The first light gun game I ever played was Duck Hunt on the Nintendo (NES) but that was a very very long time ago and as time passed it progressed to Virtual Cop, Time Crisis and House of the Dead. These games where a real highlight during a trip to the arcade and I was even lucky enough to enjoy a few of those titles at home in my youth.
Sadly arcades have slowly died out, even though I live a short distant from Margate sea front I haven’t played a on the rails shooter at home or in the arcade for what seems like a lifetime and never on a PC. So I was lucky enough to be sent a USB light gun and infrared light bar for this review, it’s made by a company called Arcade Gun and is easy to set up and use. I stuck the light bar to my monitor with blue tac the worlds leading non permanent adhesive substance and plugged it and the light gun into the PC.
Loading up Blue Estate The Game and selecting story mode with a satisfying trigger pull the game began, the first thing you notice is graphics in this genre have improved exceptionally and gripping the gun accuracy is pretty precise, it’s just a shame my aim is not but you get better quickly and the games tempo, black/dark humour and enemy’s all increase as the game progresses.
The only way I can describe this game is if they made Duke Nukem into a on the rails shooter, it mixes high-octane gun battles, aggressive fun and comedy together to make a fantastic game that has rekindled the fire of this genre. You play as Tony Luciano described as a psychopathic son of a mafia godfather, armed with an elaborately decorated desert eagle you go on a killing spree in search for your large frontal appendage’d counterpart Cherry who is a stripper, damsel in distress and electronic eye candy.
The games narrated in an explicit yet dark comic book style that works really well, the graphics are fantastic and the soundtrack complements the fast, action packed gun battles at every turn. You clear rooms, shoot collectibles, hide behind obstacles and mow down countless enemy’s and play mini games as you have the time of you life. Sadly there’s no foot-peddle to jump in/out of cover like in days of old as it’s all done with aiming off-screen and button presses which is more practical but less satisfying (everyone loves peddles).
Eventually you are given other weapons like a shotgun which is devastating at short-range but has a limited clip size and slow to reload and when the press of foes increased to are handed a beautiful AK47 which sprays death if you accurate or just decorates the walls with holes if you’re not. Most of the time though you’ll have your trusty side arm in your hand which is powerful and fast to reload, giving you the balance you need to end pixellated lives.
The ammo, health, melee and hair falling in your eyes (yeah that’s a thing) are all dealt with the satisfying swipe of your light gun and add a new element to the game and something you have to react to. This game is done really well and I’m loving it, it may not appeal to everyone if you want to play with a light gun as that might be pricy especially as the amount of games you can use it with are limited. Saying that it does support controller and mouse/keyboard, the latter I tried and it wasn’t as satisfying but worked well so shouldn’t put you off. The black/dark humour may not be everyone’s taste but if you laugh at people falling over in the street (I help them up honest) or you’re mildly twisted you will enjoy this games comedic edge.
Holding a gun and shooting electronic people is fun, it brought back memory’s of the arcade machines that used to eat my money until I had nothing left (it’s not that dramatic though, it was probably only a few pounds). Some say it’s a dead genre which could be true but it’s a style of game that should be brought back, especially with all the wireless and axis control we have available.
I highly recommend Blue Estate The Game as it’s something different and in today’s ever evolving games market that is a good thing, I score this game 8/10 as the preferred and most enjoyable gameplay will be with a light gun and that initial setup might be quite costly but you can play with a mouse. I’m hoping more titles start to raise their heads as I’ll definitely give them a shot (miss a few time and get it on the lucky 5th).
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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