Large thumbnail image for article
Thumbnail image for article


Blues and Bullets: Episode 1 - Review

Blues and Bullets is a story driven episodic adventure that puts you in the shoes of Elliot Ness, a retired cop that gets dragged back into the life he thought he left behind. Developed by A Crowd of Monsters, Blues and Bullets is a unique blend of Telltale's The Walking Dead's gameplay and L.A. Noire's tone and themes while still maintaining it's own identity.

Blues and Bullets' story is very well executed that takes some of the common cliches found in Noir drama and adds a new spin on it.

The overall plot deals with the heavy subjects of murder, mutilation, torture, and revenge – topics that can only make a good story if executed perfectly.

The story follows Elliot Ness, a former cop and now diner owner, as he gets pulled into a job by Al Capone. The story isn't as straight forward as it seems with curveballs being thrown at you to keep you on your toes.

Elliot himself is surprisingly charismatic and likable with realistic motives and the personality of a retired law enforcement officer just trying to live the rest of his days happily. Though, not everyone's life can be so happy and it seems Elliot's can't be either.

The developers have done a fantastic job of keeping the Noir story in balance with the tone and atmosphere they have created with the soundtrack and visual style. This looks to be one of those stories that sticks with you long after you've experienced it all the way through.

The graphics in Blues and Bullets are rather impressive considering the engine it was made with, but boasts an even more impressive art style.

If you are a fan of the Sin City films, then you are going to love the visuals in Blues and Bullets. The game mainly features a black and white art style, but with accents of red to show off smaller details – and blood, lots and lots of blood.

The graphics just ooze with Noir mystery that will make you want to investigate every item of the environment to unlock back story and reveal more about the world the game takes place in, but the graphics aren't without their own flaws.

Some of the animations within the game are stiff and robotic, and lips won't always match up to some character's dialogue. Blues and Bullets isn't very well optimized either, with only 4 changeable graphical settings; Resolution, Full Screen, Quality, and Visual Effects. Because of this, I had trouble playing through Blues and Bullets at a stable FPS.

Don't expect to be just walking around and talking to people like similar games of this genre. Blues and Bullets does a fairly well job of including exciting action set pieces that don't feel tacked on with no rhyme or reason.

On top of investigating and shooting, you will also piece together a gruesome murder to figure out how to proceed with Al Capone's task. This was a gameplay element I was pleasantly surprised to see and I hope it is used again in future episodes.

There are also quick time events with Blues and Bullets. It's understandable to be turned off by this element, but there aren't many and they are fairly easy to accomplish once you've encountered them.

The soundtrack of Blues and Bullets fits the tone of the game perfectly.

Ranging from more lively upbeat songs to more quiet and somber tracks.

The same can be said for the voice acting. No one phones it in here and all the actors make this feel like you are actually watching a Noir film drama.

Also, the voice of Geralt from The Witcher series voices Elliot Ness, which is a great addition. Elliot's sort-of-not-really sidekick who accompany's him throughout the majority of the game has a more softer and down to Earth voice which is a great contrast to Elliot's gruff monotone voice.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my time with Blues and Bullets and will eagerly await the release of episode 2. The developers were able to succesfully blend everything great about Noir mystery dramas and turn it into a fantastic game.

The story, the graphics, and the gameplay tied up neatly with great voice acting and a stellar soundtrack make for an incredible experience that I won't be forgetting anytime soon, regardless of it's minor flaws.


Login to comment