun

Hot Blood PS5 Review: A fun, retro-inspired brawler with vibrant visuals and simple combat.

Hot Blood PS5 gameplay showing protagonist fighting zombies in a vibrant shopping mall setting
Image Credit: whatoplay

Hot Blood – PS5 Review

Hot Blood is a third-person brawler from DEKLAZON, distributed by the ever-prolific eastasiasoft. At first glance, this game might catch you off guard with its unique blend of retro and modern aesthetics. Instead of the expected 2D approach, Hot Blood embraces a low-poly, PlayStation 1-inspired look that manages to be smooth and non-jagged. This unusual mix of old-school visuals with contemporary polish creates an interesting visual style that is both nostalgic and fresh.

From the moment you start playing, it’s clear that Hot Blood wears its influences on its sleeve. The game’s protagonist immediately brings to mind Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw—a young girl with a penchant for shopping and a mission to rescue her boyfriend. The setting, a sprawling shopping mall overrun with zombies, is reminiscent of Dead Rising. Meanwhile, the combat mechanics feel like a simplified version of the classic brawler Fighting Force. This trifecta of inspirations sets high expectations, and while Hot Blood doesn’t quite reach those lofty heights, it carves out its own space in the genre.

Gameplay and Combat Mechanics

You begin your adventure on the top floor of a multi-level shopping mall. Your mission is straightforward: battle through thirty stages, which are primarily different shops within the mall and some outdoor areas. The gameplay loop is simple—enter a shop, defeat all the zombies inside, and move on to the next. Despite this repetitive structure, the game manages to keep things engaging through its combat mechanics and item usage.

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Combat in Hot Blood is relatively basic. You have a few moves at your disposal—kick, punch, and occasionally sprint. You can also pick up various items to use as weapons. These range from everyday objects to more powerful weapons like guns and chainsaws. However, the latter are rare, and you’ll spend most of your time using melee attacks. Despite the simplicity, fighting zombies is reasonably fun. The controls are responsive, and the animations, while not overly detailed, get the job done. The challenge often comes from managing the camera in the confined spaces of the mall’s shops, which can be frustrating at times.

Item Usage and Challenges

The items you find throughout the mall can be used either as throwable objects or melee weapons. This mechanic is not as refined as in Dead Rising, but it adds a layer of strategy to the combat. For example, you might find a chair that you can throw to knock back a group of zombies or a baseball bat that can be used to deal more consistent damage. Occasionally, you’ll come across a gun or a chainsaw, which are extremely effective but limited in availability.

Health management in Hot Blood is relatively forgiving. Throughout the game, you can collect sodas that replenish your health. By the end, you might have a substantial stockpile of these, making it easier to survive tougher encounters. Despite this, there are moments where the game’s difficulty spikes, particularly when facing special zombies. These larger enemies or those that throw projectiles add a significant challenge, requiring you to use your abilities and items more strategically.

Difficulty Curve and Game Length

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One of the most puzzling aspects of Hot Blood is its inconsistent difficulty curve. The game starts with a moderate challenge, ramps up significantly in the middle stages, and then inexplicably becomes easier towards the end. The final few stages, set in a smaller section of the mall, feature fewer and weaker enemies, making them much easier than the mid-game levels. This drop in difficulty can be jarring, especially after overcoming the more challenging mid-game stages.

The game’s length is another aspect worth noting. Hot Blood can be completed in one sitting, typically within a few hours. This brevity is both a strength and a weakness. On one hand, it ensures the game doesn’t overstay its welcome, keeping the experience concise and focused. On the other hand, it might leave players wanting more, especially those who enjoy deeper, more complex brawlers.

Visuals and Presentation

One of the standout features of Hot Blood is its visual presentation. The low-poly aesthetic, inspired by the PlayStation 1 era, is vibrant and colorful. The game’s environments are filled with bright, garish tones and copious amounts of blood splatter, creating a visually striking experience. The character models and animations are simple but effective, capturing the retro feel while benefiting from modern graphical smoothness.

The game’s art direction extends to its overall presentation. Menus, UI elements, and even the soundtrack are designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia while maintaining a modern edge. The music and sound effects are fitting, if not particularly memorable, complementing the action without overshadowing it. The voice acting, limited as it is, adds a bit of personality to the characters, though it’s not a major focus of the game.

