Out today, here’s a BPM Bullets Per Minute preview – an FPS rhythm game. Woah, back up there a second and you may have thought that was a typo, but it isn’t. Awe Interactive have pulled out a genre-defying title that isn’t solely a gimmick – it’s enjoyable if a tad challenging.
I’ve banged on about this time and time again, but I enjoy rhythm games but lack the skill, so tend not to be very good at them. Except for recent titles Double Kick Heroes and Rhythm Fighter, they aren’t games I play much more than the annual Just Dance. For the kids, naturally.
The real question though is: is it any good? A bonus question would be: does it work?
BPM Bullets Per Minute Preview
The theme is a Nordic one, and you choose from a roster of five unlockable characters to battle the fiends of Helheim. As a traditional FPS narrative, there’s not much you need to pay attention to in terms of the story – not a dig, just expected; instead, the focus is on the action.
You’re placed in numerous labyrinth locations battling lesser enemies or behemoths that only have to wink at you to do some damage. What will be behind each door, nobody knows, but I know that I was hoping for one enemy at a time as multitasking in this game is tough.
Unlike another rhythm title such as Crypt of the NecroDancer, you’re free to move however you like, but as a score-based game, you need to time everything from shooting to jumping, reloading to crying. You see, I felt like crying at the number of times I died. Early on, too.
I played with the mouse and keyboard – something I’m still getting used to having gamed on consoles for yonks, but that’s not the excuse I’ll be using here as the movement and aiming is spot-on, and the game is alarmingly fast without any hitch.
Time It Right
The problem for me was the timing. Aside from the ongoing beats, you have a visual crosshair to indicate the best time to shoot. However, due to the urgency, you’re always moving and to then shoot with accuracy and combo proved problematic.
First of all, the music. I’m biased as the music hits the sort of notes I listen to in my own time, but it’s so perfectly placed with just the right tempo that makes the gameplay intuitive (even if you’re crap at it) but also a pleasure to listen to. No corny hair metal or cliche techno – I loved it.
Visually it took a few attempts for me to get it. Some of the textures are done in a low-res manner, and a little obvious at first as I thought my settings were wrong as the maps and models were great. However, this is a design choice, and before long, I got used to the music video approach and enjoyed it.
If you ain’t got no rhythm, there are plenty of tweaks you can make to the game to get a better handle of it. In other words, adding stabilisers to the ride so you aren’t penalised for shooting at the wrong time or what-not.
The game wasn’t designed to be played like this, but a good move by the team to include it to warm up any weaker players before they rage quit. I wasn’t one of the latter, more embarrassed than anything. Even with the tweaks, you can’t take many hits – BPM Bullets Per Minute is a little on the difficult side.
Out today on Steam, this is a game for those who enjoy an FPS and want something different, or perhaps rhythm game fans who are on the other side of the fence and want a tempo-based game with a bit more action than they’re peers.
I enjoyed the game, even if I’m probably one of the worst players, but big enough to admit that’s me and not the gameplay. It really is quite unique and works well to boot.