Blue Rider
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Blue Rider is a game that will make you remember the days of encountering bosses that actually served as a challenge and not just a minor speed bump on your road to finishing the game. And while the game is far from easy it is addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. Thanks to the vibrant visuals and excellent enemy designs, especially the bosses, it is also a very good looking game. If you are not scared to be challenged and in the mood for a very polished shooter then get yourself a copy of Blue Rider.

Gameplay: Tough and uncompromising, but still very entertaining and addictive.

Graphics: Vibrant and varied.

Sound: Nice music and booming explosions

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Blue Rider

Developer: Ravegan | Publisher: Ravegan | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Action / Indie / Shooter | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

After a bit of a drought the shoot ‘em up genre is flourishing on PC and judging by games such as Blue Rider, things are only going to get better. It is a game that does away with frivolities like a story and instead focusses on making your life a bullet hell. If you are a fan of explosions, odds that are overwhelmingly against you and tough bosses (basically everything that makes the genre great) then you have come to the right place.

The action in Blue Rider is viewed from a 3D isometric viewpoint that gives you a clear view of your surroundings. However, instead of the auto-scrolling screens of most shooters you actually get free reign to explore your surroundings. Progression through the levels still happens in mostly linear fashion, but being able to go off in search of secrets provides it with a bit more depth. While it shares a similar viewpoint and control scheme to classic shooters like the Strike series by Electronic Arts, your mission is purely to survive and cause destruction.

Blue Rider features nine different levels, set in different biomes and featuring a mammoth boss waiting for you at the end. The levels take place in standard locations, such as deserts, jungles and snow, but look great thanks to the vibrant art style. The visuals are bold and colorful, making it easy to spot enemies and more importantly, their bullets. Enemy designs are also great and features plenty of variety. From robot walkers and tanks to stationary turrets, there is no shortage of things that want you dead in this game. We also love the amount of detail that has been packed in the visuals, like the debris filled explosions, the way foliage bends as you pass through and the tracks enemies leave behind in the dirt.

Don’t let the all the vibrant colors fool you though, Blue Rider is not a game that skimps on its challenge. The first few levels eases you into things, but by the time you reach level four you’ll be facing a nonstop barrage of bullets and bombs. There’s no difficulty setting to dial things back a notch or two either, so if you want to get further you’ll have to get better. To make matters even more challenging there are no checkpoints anywhere, so if you bite the dust your game is over. Thankfully you can restart from any level previously reached, but starting from level one gives you more time to collect power-ups, so it is a bit of a tradeoff.

The real stars of Blue Rider are the bosses and they are definitely not your typical run-of-the-mill baddies. Not only are most of them much bigger than your ship, but you can’t simply unleash all your firepower in their general direction and hope for the best either. Instead, you have to study their attack patterns and figure out their weak spots before moving in for the kill. This is easier said than done while dodging a hail of bullets, but it certainly makes these encounters much more memorable. Getting killed while fighting a boss and then having to redo the entire level is obviously a bit frustrating, but the game is addictive enough that you’ll want to do so right away. It also makes it even more satisfying when you finally take down a boss that has been giving you grief.

Considering how much time you spend dodging bullets in this game, it is a good thing that the controls are very responsive. A controller is recommended for the best results, but using a keyboard and mouse won’t put you at a disadvantage. In addition to moving and rotating your ship you also have a sprint button for getting out of sticky situations. Your ship comes equipped with a primary weapon, which can be upgraded using power-ups as well as secondary bombs or missiles. Ammunition for your secondary weapon is in limited supply, but can be replenished with pickups. The primary weapon can fire in a spread or concentrated pattern, depending on the power-up you collect, and figuring out which one to use on a tricky boss can help a lot. The ability to change between the two types would have been nice as it is easy to accidentally pick up the wrong color power-up in the heat of battle causing an unwanted switch.

The game doesn’t feature a lot of options and you can only select the image quality, resolution and mouse sensitivity. Personally we would have liked to be able to adjust the music and sound effects levels independently as well. Speaking of music, the Blue Rider features an orchestrated soundtrack as well as some nice booming sound effects.

Your enjoyment of Blue Rider will probably depend on how long you’ve been playing games and how much you love the shooter genre. It is not a game where you are going to breeze right through, so a bit of skill and plenty of practice is definitely required. Overall though, we had a blast with the game and looked forward to seeing what each new boss had to offer. While it is nice to see all the aging arcade and console shooters making the jump to PC it is even better to see new titles like Blue Rider that not only plays great, but looks great as well.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel i5
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 650 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Recommended gamepad
  • OS: Windows 7+
  • Processor: Intel i7
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 650 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Recommended gamepad

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