Bombshell is an isometric game that focuses on action, with some RPG elements, although you could say that every game has RPG aspects to them these days.
The game was developed by Interceptor Entertainment and published by 3D Realms. 3D Realms made a lot of games in the ’90s, like Rise of the Triad or Duke Nukem or Shadow Warrior. The game is out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Bombshell is a different style of game compared to 3D realm’s old games.
In the game you play as a character called Shelly Harrison, aka Bombshell. She is a Colonel in the Global Defense Force. We learn that her role in the Force was stopped when she lost an arm, and her teammates in an incident known as ‘The Washington Incident.’ Shelly now has a new mechanical arm, and a second chance. I was disappointed with the characters in the game, and felt like they lacked any sort of depth. The game could have been so much better if there had been more narrative, or decent character development.
The main story behind the game is that the President has been kidnapped by aliens. It’s your job to travel and fight your way across various planets and environments to order to save the President. There are three main planets that you will explore. Each area you visit will have different enemies and obstacles to face. I thought that the plot of the game was a bit weak and completely ridiculous, but the experience is more about the gameplay.
It’s important to note that Bombshell isn’t a traditional shooter, which you may have been expecting. The game is more of an action RPG, with shooting mechanics. The game is played top down, from an isometric view, which I personally enjoyed. I liked being able to get a wider view of the battlefield. The game focuses on using your abilities and weapons to take on waves of various enemies. You have access to plenty of ammo, that is scattered throughout levels.
Your main asset is your mechanical arm, that serves as an upgradable weapon. There is a wide variety of weapons that you can use in the game, which have ridiculous names like the ION Maiden and the Mother Flakker. These weapons are varied and will help you beat different types of enemies. You also get various grenades, I especially enjoyed using the Bowling Bombs, which roll along the ground and lock onto targets. These are very handy for taking out larger enemies. You can die pretty quickly if you come face on with multiple enemies, so I made sure to firstly upgrade my health and armour stats.
The enemies are varied, some are larger, slower but more powerful. There are also various bugs that can do things like poison you. It’s important to always check your health. You gather health packs, and use them by pressing Q. You use E to interact with objects, left Shift uses your selected ability and holding down F brings up the selection wheel. I weapon with the scroll wheel on my mouse, but can can use the number inputs.
There are automatic checkpoints during the game, which are useful as I found I died fairly often. The game also has some platforming elements, where you will have to jump across gaps and moving ledges. This was fun, but controlling the character at times was a bit clumsy and the game glitched a couple of times. I also found the camera would be blocked by objects in the way, obstructing my view. The does start to get pretty hard once lots of enemies start attacking you at once. This is where you have to use ammo carefully and strafe to avoid incoming attacks.
The presentation of the game is very different to what you would expect from 3D Realm. I really loved the isometric view, which reminded me of games like Diablo 3. I thought that the main character you play as feels a bit bland, but I enjoyed the variety of enemies. The environments you explore are colourful and vibrant. I thought that the impact of bullets hitting enemies looked good, with green coloured blood covering the ground. The sound design is ok, with decent weapon sound effects. I have to say the dialogue was overly cheesy, and after a while the awful one liners started to get tedious.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Bombshell, although a little frustrating at times. I’m a big fan of games like Diablo, and this certainly has that sort of feel to it. The story is weak, but the gameplay is fun. There’s items to collect, multiple abilities and upgrades and there’s also a New Game + mode. I would recommend this game if you enjoy games that involve shooting, levelling and finding new gear.
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