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Additional Features and Replayability

Hot Blood includes a few additional features that add to its charm, even if they aren’t essential to the core gameplay. One such feature is the ability to dress up the main character in various outfits. While this doesn’t affect gameplay, it adds a layer of customization that some players might enjoy. The outfits range from practical to outlandish, contributing to the game’s overall sense of fun and silliness.

Replayability in Hot Blood is somewhat limited. Once you’ve completed the game and earned the Platinum trophy, there isn’t much incentive to go back. The lack of difficulty settings or additional modes means that the experience remains largely the same on subsequent playthroughs. However, the game’s short length and enjoyable combat might encourage some players to replay it for the sheer fun of it.


Hot Blood is a fun, if flawed, addition to the brawler genre. It draws inspiration from some iconic titles and manages to create an enjoyable experience despite its budget constraints. The game’s vibrant visual style, straightforward combat, and quirky charm make it a worthwhile play for fans of retro-inspired games.

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  • Vivid visual style that blends retro and modern aesthetics
  • Enjoyable, straightforward combat
  • Interesting setting and character design


  • Short playtime, can be completed in a couple of hours
  • Challenging camera angles in confined spaces
  • Inconsistent difficulty curve

While Hot Blood doesn’t reach the heights of its inspirations, it offers a fun and engaging experience for fans of budget brawlers. Its unique visual style and enjoyable gameplay make it worth checking out, even if it’s not a game you’ll return to frequently. If you’re looking for a short, entertaining romp through a zombie-infested mall, Hot Blood delivers just that.

FAQs for Hot Blood – PS5 Review

Q: What type of game is Hot Blood?

A: Hot Blood is a third-person brawler game where players fight through waves of zombies in a shopping mall setting. It features a low-poly, PS1-inspired aesthetic with a mix of retro and modern visual styles.

Q: Who developed Hot Blood?

A: Hot Blood was developed by DEKLAZON and published by eastasiasoft.

Q: What are the main inspirations behind Hot Blood?

A: The game draws inspiration from Lollipop Chainsaw for its protagonist, Dead Rising for its shopping mall setting, and Fighting Force for its combat mechanics.

Q: How is the gameplay structured in Hot Blood?

A: Players start on the top floor of a shopping mall and must fight through thirty stages, each typically representing a shop or outdoor area. The gameplay involves entering each unit, defeating all zombies, and moving on to the next stage.

Q: What are the combat mechanics like?

A: The combat in Hot Blood is straightforward. Players can kick, punch, sprint, and use various items as weapons. The game includes melee combat and occasional use of ranged weapons like guns and chainsaws.

Q: Are there any unique items or weapons in the game?

A: Yes, players can find and use a variety of items and weapons, including chairs, bats, guns, and chainsaws. Items can be used either as melee weapons or thrown at enemies.

Q: How does the health system work in Hot Blood?

A: Players can collect sodas throughout the game to replenish their health. The game is relatively forgiving with health management, allowing players to stockpile health items for tougher encounters.

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Q: Is there a difficulty curve in Hot Blood?

A: The difficulty in Hot Blood is inconsistent. It starts moderately challenging, spikes in the middle stages with tougher enemies, and then becomes significantly easier towards the end.

Q: How long does it take to complete Hot Blood?

A: Hot Blood is a short game that can typically be completed in one sitting, usually within a few hours.

Q: What is the visual style of Hot Blood like?

A: The game features a low-poly, PS1-inspired visual style with vibrant, colorful graphics and blood splatters. It combines nostalgic retro aesthetics with modern smoothness.

Q: Are there any additional features or customization options?

A: Yes, players can dress up the main character in various outfits. This feature adds a layer of customization and contributes to the game’s fun and silly charm.

Q: Is there any replayability in Hot Blood?

A: Replayability is limited. Once the game is completed and the Platinum trophy is earned, there isn’t much incentive to replay it, as there are no additional modes or difficulty settings.

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Q: What are the main pros of Hot Blood?

A: The vivid visual style, straightforward combat, and interesting setting are some of the main pros of Hot Blood. It provides an enjoyable and fun experience despite its budget constraints.

Q: What are the main cons of Hot Blood?

A: The short playtime, challenging camera angles in confined spaces, and inconsistent difficulty curve are the main drawbacks of the game.

Q: Is Hot Blood worth playing?

A: While Hot Blood may not reach the heights of its inspirations, it offers a fun and engaging experience for fans of budget brawlers. Its unique visual style and enjoyable gameplay make it worth checking out, especially for those looking for a short, entertaining game.

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