Blue Estate

Genre(s): Action/First-Person Shooter,
Casual/Arcade

Metacritic Rating: 49 (out of 100)

Destructoid.com Rating: 5 (out of 10)

Cheapskategamer.com Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)

Price: Not Free. $12.99 on Steam. Not a bad price for a modern on-rails, light-gun PC game but maybe wait till a Steam sale happens.

Link(s): http://store.steampowered.com/app/305380/

Description:
It’s not often that a PC lightgun game gets released to the PC gaming public directly. Generally, one must go to an arcade to find on-rails shooter fun. A rare occurrence indeed, especially for a game like Blue Estate which stands alone as a unique light-gun game experience for several reasons.

Blue Estate is a darkly funny rail shooter based on comic books of the same name. You assume the role of Tony Luciano, the homicidal maniac son of LA’s crime boss Don Luciano, and Clarence, a broke ex-navy seal who has been hired to clean up Tony’s mess. While Tony wages war with the Sik gang in an attempt to get back his kidnapped “Helen of Troy,” Clarence has to try to end that war against increasing odds.

While Blue Estate supports a fairly wide variety of controllers, including the Playstation 4 controller, Kinect sensor on Xbox One, Leap Motion Controller (PC) as well as mouse/keyboard combo (PC), this review will focus on gameplay using a light gun on the PC. We’re purists, and feel that the best way to play a light-gun game is well…with a lightgun. We played the first level with a mouse and keyboard before using a lightgun and the experience was “OK”. It was much more fun with a lightgun in hand. It’s just more of a fun shooting experience and simulation with a lightgun.

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A game like Blue Estate isn’t the same as playing the vastly more popular first-person shooter type games using a mouse and keyboard. Games like Call of Duty or Crysis it isn’t. If you’re looking for that kind of FPS, then you need to keep moving. Blue Estate is an “on-rails” experience where you move through the action like a movie and the accuracy of your shots like in a shooting gallery is at the core of the experience. Those that like light-gun style games will likely enjoy the game and rate it highly. Those that are expecting a regular FPS-type game probably won’t.

After playing through Blue Estate the following are the highlights and “pros” to the experience:

• Great graphics. Unique graphic novel/comic book feel. Excellent layering and pacing of the visuals that support both the story and gameplay.

• Cool storyline. It’s a simple vengeance tale but it seems to work if you don’t expect too much. Takes on a bit of a “Serious Sam” attitude as you shoot your way through the levels. Good pacing and balance to the action and cutscenes.

• Funny. Tongue-in-cheek humor. Certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously. The jokes continue right up through the end-of-level stat screen. For example, not only are the number of “head shots” counted but also the number of “nut-shots”.

• Unique game modes woven together throughout the game. It takes the best of previously successful lightgun games and combines them into one. Cool “take-cover” system like that used in the Time Crisis series, Enemy targeting system like that used in the Virtua Cop series, bonus weapons pick-up system as seen in Area 51 and the pop-up shooting gallery experience as seen in any number of popular arcade lightgun games. Blue Estate also borrows from the modern first-person shooter genre with multiple weapon switching and up close melee attacks. It also offers a mode where you have to “swipe” your gun in the air to knock down enemies, melee style, or deflect objects thrown at you such as a bottle thrown by a bartender.

And the “cons”. Well, yes, there are a few of them:

• Intricacies of control with the lightgun. Despite support for the lightgun experience, the game doesn’t natively utilize the extra 2 buttons beyond the trigger available on modern PC lightguns. Essentially only the trigger is used. The game requires input to reload and switch weapons. Reload by shooting off screen works well enough, but use of the rear button (gun thumb button) would have been nice. Most frustrating is the inability to switch weapons using only the gun. Can’t be done unless 3rd party utility software for the lightgun itself is used to reconfigure the buttons and map them to the 2nd mouse button. It was a poor choice to not allow the player to natively use the third gun button on the handle to switch weapons quickly and easily rather than having to reach down and use the mouse or keyboard to do so.

• Mature audience only. This game has an “M” rating for a reason. Not for the kiddos. Many adult situations including partial nudity, crude language, and humor. Right from the main menu screen you’ll get the idea as you watch one of the main characters, a stripper, do a pole dance dressed in nearly nothing. Blue Estate certainly has personality, but keep this game away from the kids!

• The “swiping” mechanic is kind of cool when you need to beat down on an up-close enemy without shooting them or when something other than a bullet is thrown toward you, but not when you have to swipe away your own hair in order to see. It happens too often and becomes a bit annoying.

Overall Blue Estate is a fun lightgun experience. A great rail-shooter without the non-stop intensity of it’s arcade predecessors. If you love this genre of game and love light-hearted action, this is a chance at a rare release. Pick up a gun and start shooting.

Publisher: HeSaw

Developer: HeSaw

Release Date: Apr 8, 2015

Players: Single Player

ERSB: M. Mature: blood, crude humor, drug reference, partial nudity, violence, sexual themes.

Sample Gameplay Video(s):

About Wade Palmer