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BULLETS PER MINUTE – ballet of the Valkyries. Review / Games


Genre Shooter
Publisher Awe Interactive
Developer Awe Interactive
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i5-4590 3.3 GHz / AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 2 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / AMD Radeon R9 380, 25 GB storage, operating system Windows 10
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7 GHz / AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 3.6 GHz, 16 GB RAM, DirectX 12 graphics card and 3 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 / AMD Radeon RX 5700
release date September 15, 2020
Age qualification Not determined
Platforms PC
Official site

Played on PC

Styling for 90s shooters, Scandinavian mythology at the heart of the entourage, shrill riffs on an electric guitar and a name consisting entirely of capital letters – BPM tries in every possible way to evoke nostalgia for the times when hair was longer, music was harder, and games were more difficult. In pursuit of the authors from Awe Interactive, they offer a combination of mechanics that did not have time to become boring – a rhythm shooter and a roguelike. It turned out cheerfully, but this composition also contains a couple of false notes.

Shaking your head to the beat while playing is not so much a tribute to the cool guitar riff as a legal cheat that simplifies the game and improves immersion

Shaking your head to the beat while playing is not so much a tribute to the cool guitar riff as a legal cheat that simplifies the game and improves immersion

⇡ #Shooting on notes

BPM starts without further ado: Valkyrie Gel (and later others), armed with a firearm and a sense of rhythm, goes on a crusade against the great serpent Nidhogg. Ahead: four worlds (from Asgard to Helheim), dozens of rooms, hundreds of enemies and thousands of musical beats that you should definitely fall into. First of all, because in this universe, everything happens to the rhythm of rock compositions performed in the nostalgic spirit of the soundtracks of the nineties. What a shot, what a reload, what a dodge, what a throw of a fireball – everything obeys the current musical etude.

Enemies also attack to match the music, which makes it possible to escape in time from the projectiles flying towards the hero, expanding lava rings, power domes and other ways to stop the Valkyrie on the way to the goal. As a result, the fights turned out to be unusually perky. You feel like a character in a trailer (not a full-length film, no), abruptly reloading his weapon in three musical beats and then, on the fourth, aptly firing a bullet between the eyes of another monster.

Retro lovers will be delighted with the opportunity to play in nostalgic graphics mode

Retro lovers will be delighted with the opportunity to play in nostalgic graphics mode

The ability to use magic adds fun. True, to find a special ability, you have to run. To begin with, get a golden key that falls out of strong opponents or chests, and then find the library doors that hide the secret of high damage or, just as important, the secret of healing, and sometimes emergency acceleration. By the way, characters for passing an additional ability are issued for eternal use.

For the completion of each of the worlds, a new game Valkyrie with unique features is issued: one is immediately equipped with a revolver and armor, but cannot use first-aid kits, the other is incredibly fast, and there is also a character who shoots exclusively magic charges and disdains firearms

For the completion of each of the worlds, a new character is issued with unique features: one is immediately equipped with a revolver and armor, but cannot use first-aid kits, the other is incredibly fast, and there is also a hero who shoots exclusively magical charges and disdains firearms

⇡ #Galloping on Asgard

Golden Keys also open special chests, inside which you can expect a pleasant help in the passage – weapons or equipment. And also currency – coins that are spent on purchases at a local store. Additionally, blood can be left on the altars, thereby increasing one of six characteristics (speed, range, luck, damage, accuracy or power of abilities).

Since after the death of the character all cash is confiscated, it makes sense to leave some coins in reserve. This can be done in special bank rooms, where helpful fox-owls (unofficial classification) will gladly open a long-term deposit (alas, interest-free) or give out previously stored good. This, by the way, is the basis of the local progress system (not counting the expansion of the store’s assortment for multiple purchases) – stat points and weapons cannot be stocked for future use.

Among the presented tests there is an

Among the presented tests there is an “automatic” mode in which it is not necessary to match the rhythm. True, BPM in this case turns into a mediocre shooter …

There are other side pursuits scattered throughout the BPM world. Challenge rooms, for example, offer to earn a good jackpot in extremely intense battles (or, in case of failure, go to the starting location). In the halls with an abyss, weapon caches are provided (do not forget to stock up on the golden key), here and there you can find the sword of Damocles, which inflicts damage on anyone who wants to take the prey associated with it, and sometimes the game offers to play the local analogue of “thimbles”.

