Top Critic Average
[Bound is] for the people that want something thoughtful, meaningful, and intelligent. For that audience, this game is about as good as they come. As a member of that audience myself, it’s right up there with my favourite games of the year.
Bound follows the path of Journey but with its own innovations. A very intimate story, entertaining platform gameplay and an outstanding graphic design make this Santa Monica's game a must-buy for the PlayStation 4 players.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
A work of art, which exemplifies the direction in which the gaming indie scene should be heading, while at the same time showcasing why it should also abandon AAA techniques of conducting narrative.
Bound is an ugly game, but it’s the most powerful, most enchanting kind of ugly. It dares to reject videogames’ obsession with “looking good” and instead focuses on using visual design to complement the core themes and emotional hook of the game. It’s an ugly game because, by taking those ugly fragments and piecing them together, we might just be able to find something beautiful.
The stylized look is stunning and interesting visually. Even with the issues of the levels and controls, Bound uses the unique movements to make it more compelling and engaging. The story is emotional and deep. The lack of narration used to tell the story makes it even better.
For those looking for a different kind of experience, though, these issues will matter little. I loved my time with BOUND. These are the kind of visual and conceptual offerings I want more of from smaller studios. I’m anxious to see what Plastic comes up with next. PlayStation VR Note: I was able to try this out at the Sony VR booth at E3. The final game is said to be 'VR compatible'. It was a little off-putting at first to move a third-person character in VR, but I warmed to it by the end. I don't think the VR option is a reason to buy (or avoid), but if you end up purchasing PS VR, and are in need of a stunning vista to lose yourself in, go for it.
Bound brings a unique approach to the speedrunning platformer by putting the focus on a heartbreaking narrative and a beautiful dance mechanic to pull players through its world.
Bound is a vague but undeniably powerful game. Its sweeping environments and spellbinding aesthetic invite you to look closer, appreciate its story, and find meaning through your own interpretation. The gameplay beneath is pleasant (if unremarkable) and dutifully supports the greater aim of giving the player something to reflect on. If that level of engagement suits you, Bound is one of PS4’s best games. If not, there’s still a resonant message to take away, though its brief journey left me pining for more time with the dancer in her beautiful, strange world.
Beautiful, compelling and strange. There isn't a reason not to try Bound, and although its heavy emotional focus might not be for everyone, its well implemented movement and speed mechanics will surely be enough to keep even the most stone-hearted player entertained.
‘Notgame’ isn’t the right tag for Bound, as there is a game here with platforming, puzzle solving, and defending against dangers, though admittedly much of it is about the journey undertaken. Plastic stated that narrative was the focus and it is part of everything, from the way the environments are shaped to the obstacles placed in front of the ballerina. Bound is easily one of the most stunning games to release on PS4, and if you’re searching for something a little different I heartily recommend it.
A gorgeous platformer with an exceptionally unique protagonist and powerful narrative, Bound offers up all the elements of a compelling title that fits in with the growing list of games reaching for high art. It confusion about whether to fully commit to this is sadly to its own detriment though, sullying the underlying message and begging the question of what could’ve been.
Like the game, this review is short and to the point - if you're wanting for a singular, beautiful experience, that may be a little thin but is no less memorable, Bound is a game for you.
Bound schöpft leider nicht sein ganzes Potenzial aus und bietet neben der sehr gelungenen Umgebung, leider viel zu wenig. Wer sich aber 1-2 Stunden mit simplen Gameplay und einer flachen Story abfinden kann, wird auf jeden Fall mit Bound zumindest etwas schönes für die Augen bekommen.
Review in German | Read full review
A powerful, poignant story that utilizes a brilliantly crafted world and movement mechanic to help get its symbolism across. Its short length and lack of gameplay depth hold the experience as a whole back, however.
Bound is a strange title. It's not a platform, neither a walking simulator. Is a game that values aesthetics over any other aspects, and for this reason in beautiful, different and flimsy.
Review in Italian | Read full review
As the icon on the Playstation Store proudly proclaims, Bound is Playstation VR-compatible -– I’m not lucky enough to have a PSVR kit to test this out (it’s not released yet!), but it will definitely be worth a look when the headsets start arriving later this year. This is the kind of game that will work best in a virtual reality framework – bright, colourful and removed from any sense of realism. Playing in 2D is by no means a disadvantage, and I encourage anyone with a preference for ‘artsy’ games to give this a shot. It’s not without its issues, but Bound presents traditional platforming mechanics with an artistic flair that really sets it apart.
Bound excels in presenting an engaging universe and telling a deep and imaginative story, but where it has the imagination to make the player think and awe at what they’re seeing, it simply doesn’t have as much to tell when it comes to the core gameplay. That being said, it wouldn’t be fair to call Bound a bad game, because it’s simply a flawed one when it comes to gameplay. The lack of engaging gameplay really affected my experience to a certain point, but for what it’s worth Bound’s storytelling managed to salvage what else there was and give me an immersive narrative experience.
The beauty in Bound is even more prevalent in its visuals – it is digital artwork at its finest. It is honestly some of the most unique and beautiful artwork I have ever seen in a video game
Despite all its flaws, Bound is undoubtedly a celebration of the female form, both physically and spiritually. And, for that, it could be said to be a game better viewed as one to experience rather than to play, and the fact that it tries to encompass so many deep psychological metaphors in the videogame format is an ambition worth praising.
It’s unfortunately obvious how much Bound wanted to be like Journey, but it’s even more unfortunate that they go so close and yet failed to fully capture everything amazing about Journey. A beautiful environment, unique concept (the dancing), and deep story will get you very far, but the gameplay needs to be just as entertaining. Unless you’re a Trophy Hunter and/or you enjoy speedrunning, there’s not much that will keep you bound to this title.
Wonky camera controls and sub-par platforming aren't enough to take away from the fact that Bound is absolutely art in game form. Almost everything about the game is beautiful and unique, and if you find yourself enjoying games where gameplay takes a back seat to aesthetic, then you might want to think about picking up Bound.
For all my complaints, Bound is an interesting beast. The way it incorporates its animation style has been rarely, if ever done so well. It's well worth experiencing in some fashion, just maybe not at full price.
Bound is beautifully presented and will make you think, but its basic platforming doesn't have the legs that developer Plastic thinks it has. Fans of emotionally charged titles like Gone Home will be satisfied with what's on offer here – but those looking for a quality platformer may want to dance with something a little more competent in that department.
Bound is undeniably beautiful, but a chasm between the player and the characters makes it difficult to empathize with them — unless you're willing and able to bridge the gap yourself.
Do you usually enjoy games that focus more on the artistic and symbolic side of video games, such as Journey and Abzu? Because this is the type of games who’d definitely enjoy this game. Otherwise you might see it as a boring and short (2 hours) game.
Review in Arabic | Read full review
When it comes story-driven experiences such as this, gameplay is often a secondary concern. Puzzles and mechanics are often uncomplicated, going so far as to become simply linear interactive experiences colloquially known as “walking simulators.” Bound’s approach is a beautiful and fluid one, as all of the movement and combat — if it can be called that — are carried out through dance. You’ll forgive me if I lack the collective dance terminology to correctly ascribe to the movements, but the characters leaps, twirls and slides through with a casual grace, and mostly with a feathery weight. It’s gorgeous, and the transitions are flawless, though sometimes slow.
Bound really is stunning to see in motion, but the keyword is “see.” I dare say I’d have had a lot more fun watching someone else playing it as opposed to playing it myself. Simply soaking in the color and music is captivating. All that splendor, however, is balanced with equal weight by the troubling truth that it’s just really, really not that enjoyable to play.