BPM: Bullets per Minute – Review
Follow Genre: FPS, Rythm, Roguelike
Developer: Awe Interactive
Publisher: Awe Interactive
Platforms: PC, Xbox, PS4
Tested on: PC

BPM: Bullets per Minute – Review

Site Score
10.0
Good: Gameplay is fantastic, the music is great, and you're likely to play the game for 30+ hours before you find absolutely everything.
Bad: Some variety to some of the color filters instead of red & brown.
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

What happens if you fuse a rhythm game, a roguelike and a first-person shooter, like fusing Quake and Crypt of the Necrodancer? BPM: Bullets per Minute is the answer to that, but does it prove to be more than the sum of its parts, or end up as a muddled mess? Everything you will end up doing in the game will be done to the beat of the music, and as you move to the beat, you’ll look through randomized rooms, pick up boons and make your way to super interesting boss fights. Is it worth your time? Let’s find out. 

Story

There are eight levels in total, but really, they’re just four levels but split in two and the final level is a boss fight. It’s a great boss fight, but it’s still just a large enemy and you in a pretty empty room. The average run through the game for was about 50 or so minutes, but you’ll be able to clear it quicker with some lucky pickups. Most of the time, and you’re gonna do it all over again. If you’re used to roguelikes, that shouldn’t be anything new to you. You play as a powerless character called Valkyrie, who starts with a very basic pistol, and it’s your job to fight through the levels until you defeat the final boss of the game. There isn’t much story to actually go on, but there are some really interesting aesthetics and world design, which you can chalk up to environmental storytelling.

Graphics

The game looks amazing, especially with there only being two developers on the team. If you recognize some of the characters, you might have actually seen them before. The characters were actually used in Epic Games’ Paragon, but when that title eventually shut down, they decided to put their models on to the Unreal Marketplace to be used. With the devs wanting to make the title as large, and expansive as can be, they felt this was necessary to achieve what they wanted. There are also filters you can add, with one of them being almost unplayable, but boy was it a funny but blinding experience. If you wanna see that mode, look below. It’s an optional gimmick, so you don’t have to worry about it in the main game.

Sound

With a game like BPM: Bullets Per Minute, which puts the entire basis of the gameplay on its sound, the music and sound design has to be phenomenal or the whole thing falls apart. BPM: Bullets Per Minute totally meets your expectations when playing, and every sound is visceral and exciting and satisfying. The audio tracks are pretty heavy metal, and really put you in the mood for clearing waves of enemies with your pistol. Describing how satisfying the gunplay is without actually hearing the sound yourself is a difficult experience. The highlight of the gameplay loop is reloading with every animation playing to the beat to a satisfying click at every instance. After defeating a boss, you’ll also get a chance to perform a finishing move to finally defeat them, and with every bullet that hits the boss, an audio queue plays that feels like finishing a really great song.

Gameplay

In the intro, the game was compared to a first-person shooter, with rhythm elements, but what does that mean? You’ll be traveling through a dungeon, looking for new weapons, health upgrades, armor, money, equipment, etc. and these really do change how the game plays completely. Some range from you being able to auto-aim, to casting an arcanic wave clear. If you die, you have to restart the game from the beginning, taking that knowledge and jumping back in. The game also has some modifiers that change the game up too, and really add some variety to exploration. As you play the game, the UI has a beat counter, and it keeps track of when you can do pretty much everything to the beat. If you want to dodge an enemy’s ability, you need to do it on the beat. If you want to shoot, you need to do it on the beat. Even reloading has you having to reload to the beat.

With shooting and reloading, every weapon that you’ll find has its own way to shoot and reload, so each gun will have its own playstyle, even if it seems similar to another gun from a first glance. One gun might need you to reload three times to the beat to finish its reload animation, whereas another might just take six, with you having to fill a chamber, one bullet at a time. Initially, the game is a little tricky to wrap your head around, but there’s a moment for everyone where it just clicks. When that moment happens, the game becomes significantly easier, but it is still tricky at times. The weapon variety is super satisfying, and with each of them having their own reload animations, weapon styles, etc. it’s just really great.

There are a few different characters that you can play as, unlocking as you beat the game. With every run you manage to successfully complete with a character, you’ll also unlock additional abilities for them, making your runs more diverse and interesting, and possibly a little easier. There’s a nice variety to them too, with one not being allowed to hit, one having only shields and zero health, etc. They’re very satisfying to play, and pretty different in playstyle. Builds are also super diverse, and you’ll find lots of different abilities, items, etc. that’ll suit almost any playstyle you want.

Conclusion

Ripping and tearing in BPM: Bullets per Minute is very satisfying to play, and easily recommended to anyone that enjoys first-person shooters or roguelikes. It’s a super cheap game, and it’s one of the most fun experiences you’ll be able to snag. Some extra variety and content being put into the game in future updates would be welcomed, to really make this an even better experience. In an era of cinematic linear third-person shooters, BPM: Bullets per Minute is a breath of fresh air that reminds us all that great gameplay still reigns supreme.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
BPM: Bullets per Minute - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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