Heavy Bullets is billed as a roguelike first person shooter. With eight procedurally generated levels and 2 bosses with only the vague promise of $5,000 to repair a malfunctioning mainframe motivating you to make it through the psychedelic tour.
I'm not gonna lie here, this being my first real run-in with a roguelike I did not perform as well as I would have liked. It took exactly 3 deaths, each dumping me back to the first step of level 1 to send my mouse flying at high velocity towards a poor unsuspecting perpendicular surface. You'd think with my over 200 hours experience with a certain post apocalyptic survival game I'd be used to starting fresh after a death. That said, Heavy Bullets wasn't a colossal disappointment, but I wouldn't tread so far to call it the most fun thing I've played this year, but I'll get to that, let's knock out the technical stuff.
he unique aspect of Heavy Bullets is its namesake, the 6 bullets you start with in your "stylish" revolver. Each round fired can (must) be collected from the remnants of your enemies and reused. Tapping the reload key only fills one chamber in the cylinder at a time, a mechanic that produced many harrowing moments for me as I ran (screaming) away from a charging enemy hammering my R key to give me a full wheel of ammo to work with again.
Supplementing your revolver is a few items you can throw down to support your onslaught against the AI. Homing bombs, Mines, and Rockets are all one-time use ordinance that can be a major boon in a hair-raising encounter with the rapidly-moving enemies you face.
Or, they could be the very item to blow you all the way back to square one. Ask me how I know.
Did I say "A few items"? Bring a notebook and start writing down items as you get them and their use, you'll thank me later, there's a lot. The big caveat to all this? You can only carry one at a time without a backpack. The backpack permits you to carry two.
Another unique aspect, to me at least, was the overall art style, the 8-bit, psychedelic hues of blues, purples, pinks and greens actually turned out to be a double-edged sword. It makes for an entertaining and challenging environment to game in, but after so many hours of luring enemies around corners, ducking through trees, and getting bitten by the inevitable snake in the tall grass (I hate you so much, snake.) things tend to blend together. A procedurally generated game banks off of replayability, with the promise of no play-through being the same as the last, in this case I was starting to drone through it by level four, looking for a variation of movement that would giveaway an enemy in a sea of garish color.
The overall gameplay was logical and even instinctive, most commands FPS gamers will know by heart already. The lack of ammunition and recycle mechanic made what could have been a boring twitch shooter more strategic, especially so getting into the later levels (it gets real around level 6) but unfortunately that alone didn't really hold up the game for me.
I wanted to like Heavy Bullets, I really did. I will not say it's a bad game by any stretch, but with so little substance I would have appreciated this game a lot more on a mobile platform. Something to break out on my tablet and jam through a few tries on some downtime rather than a PC title. It achieves roguelike status handily, has some interesting aspects, and I don't regret having tried it, but at the end, it was real, it was fun, but it wasn't real fun.
Also scattered around the level in display cases or vending machines are the usual manner of consumables and buffs; potions, antidotes, extra life, high heels, the latter of which I assume is to help you not get your leg eaten by the snakes, I died before I could prove my theory.
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