It also tries to entertain BPM in various conditions of the world. More often, a regular version of the level is generated without modifiers, less often – a complicated one. Sometimes you have to not walk, but slide through the frozen version of the dungeon; another time, the Valkyrie will face a swarm; sometimes low gravity conditions are included; and the most unpleasant of all the options seen is the monetary stagnation regime, when not a single coin will fall out of the defeated enemies. In a word, there is enough work … for the first hour. But, sad as it may seem, a rather unbalanced bagel hides behind the sprightly initial serve.

So this is where the expression

So this is where the expression “bird market” came from …

⇡ #Dance. Die. And again?

The systematic and systematic cleaning of the same rooms – the basis of almost every roguelike – is relevant here, but there is a nuance. The classic pattern “danced through the rooms, studied the situation, met the boss, died heroically, repeated” can sometimes change to: “suddenly found a decent weapon and … went through the whole game without even breaking a sweat.” But repeating the feat turns out to be not so easy – after all, if at the first levels you are not lucky with the loot, BPM becomes unusually difficult after the second boss.

In general, weapons and equipment can be divided into two conventional categories: incredibly powerful and absolutely goofy. An artifact that deals percentage damage to enemies is great for dealing with bosses and strong opponents; on the other hand, there is an object, stunning in its meaninglessness, that allows you to fly when you press the spacebar multiple times. It may sound good, but in reality it slows down movement and does not help to avoid collisions with enemy fire at all.

Correspondence victory in BPM looks something like this ...

A correspondence victory in BPM looks something like this …

The same applies to small arms. If a standard pistol or a revolver, an assault rifle, a shotgun found in a chest / bought in a store allow you to calmly clear hall after hall, then in battles against bosses they turn out to be pellets for a demonic elephant. Another thing is a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher or a local analogue of the BFG, which can easily send even the final mythical dragon-serpent to Valhalla.

It’s a pity, but the developers failed to find a middle ground: BPM is either uncomfortably heavy or obscenely simple. This, of course, does not contribute to the repeated passage, and even various tests are unlikely to keep them at the screen for a long time.

To the poor balance and ill-conceived level generation, you can add not painfully outstanding design of enemies (it’s hard to remember at least one bright enemy) and locations, tiring colors and quickly boring gameplay. Nevertheless, BPM can be considered a good candidate for an evening when you want to turn off the brain to the brain and transfer control to the spinal cord.

Advantages:

  • perky mechanics of a rhythm shooter;
  • a shock dose of nostalgia for the suffering;
  • the musical compositions playing on the levels “Asgard I” and “Vanaheim I” turned out to be what we need.

Disadvantages:

  • poor balance of weapons and equipment;
  • enemies and locations are criminally unoriginal;
  • the gameplay gets bored faster than we would like.

Graphics

The overall visual implementation of BPM is spectacular, but nevertheless, there are miscalculations in many aspects: the design of ordinary enemies is simple and lacking in originality, the bosses, for the most part, have an expressionless and memorable appearance, the locations are secondary, and the eyes get tired rather quickly from the local oversaturated color gamut. mercy.

Sound

The compositions fulfill their main function – they act as a sound reference and an appropriate background for the rhythmic shooting of the inhabitants of the dungeons. Alas, the BPM soundtrack is of no interest outside of the game context.

Single player game

A dashing but one-off rhythm adventure accompanied by an electric guitar. Additional challenges like going on bosses are not fun for long.

Collective game

Unfortunately, the firearms ballet can only be performed alone. It’s a pity: co-op or opposition would add interest to reruns.

General impression

Putting energetic rhythm mechanics at the forefront, the authors of BPM completely forgot about elaborating game nuances. The level generation looks too chaotic, the progress system is unfinished, and the enemies are monotonous and unoriginal. Here you can stay for the evening, and it will be a wonderful time spent. But unfortunately, there is not enough potential for more.

Rating: 7.0 / 10

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