+Big weapons that pun the female life
+Amazing story that gives our heroine a 90’s video game start
+Map designs using top down design offer a delightful Diablo-esque experience
-Requires a decently powerful PC to play
-Controls on keyboard may be slightly disorienting to non-PC gamers
-Quest NPCs can be difficult to find
When looking at companies 3D Realms and Interceptor have been known some of their fantastic titles like Rise of the Triad, Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior, Prey, Blake Stone, and many more. With their recent departure from Duke Nukem it was a wonder as to where Interceptor and 3D Realms would go. Their answer? Replacing Duke Nukem with a female character who is full of slap shot one liners, big guns, and an attitude to boot. Sherry is not your average female protagonist, instead she’s a bad ass who has weapons named things such as “The Motherflakker” and the “P.M.S.”. Names you’ll get used to as you go through the game.
The opening moments of the game go as expected. Our enemy force, in this case alien like reptiles are assaulting the White House, and our hero of the day is on her way. Driving like a mad woman we see her arrive at the scene of the “crime” and this is where our game begins. For many, Bombshell seems almost lackluster, if you read the reviews out there – it’s being compared to Duke Nukem quite heavily, and in turn this is where I’ll say stop reading if you are wanting a Duke Nukem style game, this isn’t that. Instead this is Interceptor’s adventure into a new terrain they haven’t been apart of quite yet, which is the birds-eye-view point while implementing shooter and RPG mechanics into a game.
While “boring” may come into mind to some people since the game does follow rather interesting enemy behavior’s, boss mechanics, and similar level designs; Bombshell has remained a game that is rather fun, interesting, and one of those where I’d not have minded if a story was not present in the slightest. Why? I’m a fan of these style games, I love to explore, blow things up, and even take on bosses that may, at times, present a level of difficulty, which they did not disappoint on the higher difficulties away from “Normal”. While missions will seem generic once players are taken to the alien worlds that Shelly aka Bombshell will traverse, the levels are still enjoyable and quite fun in comparison to what one may think. Ever played Diablo? The levels were pretty much the same in the first and second games, just a different paint job. While my biggest complaint with the title wouldn’t be the story or the level design, it’d be the fact that enemies didn’t variate much nor did they seem to want to do so. While enemy placements could have used a clever working to them, they still offered a challenge that lead me to dying more than once, and even throwing my hands up in pure frustration due to having died to thinks I knew I could have avoided. Things as simple as a few bullets that could have been dodged using Shelly’s abilities to my advantage.
While reading many reviews out there, you’ll see that Bombshell has been getting nagged at for what may seem like a simplistic design, one that will take you back to the 90’s era of gaming, but the thing I’ve not seen mentioned is simple. Combat mechanics, the RPG elements or even the abilities that Shelly will use, which in truth – is frustrating, so our review? Won’t be focusing on the level designs, the monotonous story that may seem remnant to a Duke Nukem title (not saying this is bad at all) or even the fact we’ve encountered a few bugs we were able to bypass in the long run.
As stated, Bombshell at its core is a top-down RPG shooter, where our lead lady will grow more powerful as you play. This includes leveling up her health, energy, and even her armor. The one thing that stuck out about Bombshell is that the game is unique, it’s not trying to be another game, but instead is going with what 3D Realms and Interceptor know best. Fun, puzzling, and exploration filled titles that will drive players to pay attention to what they are doing, but also their surroundings as they undergo combat situations and explore. The most noticeable of all this is the fact that Bombshell’s abilities do play a rather large role in her combat situation. Things such as her dash or shoulder charge will quickly render her free of enemy damage for a moment. This will even get her away from combat long enough to recharge her armor and energy to provide another blast of combat prowess. Let alone do players level her up, they also level up her weapons, and in turn make them even deadlier in combat. All of this at the cost of the in-game currency called Ky.
While some of this seems simple, many of these mechanics began to shine during the boss fights. Players will find themselves constantly dodging, moving, and even switching up weapons as their ammo begins to go limited due to ammo being hard to find in boss fights. This means players will find themselves not just utilizing Shelly’s weaponry and gadgets, but also her abilities such as her Trap, her rush, and the previously mentioned charge, which knocks enemies back. Though players will need to cautiously navigate areas in order to not die during these fights as terrain can be just as deadly as the enemies they take on.
Bombshell – PC (Reviewed)
Developer: Interceptor Entertainment
Publisher: 3D Realms
Cost: 39.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available
This currency follows a similar situation with games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne where players will need it to by medpacks, ammo, and even weapon upgrades. All the while allowing players to button hammer away in order to stay alive and take out their enemy to the best of their capabilities. If one thing is true about Bombshell, it’s not that it’s a wasted game, it’s the fact too many walked in expecting Duke Nukem out of it. the game is challenging with some puzzles that require weapons to have certain upgrades or even for Shelly to have certain abilities unlocked in order to continue.
If you are one that likes to explore and find hidden collectibles for in-game missions and listen to some witty 90’s-like one-liners? Bombshell is right up your alley and is one that provides a rather enjoyable story as well as gameplay mechanics.
Stay tuned for our second review coming from David Murphy, which will cover his thoughts on the game in our duo review.
Our review is based upon the final version that the publisher provided us with. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.