Friday, April 3, 2015

Heavy Bullets (PC)

I played Heavy Bullets before Devolver Digital got involved and thought it was already a striking and sexy - although a little rough around the edges. Now that its been given a full release - its great and I highly recommend it. I guess the stand-out point of Heavy Bullets (apart from sound and graphics) is your sole weapon; a six shooter. You also have to retrieve the bullets after you fire them, making every shot feel important. All the enemies are destroyed with one hit but this doesn't mean it's easy as every corner you turn could be your last. I found myself turning each corner and breaching each doorway like I was playing Rainbow Six!

(Yes, that little line mentioning Broforce did make me return to Broforce only to get my butt kicked so hard by that game that I stopped after 1 hour again....)

I've put in about 18 hours already into Heavy Bullets and only been to the end boss once. I really do love video games that unabashedly look like video games. It's not trying to realistically recreate a world or weather or a motion captured actor's face; it's just a cool game. I found myself wanting to play this game really BIG - and will probably get a friend to bring over a projector eventually so that I can.

The world looks like an 80's Miami Vice club version of Wolfenstein and it actually made me quite nostalgic for a slew of games : Descent mostly (the secrets in that game!) but also basement sessions of Wolfenstein on my first PC and made me pine for the days where I religiously played Halo online.... ah the good ol' days.

The idea of a world inside a computer really fits into my whole 'Tron' phase that I am having at the moment too. (Check out the show Tron: Uprising - it's worth a look). I also would recommend playing with headphones and turning the game up really loud - using the audio clues in the world gives you a heads-up on enemy and vending machine positions. Just a quick thought : How cool would this be with the Oculus Rift?

The one headline I read about Heavy Bullets upon it's release really helped me to enjoy and understand the game: 'A Spelunky FPS.' If you treat Heavy Bullets like a rogue-like then you are really going to understand the mechanics and the gameplay a lot more and if you play it with that in mind it's extremely exciting and each death is devastating.

Every attempt at the game sets you back at the beginning but you can feel yourself learning something with every failure. This balance is what makes Heavy Bullets so enjoyable - you die for sure but it's not going to be in vain as you will have learned something about the map, an item or an enemy so that each session leads you a bit deeper....just like Spelunky. Unlike Spelunky however, you can really take your time with this which is a nice touch.

There are vending machines scattered throughout the labyrinth that you can use to store items, buy upgrades or deposit coins for your next run. The items are sometimes downright quirky but even the ones that you may first deem to be useless soon prove to be otherwise as you understand them better.

The session length really suited me at the moment (at about an hour) and added to that was the bonus that you boot the game and are thrown right into the action without any distractions or relearning of items and inventory - it's distilled FPS fun. Check it out - in the meantime I am going to take a break because I made it to the end boss but I am a little burnt out on it for now.

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