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Blues and Bullets ep. One

Published by A Crowd of Monsters

 

The year is 1955, the place, Santa Esperanza. Eliott Ness, famous detective, retired detective, owner of a diner called Blues 

and Bullets, is back. Helping his old adversary Al Capone to find his kidnapped grand-daughter. One thing i find odd, the use of real characters for the lead roles, but then the use of a fictional city. Other weirdness includes the Hindenburg, having survived the years, is now a floating hotel above the city.

The gameplay is nice, the controls feel smooth, and the story is less linear than other episodic games of recent times, and the investigative side of the game goes into depths that, in my opinion, are extraordinary, with blood and gore being examined in the most extreme detail possible. The storyline is has a strong which carries the game along with an superb undertone of intrigue, structure and intensity which is much greater than most action games can even think of, leaving you guessing and eager to find out just what is coming next and where it will take you all the time.

Action scenes are also more involved. Fights and reactions are expertly handled with button pressing reactions, but although they are at times a little harder than average, there isn’t anything too challenging. Having to hit buttons a little more quickly and more often than in other games amplifies the enjoyment and keeps you on your toes.  The fire-fights, in which you take cover whilst shooting at enemies, are also difficult to get a handle on at first but hold no real problems for anyone who regularly employs their time playing shooter games; these are definitely a fun break in the game's overall pace.
 
 
The atmosphere is what really makes Blues and Bullets stand out from the pack. The Noir style black and white, often accented with red, really reminded me of the Sin City comics and films, and like the Sin City films, the lead character sounds like he is someone you don't want to mess with, important imho, for a tough guy detective.
 
The dialogue is great, very much in the vein of the old-time pulp fiction  of Mike Hammer and Raymond Chandler. Elliot is pretty much a stereotypical gumshoe, private detective with a weakness for drink and dames. Whilst most of the story feels serious, dark almost, it occasionally goes too far in its attempts to add some light comical relief, and it is here that I find its only fall down. You might say the depression is rather depressing when for example your actions interrupt a knife-thrower and the crowd voice their disappointment. Of course like every, well almost every, pulp noir fiction private eye you have a wholesome, buxom, glamorous assistant, but she is so played up for slapstick it made even me cringe. 
 
Overall the first episode of Blues and Bullets is well paced and exciting, doing its job to great satisfaction by leaving me wanting and waiting for episode two but without any feelings of dissatisfaction at the end of this chapter. 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015