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Like most action games on Steam you get the opportunity to choose how hard you want it to be for you to succeed. The options on SKYSHINES BEDLAM are GO EASY, GO NORMAL and GO BEDLAM which should give you some idea of the amusing action you are about to embark upon.

At first you have only the BONESHAKER "Dozer" available to you, but as you proceed the vehicles and the weaponry get bigger and better. During the game you need to collect resources to continue; CRUDE: better the rating (0-5), better the engines.
MEAT: Passengers and Crew need meat to survive and heal.
POWER CELLS: These are the Batteries for the Dozers and are consumed during battle.
CREW: You need to keep your crew safe. Send injured crew to the Medical Bay to help them heal quicker.


You will come across different factions:
The AXIOM, the Council of Independent units, think of the Star Chamber. They want everyone to worship the Ancient Machine Gods (residual program bytes that have created A.I.) and non-compliance equals extermination.
JUDEX: These dudes have plasma scythes to eliminate Rogue A.I.
UMBRA: The original self aware A.I. surveillance sphere.
MOTH3R TRIXR: Chameleoness unit birthed infiltrator code.
SKARRA: Queen of A.I. discipline.

The game is about your journey to Aztrec City. En route you will meet all manner of beings, some friendly, some unfriendly, and some positively insane. If you stop to confer, trade or explore it is just as likely as not that this will result in combat. This will almost certainly end up with you getting injuries, possibly even losing a man, and it will also cost you an amount of resources. However by stopping you also have a good chance to loot the area for the crude oil that is precious and also the best trading commodity. This is almost always more profitable than bypassing the stop and not knowing what you have left behind. There are, naturally, comparisons with the world of Mad Max, as the lands are mainly dry and dusty and the vehicles and populace look like they are wearing bits and bobs from all manner of materials. There are chances to upgrade your Dozer and your units as you travel, stop, fight and explore. At times this is an exciting adventure and other times it seems a bit laborious, you have to take the rough with the smooth, and the balance with the imbalance, but overall it is an interesting sort of improvised tabletop wargame. I feel that it is going to be "marmite" though with a definite line drawn between liking it and not liking it, there isn't going to be much of a neutral or grey area.

Your journey towards the AZTEC CITY goal is along your choice of road often with multiple routes to choose from, stopping or not at various waypoints (again you have the choice) that break up your long trek. On the onscreen map select a route to move to the waypoint chosen. Then you generally have the have the choice of continuing or exploring and sometimes you just get some additional information. There are occassions when you come across a Trader where you can trade resources, swapping those you have collected for those you need and other times you will meet an enemy of the fiercest proportions. The A.I. Machine God "KRIEGSMASCHINE" is a biochemical Titan with ionic disruptor cannons for arms, tank treads for feet, a multi-turret weapon for a head and it is known as the embodiment of war. To this need it's followers wear destructive combat prosthetics. You select your team according to their skills, or at least the skills you feel are best suited for the action. To select from, for your team, you have several character types, including "Deadeye" characters who are supposedly superb shots and Gunslingers who are fast but not necessarily accurate.


The game is like a 3D mini's game with reference cards and character sheets transferred onto the computer to bring the action from the tabletop to life. Every battle is set in an arena type area with various resource packs available for collection during and after the battle. The figures on the battlefield are represented in 3D and look good, but sadly the turn-based action doesn't match up to the looks as the game is not quite as liquidly fluent as you might hope for. I think this is possibly because the game uses the Banner Saga Engine which means that both sides have alternating turns, 2 turns per round. Thus if you are outgunned by say 10 to 2 (5-1 odds, yes I realise) the ten men of the opposition still only get 2 action turns and then you get two action turns and so on, thus there are always (at least until you have destroyed one or more) 8 opponents who do nothing each round. This may be helpful to you as it enables you to at least have half-a-chance against a stronger force, but it throws any sort of realism out of the window. Before reaching Aztec City you are supposed to, and in fact it's best to, get into as much action and combat as you can so that you build your force up to the best you can. The game is also designed to be multi-playable, thus each time you play you will remember your mistakes and successes from the previous games and know where the pitfalls lie, so that you can sail through efficiently each time. 

Visually it is good, sound-wise it is acceptable, the action is okay, the adventure angle is well covered and the differences between all the factions is exceptionally well imagined, in fact if it wasn't for the pretty basic unimpressive combat the game would be excellent. I have continued to play it as if I were a General (or a team coach) determining the strength of my squad and deciding on the tactics and sort of going through the motions with the fighting bit. There are times when you may make the wrong decision and end up in a fight that you aren't prepared for or in need of. This can result in not only a combat loss but also result in the loss of resources which could lead to even more distress. Personally I am a little disappointed with the arcade type action but then it is better than many games where you travel until combat occurs and then the units are just lined up facing each other and just fire across the screen until one side defeats the other, at least you have nominal control and you can move your units. They can also hide behind onbjects in the fight arena and even collect items while they are in combat. As I said earlier, it is a "marmite" game with very little grey area, but I think I stand right on the distinction line as I want to like it more than I do, and thus although I find it hard to recommend it, I also find it hard not to say that it is worth trying; good job I'm not an X-Factor Judge!


Gaming love-letter packed with innovative retro action blasts onto PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac

London, 13 October 2015 - RedBedlam in association with Vision Games Publishing, today announced that the genre-defying FPS game, Bedlam, is launching for current-gen consoles and PC. The game, with a script by acclaimed author Christopher Brookmyre adapted from his best-selling science-fiction novel of the same name, has released for PlayStation®4, PC, and OSX with the version for Xbox One, the all in one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, arriving on Xbox Game Store on Friday, October 16th. All versions are priced at £14.99 in the UK.

View the brand new launch trailer here: 




© Chris Baylis 2011-2015