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Bullet Witch Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Bullet Witch is almost comically bad. Although it tries, this game never comes close to getting you to care about any of the characters and it's over far too quickly. Then again, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it any more if it had lasted longer than two hours. Rating: 40%
Bullet Witch
Bullet Witch Bullet Witch Bullet Witch Bullet Witch
  • Review Score:

  • C-
Meet Alicia Claus, daughter of Santa Claus and a girl who is ready to kick your ass and use impressive witchcraft. Okay, so she's not the daughter of Santa, but she is ready to kick your ass and use all kinds of weird magic. Alicia is a tortured soul full of mysteries and angst, but best of all she carries around a giant gun shaped like a broom that is really good at killing anything that moves, no matter if it's human or not. It's six years in the future and humanity is on the verge of extinction due to natural disasters, starvation, wars, epidemics and a sudden appearance of an army of evil, twisted monsters. Apparently Ms. Claus and her witch craft is the only person that can save the day. Actually, forget about the set up, did I mention that she's packing a giant gun shaped like a broom?

Needless to say Bullet Witch is not the type of game you can take very seriously. After all, this is a game where you play a busty babe in high heel boots who runs around killing evil demons with her magic abilities and giant gun. But who needs realism, every so often you just need to turn your brain off and enjoy a game that makes almost no sense and is nothing more than an excuse to kill thousands of bizarre creatures. Unfortunately Bullet Witch isn't as cool as its campy story and presentation; instead we get a short, mindless romp through one boring level after another. With its attractive lead character and silly set up I wanted to love this game, but in the end I was left disappointed in almost every way.

Bullet Witch starts when Alicia comes to town ready to right some wrongs, and from the very start she's greeted by a welcoming committee full of Geist Soldiers, a group of creepy half-dead beings that look like they've been decomposing in the ground for a few weeks (for what it's worth the instruction manual suggests that they like dirty jokes, so maybe they aren't all bad). You begin your quest in the suburbs and then make your way to a post-apocalyptic cityscape. Unfortunately these two levels prove to be the most interesting areas, other locations involve you running through a forest during the day, a forest during the night, an army base and an underground sewer. It's not that these levels don't make sense in the context of the story, but none of the levels feel very inspired.

Bullet Witch a pure action game, so don't go into this game expecting some sort of deep role-playing or strategy elements. Instead we get an almost limitless amount of bad guys to shoot, which is pretty fun for the first couple levels. You basically run around these linear environments looking for enemies to shoot and then you shoot them. From time to time you will need to open colored gates, in order to do this you have to track down a large brain-like creature hovering in the air. At first these large brains seem peaceful, but soon you'll realize that they have the ability to make other objects hover (cars, trucks, etc.) and throw them at you killing you in one hit. Oddly enough these floating brains that never move prove to be the hardest enemies in the game.

But maybe it's not that these brain enemies were hard so much as it was the other enemies are too easy. I'm not a stickler for great artificial intelligence or anything, but the enemies in Bullet Witch don't even try. There are times in this game when you can literally run circles around a baddie and he won't notice (or shoot at you). When and why enemies will attack you seem almost random, there are certainly times when a big group of foes will be lining up to kill me, yet there will be one or two in the mix that could care less about me. Even when I shoot them they decided not to fire back. I guess those were the peace-loving Geist Soldiers. The biggest complaint I have against these enemies isn't what they look like or how they act, but rather how many times I have to fight them. Bullet Witch only offers a few types of enemies, and 90% of them end up being these Geist Soldiers. They don't even look different as you go along; you just fight the same one over and over.

If you think the enemy AI is bad then you obviously haven't met the group of Army soldiers that you team up with early in the game. Although it's painfully clear that Alicia can do just about everything on her own, for some strange reason the developers of Bullet Witch seem to think it's a good idea to throw in a few completely unnecessary characters that tag along for no good reason. The problem with these characters is that they seem to have a death wish; they run into hordes of enemies without using any tactical strategy what so ever and die almost immediately. Worse yet, they have a tendency to get in your way when you're trying to kill the on-coming Geist Soldiers. I'm not sure how it's done in army training, but I know for a fact that it's a bad idea to walk in front of somebody when they are shooting their gun. No wonder the world is in such disarray.

Although the camera is behind your character in a third-person view, you end up controlling the game much like you would a first-person shooter. You have a small target on your screen that you can move around by using your right analog stick and all movement of your character is done with the left analog stick. If you want to zoom in (or just have a more accurate view of who you're killing) then you push down on the right analog stick and the camera will move closer to Alicia and her broom gun. All this is fine, but there's just something about the shooting mechanic that doesn't feel right. The target on the screen is so small that you're going to have to really work to line up your gun with the enemies if you're going to do any damage. To make matters worse a lot of the characters take a lot of bullets, so maintaining the target and dodging other attacks ends up being one of the most important skills in the game. All of this could have been avoided had the developers added some sort of auto targeting feature (like what you found in Crackdown), but alas you're on your own when it comes to aiming at enemies.

Something else that felt odd was how limited the overall control of your character felt. While the game gives you the basics (such as a way to reload your gun, a melee attack, etc.), there aren't many moves Alicia can perform. Even her jump is somewhat daunting. Instead of allowing you to control her jumps, Bullet Witch features a leap button that makes her somersault forward at an alarming rate. If you're good you can jump to the sides to avoid enemy fire, but for some odd reason the game doesn't allow you to simply just straight up or even control the distance of your jumps. Thankfully this didn't end up being much of a problem, but it is still kind of annoying (especially during some of the boss battles).
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