Heavy Bullets Review - A Top Notch Death Trap

Heavy Bullets is a rogue-lite FPS title with a fast pace and an insanely trippy aesthetic that might just push you over the edge if you let it.

Published: September 26, 2014 1:00 PM /

Reviewed By:

Heavy Bullet Key Art

I love a challenge. The agony of dying is simply fuel for the burning desire to conquer an obstacle. It's that thirst for victory that has always endeared me to roguelike games. Though you don't see many high-budget titles in the genre, the scene has seen a resurgence in popularity among indie developers. And where things get indie, they get a little weird... Heavy Bullets is a technicolor procedural death labyrinth you'll like proportionally to how much you enjoy being bitten by a malfunctioning cassette player. For fans of the genre, I mean that in the best way.

Heavy Bullets - Graphics

The graphics are done in a simplistic, faux-retro style and a color pallet with more neon than Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. The soundtrack is made up of engaging electronic tracks that immerse you in the odd digital jungle. The aesthetic and sounds compliment each other well, painting an eerie, colorful, and deadly world where you'll have to hunt or be hunted.

The game contains eight levels of increasing difficulty to descend through on a quest to shut down the malfunctioning security mainframe. Players pick up items and upgrades along the way to combat the ever-climbing chances of death. Bullets are scarce, so players must ration their 6-shot revolver's supply accordingly. Enemies have a nasty habit of camouflaging themselves against the florescent forest, and the security system charged with keeping the grounds safe will gleefully gun you down instead. Wasting shots early on can leave you wanting for ammo later when you really need it.

Heavy Bullets - Gameplay

Heavy Bullets has a relatively low entry barrier with a manageable difficulty curve that favors skill, a welcome departure from having to rely on luck to provide suitable items merely to progress. Also, a bit out of the ordinary, there are banks in addition to med-bays and ammo dispensers, which enable the player to deposit valuable money and items they've acquired to be used later or on a subsequent play through. Death is permanent, but with proper usage of the bank, you can mitigate the setbacks that come with it.

Spent some time looking for things to fault this game for, but I was really hard-pressed to come up with anything. Heavy Bullets succeeds in what it sets out to do, and it manages to be damn fun while doing it. Frustration can set in after multiple failures, especially if you find yourself dying over and over on the first couple of floors, and after a while, it can wear you down. Still, even after my third or fourth time letting myself be ambushed by a pack of low-level monsters, I was aware that it was my own fault for not being careful enough and that the game was not punishing me unnecessarily. Even when I put it down in anger, I got the itch to try again not long after.

The Verdict

Heavy Bullets is a delightfully trippy little game you can pick up and put down on the fly, and due to its random nature, there's always something to come back to. It's fairly unique with its approach to the FPS/Rogue-lite blend, and the execution is possibly the best mix of the two to hit the market yet. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to everyone, it offers a serious challenge for people who are fans of either genre or those who are just gluttons for punishment.

TechRaptor reviewed Heavy Bullets on PC Via Steam. This review was originally published on 09-26-2014. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions, and for historical context.

Review Summary

The game has a bizarre aesthetic, but the gameplay is addictively simple with enough challenge to keep it interesting for multiple playthroughs. (Review Policy)

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