Narrative games have become a bit of a commodity on the Xbox One, with titles such as Telltale’s Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead offering some of the best narrative experiences. They might not offer a load in terms of gameplay mechanics, but in terms of moral choices, they are plentiful and fruitful. Blues and Bullets is a similar experience here, as you play the role of a diner owner and retired cop called Eliot Ness. Having taken down the renowned Al Capone, the past comes to revisit Eliot, as Al Capone’s granddaughter has been kidnapped.
Based upon his detective skills, the game throws a lot of “piecing together” moments, as you search for clues and use the clue board to join things up. It really makes you feel like a detective and the narrative aspect of the game helps to the tell the story in a more intriguing way. Once you’ve found all the clues and pieced them together you can then progress and the crime scene is revealed before you. If you’ve watched Sherlock Holmes, you’ll know exactly the sort of thing you’re about to witness.
The one thing I have to instantly criticise is the lack of player choice, as I think the only real visible moral choice was whether to add more hot sauce to some jackass cop’s burger, back in the diner. It’s a shame, as games like Telltale’s series heavily rely on these choices and you’re often asked to make a decision, which you instantly see take effect or you find out the hard way later when someone dies. One of the touches I really liked about the game’s choices though was whether you chose to drink whiskey or juice. Eliot is a washed up former cop, who is plagued with being an alcoholic, so it was nice to be able to make such a close-knit choice to the main protagonist.
The most interesting thing of all though has to be the art style, as the title uses a black and white noire theme with a shade of red to portray items of interest such as blood, which may be useful for finding clues. A Sin City comes to straight to mind when you’re playing Blues and Bullets.
It’s also not all about detective work, as there’s also a shooting segment within the first episode, which can be viewed below in a little video I recorded from my live stream. The shooting is very much on the rails though, as you’re taken forward after killing the enemies on0screen, as you pop in and out of cover aiming shots at them.
I’m a little anxious about the next episode to Blues and Bullets, as I don’t really know if it will change things up enough to make the game stay interesting. I liked the mix of finding clues, shooting enemies and dialogue in the first episode, so more of the same please developers.
- Beautiful art style
- Nice mix of gameplay in first episode
- Anxious for episode 2 in terms of keeping things fresh
- Not enough moral choices to make