By – Sophie Jones

Blue Estate Review

“Bring me Cherry Popz or this Desert Eagle’s gonna say it louder!”  From the get go, Blue Estate throws you into a gang war where Tony Luciano will do anything to get his star dancer back. Of course, this means shooting up the Twin Dragons restaurant where an ex politician is auditioning to be an exotic mermaid. The consequences of this lead to Clarence canvassing a sewer that is also home to a Chihuahua Cult. Its clear that there is nothing sane about this shoot ’em up adventure.

The story is narrated by a clueless private detective who is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Procrastination. He tells the story of a failed gangster Tony Luciano and how Clarence, an ex navy seal, cleans up his mess. This was a strange way to tell the tale as the Bureau would constantly interrupt the flow of the game with on screen pop ups. It didn’t take long before I wished the narrator and the Bureau were in my shooting gallery as they were unnecessary annoyances invading my gameplay.

In fact, Blue Estate fails to inspire humor at all. Its attempts at mockery turn into futile jokes that offend rather than poke fun at social conventions. Every ounce of dialogue distracts you from enjoying the game as it is blatantly racist and sexist. Its a game that isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but due to the punch lines being unsubtle, it fails to capture the intended comic value. Rather than spending my time laughing, I found myself cringing at the dire script and vulgar design.

Blue Estate Review 1

The only part of the campaign I enjoyed were the sections based on Clarence as his dialogue was somewhat funny. Clarence’s voice of reason throughout the levels mocks the stupidity of the other characters, this in turn, makes the player see Blue Estate as a parody and not just a mash up of offensive blundering. Unfortunately, these sections are still paired with moments of ridiculousness that made the game fall from its intended satire themed stoop.

The gameplay is typical of a rail shooter. The main goal is to earn points through combos and achieve a high score via: headshots, shooting collectibles, melee attacks and nut shots. Its exceptionally fast paced as Tony or Clarence move you around the environments as the only control you have is over the guns aim. The momentum is slowed during sections where players have to complete challenges for bonus points such as: headshot whack-a-mole, this challenge offers a caliber of enemies to shoot in the head as they pop up.

A slow motion feature is also included giving you the opportunity to relive your Max Payne days as you pick off large groups efficiently. Enemies are also marked with a yellow target to inform you of when they will shoot. Finally, when you’re not blasting through mobsters you are tasked with throwing bombs, picking up items, sweeping Tony’s hair and shaking Chiwawas off Clarence’s leg.

Blue Estate Review 1a

There were several enemy types to increase the difficulty. Some would use swords and others would be kitted out in full body armour. This meant the drone of combatants would sometimes become challenging as I had to focus on where to shoot each opponent. However, the changes weren’t enough to keep gameplay fresh and exciting as foes would repeat a lot through the 20+ minutes of each level.

Whilst battling through adversaries, I used both keyboard/mouse and the Xbox 360 controller. The latter was exceptionally difficult to use as the analogue could not keep up with the pace of the enemies because aiming was slow and inaccurate. This meant I quickly gave up on using a controller as it was impossible to keep combos. On the other hand, mouse/keyboard controls were kept simple so shooting was fast and fluid. Additionally, mouse sensitivity can be fine tuned to a players preferred taste and the keys can be rebinded.

The campaign can also be played Co-Op allowing you to test yourself against friends. However, the implementation of dual play in the main story didn’t coincide with what was happening due to there only being one protagonist and not two. Regrettably, this feature wasn’t available in Arcade Mode where it would have been better suited. Co-Op mode lets you troll 7 levels hunting for the best high score as you mow down gang members.

Blue Estate Review 2

Nevertheless, you probably won’t continue your adventures as gameplay offers little in terms of variation. Despite each level offering a unique weapon, you will soon realise they all handle the same with the only difference being in their ammo clip. Also, it is just a basic rail shooter, there are no interesting boss fights or tense moments like House of the Dead. You are just constantly moving through long set pieces shooting droves of enemies who do little to avoid eating your bullets.

The deprivation of diversity makes this venture exceptionally dull as once you had played one level you had experienced them all. The guns were not exciting to use and the scenery was a blur of drab environments that lacked appeal. Furthermore, as you are unable to control your character you are annoyingly tasked with watching them move around the areas in the oddest manner. They would constantly double back or revisit locations for no other reason than to make you shoot more henchmen. This was irritating as I was dragged through the repetition grinder just so the game can pad its length out.

From a technical perspective, I didn’t encounter any glitches or bugs whilst playing this game on its highest settings. The only minor issue I encountered was sometimes my cursor would disappear at the beginning of a gun fight which resulted in Tony or Clarence being peppered with gunfire. In terms of graphical settings, the game only allows players to choose from Low, Medium or High.

Blue Estate Review 3

Conclusion – Is it Worth Your Money?

For the price of £9.99/$12.99 you get hours of content that are uninspired and lack creativity. Even for dark humour, the story behind Blue Estate consists of low brow jokes that will offend, most rather than entertain. Finally, the gameplay wasn’t entertaining enough to warrant replaying this crass rail shooter.

Blue Estate Technical Summary:

Blue Estate Review Sum

  • Time Played – 4 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • DRM – Steamworks
  • System Specs – i7-4790K @4 GHz, 8GB RAM, GeForce GTX 770
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – Cursor disappears at start of gunfights
  • Control Scheme – M/KB, Controller, Leap Motion, LightGuns
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No

468 ad