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Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days (Preview Build)
Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days (Preview Build) Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days (Preview Build) Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days (Preview Build) Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days (Preview Build)
This is Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days, the upcoming dual-stick shooter from Big Star Games. It's a brand new game based on Quentin Tarantino's landmark film that will be hitting Xbox One, PC and Mac later this week. It's a dual-stick shoot-em-up nobody saw coming, but I assure you it's a real thing that will be for sale starting on May 18th. I've played the first three missions and I know you have a lot of questions, so let's crib this.

Wait ... didn't they already make a Reservoir Dogs game? They did. Eidos Interactive decided it would be a good idea to create a third-person shooter based on the 1992 movie for the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox. It wasn't good, and critics were quick to smack the game around for having ugly graphics, boring mission designs and a story that only lasts a few hours. Between the low review scores and lackluster sales, it killed any hope of seeing other Quentin Tarantino movies transformed into video games.

At least, that's what I thought as of a few months ago. As crazy as it sounds, Barcelona-based developer Big Star Games has decided to take another stab, this time turning the property into an overhead dual-stick shooter where you play two characters at the same time. The idea is to take control of Mr. Brown, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink and the rest of the colorful cast of criminals to perform a series of armed robberies that all seem to result in epic shootouts with the police. The goal is to grab as much money as you can and escape to the safe house with all your body parts intact.

Is this a prequel to the movie? You know, it's hard to tell. Based on the first three missions, it seems this game is only loosely based on the events that happened in the film. I mean, the movie revolves around a single botched robbery that sends the crew spiraling out of control. But that's not the case in this game, where we're jumping from one job to the next without any of the plot points we saw in the film. The characters already have their fake names and they seem more than willing to go from one nasty shootout to the next without even considering that there might be a snitch in the crew. I'm curious to see if the game will eventually connect with story we know and love, but based on what I've played so far, I don't know how that could possibly happen.

What I can say is that some of the themes and character quirks find their way into the game in weird ways. For one thing, we're introduced to each character with a fact sheet that references things from the movie. You'll also find that Mr. Pink talks about how he never tips, though it's done in a completely different context and without the quippy dialog from the 1992 movie. Also, Red Apple Cigarettes show up, though that on-running gag didn't start until Pulp Fiction a couple years later.

Didn't you mention something about playing two characters at the same time? Yeah, that's the big gimmick in Bloody Days. At first it looks like you'll have a computer-controlled character by your side for all of these robberies, but that ends up not being the case. In fact, the whole idea is that you'll control one player as the other guy doesn't move at all. Every so often you'll press a button to literally rewind time and switch characters, this time moving around and trying to keep up with the other guy you controlled. This is a little confusing at first, since it allows you to kill enemies out of order and actually change the outcome of the previous run. You'll need to keep switching and rewinding time in order to get both criminals to the right spot and advance through the stage. It's a unique way of handling things, to say the least, but part of me would rather see the other guy controlled by either the character or an online friend. That said, I'm actually a little curious to see if the developers will flesh out this mechanic as things become more harrowing for the crew.

Conlusion: While I have some misgivings about the way the rewind function works, I'm still on board with the idea and choosing to keep an open mind. As a huge fan of the film, I can't wait to see if this ends up connecting to the story and how they'll work Mr. Orange into the picture. Some of the fan service stuff made me cringe and the first three levels all play out exactly the same way, but I'm still ready to see this game through to the end. We'll be back later in the week with a more in depth review of Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days, where we'll talk about a lot of the finer points and find out if it's better than that horrible 2006 game from Eidos. Look, I didn't create the situation; I'm just dealing with it.
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