Blue Estate Review – Old School Fun for the Next Gen of Gaming

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It’s hard to find an on-rails shooter like Time Crisis for the next gen PS4 so developer Hesaw and publisher Focus Home Interactive have brought us Blue Estate. Is it a successful trip down nostalgia lane, or is it derailed by bad gameplay?

Read on to find out.

Blue Estate is the darkly funny rail shooter based on the Eisner Award-nominated Blue Estate comic books from Viktor Kalvachev. It was designed from the ground up to exploit the gyroscopic features of the new PlayStation 4 controller and the Kinect for the Xbox One (no release date set for the Xbox One though).

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In Blue Estate, you are Tony Luciano, the homicidal maniac son of LA’s crime boss Don Luciano, and Clarence, a broke ex-navy seal who has been hired to clean up Tony’s mess. While Tony wages war with the Sik gang in attempt to get back his kidnapped Helen of Troy, Clarence has to try to end that war against increasing odds.

The storyline is surprisingly entertaining, given the death and destruction you are handing out. Never having picked up a Blue Estate comic book, the story made us go out and get one. The humor is dark but witty and we found ourselves chuckling quite often. Character development happens while you are fighting your way through each level so sub-titles are irrelevant. Be sure to have the sound turned up a bit to catch all of the witty dialogue.

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We were hesitant to try this game out without some sort of gun controller, and without PlayStation Move support and no camera needed, we didn’t expect much. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the PS4’s DualShock4 controller works exceptionally well with this game.

To set up the controller, you hold it like you normally would and then tap the L1 button to center your on-screen reticule. To aim you move the controller and then press R2 to shoot. If your reticule goes off center and you want to get it back, pressing L1 again re-centers it, regardless of where the controller is. We found ourselves tapping L1 quite often, but that wasn’t a bad thing. Being able to get back to center, without any fancy re-calibration, was a smart move by the developers.

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Gameplay is fast and hectic at times, and the variety of weapons makes it highly entertaining. Your handgun never runs out of ammo, but your very useful shotgun does. Ammo is scarce for anything that’s not your handgun and marksmanship is rewarded by bonus points at the end of a level. There is also a combo meter that acts as a score multiplier, but you need to be quick and accurate in order to keep that thing going.

There is an online scoreboard for those of you that want to know how you stack up against the world. Keeping that combo going is the key to getting a high score and landing anywhere near the top of the board. At the end of each level you’ll be able to see how you did in a variety of areas.

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The game isn’t very long, and you’ll play through it in four or five hours tops, depending on the difficulty you choose. It is a fun game, though, and not a bad looking one at that. The art style is based on a graphic novel so the graphics aren’t inFamous: Second Son quality, but they aren’t hard on the eyes either.

Blue Estate is a fun and addictive game that does a great job of bringing the old school, on-rails, light gun shooting game to the next generation of consoles.

Great job Hesaw, we just wish the game was longer.