The studio behind Blues and Bullets shrewdly picked the perfect time to launch a new episodic adventure. The foregone conclusions of Game of Thrones and Tales from The Borderlands are almost upon us, while the end of Dontnod’s Life is Strange also draws near.
Blues and Bullets is packaged in a similar fashion to the aforementioned – five episodes priced at £3.99 a piece, with this first episode taking around 2 hours to finish. There’s even a screen after the credits showing the percentages for the various dialogue/moral choices other players made. We’re in familiar territory here, that’s for sure.
The visual style has an equally obvious influence – Frank Miller’s Sin City. This neo-noir adventure puts on a stylish show, using splashes of bright red to brighten the 1950s criminal underworld in which it takes place. Coupled with drizzling rain, exemplary fire effects and one surreal sequence involving the inner monologues of the former detective protagonist, it’s a very attractive game. The few rough edges present (stilted animation is the biggest offender) are easy to look past considering this first episode takes place in a surprisingly high number of locations.
This opening episode is split into five chapters – the first three focus on character introduction and outlining the storyline, while the final two entail a murder and the consequences thereof. Set in Santa Esperanza, you play as Elliot Ness – a federal agent and former member of The Untouchables, the hand-picked team that famously managed to take down Al Capone. With his past behind him Ness now runs a diner known as Blues and Bullets. While serving a rather uncouth former colleague Elliot is approached by a mysterious figure seeking assistance with a sensitive matter. After embarking on a luxury Hindenburg airship, it so transpires that Al Capone is out of jail and requires Ness to take up detective work once again. Children are mysteriously vanishing, one of which is related to the crime lord.