Blue Estate The Game
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Blue Estate is an on-rails shooter that is filled with violence, obscenities, and plenty of very politically incorrect humor. It is based on a comic book license, so if you are a fan of these and enjoy the genre, you will have a blast with the game. Unfortunately, it is relatively short, and its brand of humor will definitely not appeal to everyone. However, despite its flaws, it is certainly an entertaining title and addictive enough to keep us coming back for more, even after completing both the story and arcade modes.

Gameplay: Light gun games are not exactly common on PC, so if you have the right peripheral, you will have a blast with this one.

Graphics: The visuals are colorful, detailed, and quite humorous in places.

Sound: The voice acting is decent, and the soundtrack isn’t bad either

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Blue Estate The Game

Developer: HE SAW | Publisher: HE SAW | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / On-Rails Shooter | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

There was a time when light gun games were amongst the most prominent attractions at arcades as they offered an experience that was almost impossible to replicate on consoles. This changed when consoles caught up in terms of graphical prowess and light gun hardware, but those days are long over. First-person shooters that provide players with complete freedom of movement now rule the roost, and on-rail shooters are seen as relics of the past. However, this hasn’t deterred HE SAW from releasing Blue Estate, an on-rails shooter based on the graphic novel by Viktor Kalvachev.

Unfortunately, we are unfamiliar with the comic series, but we doubt we are missing much plot development if it is anything like the game. Blue Estate opens with Tony Luciano, the son of an Italian mafia godfather, discovering that his favorite stripper has been kidnapped. The culprits appear to be the Sik Brother’s gang, so without further ado, Tony marches over to the Twin Dragon club to get her back. Seeing as Tony is a bit of a psychopath, this ends in a lot of blood and bullets flying around. The aftermath of this event leads to the introduction of the second playable character in the game, an ex-Navy SEAL named Clarence. He’s not quite as insane as Tony, but seeing as he works as a hitman to make ends meet, it becomes his job to clean up the mess. However, Tony’s father is more interested in getting back his prized horse stolen in retaliation, and it’s only a short time before Europeans and Jamaicans become involved as well. As if things were not already convoluted enough, the whole thing is narrated by Roy, a private investigator who has nothing to do with anything. Then there’s the Federal Bureau of Procrastination, which also frequently crops up to “clarify” things. All of it is ridiculously over the top, and the game rightfully warns you before it starts that everyone in the game is a terrible person, and all of them should probably be arrested.

On-rail shooters are not exactly known for their depth, and Blue Estate is no exception. The game features a story mode, which is seven missions that consist of plenty of action along with absurd situations, such as dodging grenades being lobbed at you on a golf range, sliding down a hill in Jamaica before being swept along a river, and chasing a horse through a misty graveyard. Completing the story missions also unlocks additional levels for the “Arcade” mode, which removes all story elements and offers a pure action experience.

Although there are only seven story missions, they are all reasonably lengthy and offer plenty of variety. The game offers three difficulty levels, but the highest one only becomes accessible after completing the story on one of the other two.

Unfortunately, your path through each level is entirely linear, so you never get to make any choices like in other on-rail shooters. The story mode offers only three boss fights instead of one at the end of each level. This is a real pity, as the boss fights are actually quite memorable. Overall, the story mode is relatively short and ends abruptly, but this is quite common for the genre. The game features plenty of Steam Achievements, which makes replaying the missions worthwhile, and each level also has hidden collectibles for you to spot and shoot. Alas, the only purpose for doing so is the associated achievement, as they don’t unlock anything, which is a missed opportunity. Seeing as the game is based on a comic license, we expected more in terms of unlockables.

After completing the story mode, we spent another couple of hours with arcade mode and cleared all seven levels on all three difficulty settings. Arcade mode changes the game’s dynamic somewhat, as it is pure action without any filler. In fact, the game fast-forwards past any sections that don’t involve shooting when playing arcade mode, which means it is all action all of the time. Unlike the story mode, where you pick up new weapons regularly, arcade mode rewards you with them based on the number of kills you pull off in a row. You also have a timer constantly counting down, so you must kill enemies as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep it ticking. Both modes feature a slow-motion feature, but in story mode, it is a power-up that has to be shot to activate it, while in arcade mode, it is a bar that recharges through headshots, and you can activate it at any point when it is full.

Seeing as Blue Estate is an on-rails shooter, the controls are simple. Kudos to the developers for supporting a variety of controller options, including keyboard/mouse, Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers, as well as the Leap Motion controller. The game can even be played with a real light gun if you have one, although support for this peripheral is unofficial. In addition, the game is playable in cooperative mode, although this is local only and not online. It’s not all just shooting and reloading either, as the game also throws a couple of quick time events your way. These range from performing melee attacks on charging enemies to kicking chihuahuas trying to hump your leg, and even brushing your hair out of your face; we kid you not. Swipes are also required for actions such as picking up health or ammo pick-ups or dodging boss attacks. In addition, there are short “mini-game” sections during levels where you have to shoot certain enemies in the correct order or complete “whack-a-mole” style enemies popping up from behind cover.

Blue Estate runs on the Unreal Engine, so it is a good-looking game. The environments are detailed and colorful, while the character animations are decent. The game does feature plenty of scantily clad women, but even this element is relatively tame by today’s standards. It has to be said that Blue Estate is not a game for the easily offended, as it is not just violent but also mercilessly parodies a lot of stereotypes. Some people will find the humor hilarious, while others will find it quite juvenile. The soundtrack isn’t bad and matches the onscreen antics perfectly. Most levels feature a mixture of rock and electronic tracks, while the sound effects sound like you would expect from an over-the-top arcade game. Blue Estate has a lot of voice lines from all of the characters, although the highlight has to be the interaction between Clarence and the two incompetent mob goons trying to assist him over his earpiece.

One thing is for sure: Blue Estate will not be a game that will appeal to everyone. Not only is it part of a genre that many players see as hopelessly outdated, but it is also based on an obscure license and contains plenty of elements that are not politically correct at all. We didn’t have very high expectations for the game but ended up having a blast with it as it provided a nice mindless escape from more demanding titles. It is certainly not without its flaws, and because it contains so many questionable elements, it is not a title that we would recommend to everyone. However, if you are a fan of the genre and have a twisted sense of humor, then there are worse ways to waste your time than Blue Estate. Fans of the comic series might also appreciate the offbeat characters and humor a lot more.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: ATI or NVidia card w/ 512 MB RAM (not recommended for Intel HD Graphics cards)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Windows 7, 8 or 8.1
  • Processor: Dual Core 3.0GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: ATI or NVidia card w/ 1024 MB RAM (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 or ATI HD 4890)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 3 GB available space

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