Blues and Bullets – game review.
The tendency to divide games into episodes has left its mark not only on productions similar to those from Telltale Games, but also on many others, which, unfortunately, often do not do well. Today we are going to face another “series game” that aims to tell a terrifying story. How was it possible? Let’s check!
Developers at the very beginning Blues and Bullets inform us that their product was created out of respect for the victims of the terrible tragedy that took place decades ago. This means that, in the end, we will be dealing with something touching, arousing fear, and maybe even hatred of the torturers. What is this story you ask?
Well, the whole action takes place in a fictional city Santa Esperanzain which this Al Capone calls the detective Eliot Ness (also a real character), his rival from years ago, to help him in the search for his kidnapped granddaughter Alice. The case is quite unusual, but the extraordinary situation demands it.
The game itself also begins quite climatic and mysteriously. As a little girl, we try to escape from some prison – we find the key, open the cell and hide in the wardrobe from a mysterious thug that looks like a monster. My first thought was “oh, some horror.” However, as the game develops, we become entangled in more and more intricate plot threads.
And these are presented to us from three perspectives; Alice, Eliot in his youth and its current version. The main axis of the search is on the line of a gray-haired detective who, together with Al’s sidekick, Milton, is investigating. After going through two episodes of the game, it is not yet clear what the flashbacks are to show, but it undoubtedly has a significant impact on Eliot’s relationship with Mr. Capone. Young Ness seduces his friend’s wife, storms into the mafioso’s headquarters for some revenge, and then searches an abandoned church – a little confused chronological order can be confusing.
The gameplay is divided into several parts. At the outset, it is worth noting that the whole thing is decorated with outdated, but climatic graphics. The authors only used here black and white a color style combined with a red color that highlights various elements of the environment that create an aesthetic contrast. Basically, just like in David Cage’s games, we move around the designated locations with our hero and interact with various designated points. It’s a bit like watching a movie.
The next part is a typical shooting shooters “on rails” – the character moves by itself, and we only aim and shoot the enemies. Here, unfortunately, due to the fact that the title has no interface, we do not know how many bullets we have in the magazine, so we either shoot with a watch or we count the bullets meticulously.
The last, but most important aspect is investigations, in which we collect evidence through interactions with the environment, combine it into a single whole, and draw conclusions based on it. Here, the most significant drawback of this work is the camera. Moving our hero, we cannot look around the room in 360 degrees, but we only see the fragment that the lens wants to show us, which makes the search for evidence a bit more difficult. So the best solution is to lick the walls pixel by pixel and rubbing against the mass of invisible walls. Once we find the “eye” to activate, we either hear Ness’s comment about it once, or we go to a more thorough search for clues.
Then, we also look for traces that could help in finding, on a specially designated line of the camera Alice. After examining everything, we get a new tip, which we place on a screen imitating a cork board with pinned notes and photos. Did we get blood, glass and lasagne? Well, maybe someone was having dinner with the victim of a macabre murder when they were attacked by an attacker.
The whole artistry is added by great music, in which the main theme stands out the most. At the same time gentle, sublime, and in places causing chills, it makes Blues and Bullets gains on closer acquaintance, even with the first impression saying “but this is nasty, it must be crap.”
The game must be admitted one thing. She is very brutal and shows scenes straight from the worst movies that life unfortunately wrote for a group of young children. Life and death fights, cutting “live rejects” with a chainsaw, the remains of which are stored in a chute. Cages for people and dogs, a sect punishing children with cutting off their hands. It all seems so unreal, like a game. Unfortunately, this is a real tragedy, the finale of which will be announced in the next three episodes. The creators deserve a huge appreciation for taking up such a difficult topic and despite the budget deficiencies (e.g. a graphics engine from 7 years ago), a bold attempt to show it all with due bluntness and respect for the victims.