Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Blue Estate (Xbox One) - Review

Blue Estate is out now on Xbox One and is priced at £11.99.

Blue Estate can be played using either the Kinect or the controller. I played it using just the Kinect, in a desperate attempt to justify its continued presence in the living room, past just being able to bark orders at my Xbox like I do to the unfortunate people that live with me. The Kinect listens to me slightly more than the humans I am in charge of do, but not much more, leading me to want to throw things at it A LOT. So cue me looking like (even more of) a mental case to my neighbours, as I stood wielding my fingers like a gun, looking very much like Mr Bean in the old 1997 movie 'Bean' (see below).

Now I have to be honest...I didn't really listen to the story when it was telling me what was going on. I was too busy closing my curtains and attempting to stop my children howling with laughter at the sight of their mummy looking like an idiot. Blue Estate centres around you, a guy called Tony Luciano, who seems to be a bit of a muppet with a near to the knuckle sense of humour. He has to save girls from mafia bosses. Or something like that anyway. I remember one girl was called 'Cherry Popz'. Yes, really.
It isn't going to win 'Graphics of the Year'

But, and I hope you don't get too mad with me here, it really doesn't matter that I didn't listen to the story. I did consider reloading it and listening intently to the narrative for the sake of this review. But I just didn't see the point. Does anyone really buy an on-rails shooter for the story?! I highly doubt it. You buy an on-rails shooter to have fun, and I had that by the bucket load.

This game will not be everyones cup of tea. I'll be honest it isn't usually mine. But its a bit of fun, and it came out at a time when the market was saturated with super serious AAA titles. It provides a great bit of nostalgia for me, as loading this up I was reminded of playing Time Crisis on my PSX with my dad many years ago. Albeit without the super cool plastic gun. But if you have kids, use one of theirs as a prop. Actually maybe buy yourself one from the pound shop if you don't, as this game works infinitely better with some form of prop.

The movement feels quite natural
As I mentioned I played this game using Kinect, and it worked remarkably well. I recently purchased Kinect Sports Rivals on the Xbox One and had to send it back in the end. The Kinect refused to pick up my really tall six year old son, who was the main reason we had bought the game, rendering it unplayable for him. I have reviewed a few Kinect titles on this blog now, and honestly that was the worst one I have encountered. I always get my son to jump on games I deem fit, so I can garner his opinions on a game too. With Kinect titles I always mention whether there are any difficulties in picking up the smaller members of the family. So I allowed my son to have a quick jump onto Blue Estate. It struggled slightly to pick him up fully, but it did really well and only really struggle with his fingers, meaning we had to go and get one of his Nerf guns to play it with. Then I borrowed it too, and it really was much more responsive with it.

Be warned. THIS is what you will look like. 

A few more modes unlock as you continue through the chapters, giving plenty of opportunity to replay levels. Graphically the game is no great shakes, but neither is it awful. The gunplay I feel works well, and there are movements you have to do to, to pick up items or whatever. All of this is done in a cohesive manner and the way in which you move feels quite natural. But more than anything this game is really fun! Being a downloadable game too means that you can boot it up whenever you feel like it, be it for a good hour long session on it, or a quick 10 minute go on a level. I refuse to believe you won't have fun on this game. The humour misses the mark pretty frequently and I feel like it was just trying to hard to be funny. It didn't need to do that. At £11.99 I don't think this game offers bad value for money, but if you don't feel like getting some use out of your dusty old Kinect, I'd wait for a sale. I think the fun of this game is in being stood up waving your fingers around like a mad-man.

6/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review. 

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