orbital_bullet_01
Follow Genre: Rogue-lite, platformer
Developer: SmokeStab
Publisher: Assemble Entertainment, 
WhisperGames, Mayflower Entertainment
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Orbital Bullet – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Amazing graphics, high replayability, Innovative gameplay
Bad: Frustrating enemies at certain times
User Score
7.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)

They say “what goes around, comes around” and this could be taken quite literally in Orbital Bullet. This rogue-lite title takes the unique concept of 360° play areas where you can reach the enemies around the proverbial corner to the next level. Of course, you’ll also have to watch your back as you don’t want your enemies to do the same.  Collect new weapons and upgrade your character while trying to become the most powerful soldier, and defeat all the bosses who stand in your way.

orbital_bullet_01

Story

There isn’t much known about the lore of the game or the background of your character. The only thing you will find out while checking the achievements is that there are a few bosses that need a dirt nap. These bosses seem to be from the same faction and they won’t hesitate to attack you. Orbital Bullet leaves much for you to fill in yourself. Are you a hero? Or maybe an escaped convict? Who knows. Luckily, the game doesn’t suffer from the absence of a story as it aims towards fast-paced action and unlimited replayability.

Graphics

During the development of most games, the developers will opt for either one style or maybe a mix of two. What makes Orbital Bullet a true work of art is the fact that it seamlessly combines three art styles into one masterpiece. In the foreground your character and his equipment seem to be made in a pixel art style, then your maps and enemies fit a more late 90s polygonic 3D style, and lastly, the attacks, traps, and effects are modernized. Blending these three styles together sounds like an impossible task, but it works so well that you won’t even notice this until you start paying attention to the details.

Sound

Don’t think that all the resources were poured into making this game look good, as the sound design is of top-notch quality too. Juha Korpelainen and Niilo Takalainen are the composers of the pounding electronic soundtrack. This great music will keep you going even if you die a lot. Shooters fair best with great (and explosive) sound effects accompanying each action and this is no exception for Orbital Bullet. Each weapon sound matches its onscreen counterpart, and with the game having a bunch of unique guns available, you will never have a dull moment while blasting your way through enemies.

Gameplay

Orbital Bullet is a rogue-lite shooter with nearly infinite replayability thanks to its procedural generated levels. The game just drops you in with a small tutorial on how to control your character and then unleashes you into the world. You start at your base where you can equip weapons and purchase upgrades that last after you die. During your runs, you can collect these upgrade tokens, which you use after you meet your untimely demise. Back in your base, you can trade in these tokens. The upgrades you buy will last forever and will make future runs easier. Be warned, it’s best to die when you wish to cut your gaming session short, as logging out during a run will not reward you with the upgrade tokens you have amassed.

The game works with randomly generated levels, so each run is unique, but you have some say in the story yourself. The first planet is always the same. After this level, you get to decide what planet to visit next. Each planet has its own biome and enemy type, so each location plays a bit differently. With the levels being randomly generated, you will need to rely on luck or on pure skill. Sometimes you will have the best weapons with easy enemies, but at other times it can be the complete opposite. Never does the game feel completely unfair, especially once you unlock some permanent upgrades.

After making some progress, you will unlock classes. You have the option to choose between four different types and each has its own strong points. Now that you are really getting started, it is time to put your class and skills to use. The game takes place in a 360 degrees environment, making it possible to hit yourself in the back with your own weapon. The range of each weapon determines how far you can reach your enemies and some must be killed in this way as they are either fortified or are too dangerous to take out directly. Surviving in Orbital Bullet requires a combination of knowing what tool to use for what location, and knowing the game mechanics, so you don’t get taken by surprise. Initially, the combat only takes place on one lane, but rather soon you will be jumping back and forward switching lanes. In most cases, you’ll have to fire left or right to hit your enemies, and vice versa, but there are enemies that can shoot from one lane to another. There are certain weapons that allow you to do the same, so it’s good to know when to use them.

Controlling the game is pretty simple. Even though the developers suggest you use a controller, using a mouse and keyboard works just fine. The controls feel intuitive and not very different from other well-made platforming games. We loved unleashing all hell in the hectic 360 degrees environments the game threw us in.

Conclusion

Orbital Bullet is a game that is surprisingly fun but can be really difficult if you aren’t paying attention. The graphics are so nice to look at and once you start delving deeper into the art style, you will really appreciate the work that has gone into this project. The music has been composed by two names that might not sound familiar, but they have proven that they can pull their weight with the composition of Orbital Bullet’s amazing soundtrack. Gameplay-wise this title offers almost infinitely replayability thanks to its randomly generated levels, and it keeps the player engaged by upgrading their character and class so they have a better survival chance on their future runs.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Orbital Bullet – Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Orbital Bullet Review Update
    March 24, 2022, 22:33

    […] Orbital Bullet just released out of Early Access and we already had a few hours of fun with this title. We finished our review before the game was fully released and at the time of writing the story wasn’t implemented yet. As our busy schedule didn’t allow us to check the story implementation at the game’s full release we decided to do a small follow-up post to talk about a few new updates. The developers have polished up a few elements and added other things to the game, so we are happy to share our post-release update about our review. […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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