Imagine you are a film director, shooting a crime thriller. You job is getting very boring, and then you realize how much more entertaining it would be if the people on the set were actually killing each other, not just make believe. Well that is the set up for Ubisoft’s new multiplayer shooter, Bloody Good Time. The game offers cheap thrills with light hearted graphics, over the top humor, and murderous action, but unfortunately falls victim to a lack of interest in the online community it needs to thrive.
As a prospering actor, you choose from a variety of character types, each with their own unique style, and all very overly stereotyped. You have your blonde bimbo, a clown, a gangster, etc. and each doesn’t really offer anything in terms of special abilities, just aesthetic differences. The variation in the gameplay comes from the weapons and gadgets. You can carry up to four weapons and gadgets at one time, but are only able to use one weapon and one gadget for a single kill. The weapons vary from a range of different objects, such as machine guns, fire axes and even syringes. The gadgets include things to slow down or deter your opponent, and are everyday items that have been modified for lethal purposes. Each combination can lead to exciting results, and I had fun experimenting to see what the most lethal combinations were.
The game features a few different unique game modes across a very limited three maps. The three maps take place on one of three “Hollywood” style sets, which are a beach front, a haunted house, and a Vegas casino. Each game mode stands alone, but in reality they are just variations on the main mode which is Hunt. Hunt finds a group of actors on-set, each with a particular target to go after, but you are hunted by another actor/actress.
These modes have variations in the form of Elimination mode being taking down all of the enemies on the map and Revenge mode has you going after victims based on who just killed whom. Finally, there is Deathmatch, which is just a total free-for-all. Each of the main modes is broken up with bonus modes that vary up the rules. A standout bonus mode is based on the infected game type, but most are just simple additions you can find in most multiplayer shooters.
You gain points for taking out your target in creative ways, by earning stars from the weapon you use as well as if you are able to boast about your kill, and finally if you are able to humiliate them after you take them down. You are also able to utilize traps around the levels as well, all of these stars add up to a score, and the player with the most stars at the end of a round wins.
The catch is that you cannot just run around slaughtering people left and right. Security guards patrol each of the sets and zap anyone being seen committing a crime with a Taser. These guys can get really annoying, as they can sneak up on you and make sure that you cannot get anywhere in a game. You also need to learn the map layouts, as you have to learn to stalk your prey, not just run and gun.
If that is not enough to track, they take a new twist on the genre and throw the Sims in the mix by adding dials at the bottom of the screen which indicate your hunger, sleep and going to the bathroom. If these become low enough, you will lose some of your abilities to act. Be careful when satisfying these needs though, because your hunter can get special kills by catching you in the act. I thought this was a cool twist, but added a little too much to handle in terms of on-screen activity.
The game is multiplayer only, but it does offer an arcade mode so you can learn the weapon placements as well as the layout of the overall map. When you do jump online, be prepared for the game to fall apart. The problem doesn’t not lie in the game mechanics themselves, but in the horrifically limited amount of players online. There were not even one thousand players on the leader boards, and when you do actually get into a match, the frame rate can get down to a crawl at points.
Presentation wise, the game is downright comical. Cartoon, cell-shaded graphics rule the art style, while the voice acting adds to this comical nature with crazy over the top lines by the director as well as the other characters that you are up against. The art style looks good, and really stands out, but doesn’t do anything overly spectacular.
Overall, its not that the game is bad, it’s just that is not enough support for it. The game feels unique, looks good, and adds a new twist not seen in a lot of multiplayer games. It’s almost like Clue gone haywire. Again, I just wish that more people would play it, because if you took the time to learn the maps, and gave the game a chance, there would be some fun to be had, if it were only just a palette cleanser. However, it falls apart, and will be lost in the sea of Xbox Live Arcade releases.
Review copy provided by publisher.