At this years’ Gamescom we sat down with a new title from Hesaw that has just been let loose: Blue Estate. Based off of the Viktor Kalvachev comics of the same name, the game acts as a prequel to the comic. Primarily a light gun game, the game was demoed on a new PC peripheral called the Leap Motion. But a light gun game in 2013? It’s no surprise to me that this ended up being one of my Games of Show.
With the Leap Motion you can use your finger as the mouse pointer. Think of the screens from Minority Report and that’s essentially how it works. It appeared to work very smoothly, but with the caveat of there being no trigger, so to shoot someone then you just have to point at them and your gun will automatically shoot. This will be the same for the Kinect version on the Xbox 360 and – next year – Xbox One version, but the PS3 and PS4 – again, next year – editions will use the Playstation Move, much like House of the Dead: Overkill.
But what of the actual content of Blue Estate? The game is brash, rude, crude, balls out ridiculous and is an amazing beast to behold because of it. Our main character is a misogynist, as is the world he’s in. Women are displayed as big breasted sex objects, going as far as having the girl he’s rescuing in the demo level literally be a porn star who we find in a tight basque. Oh and they’re having sex with a transgendered image of Kim Jong Il, should’ve probably mentioned that earlier. Whilst it was mostly a gameplay demo and I wasn’t made privy to the overarching plotline, I can only assume it’s something to do with Korea with the level being set in Asia. I’d assume it’s set in Japan due to one moment.
In the middle of the club we’re shooting guys down in is a giant fishbowl. At the top of said fishbowl is a naked plump lady dressed as a mermaid. As the shooting begins she falls into the water, only for you to shoot the glass and let her escape at the end of the level. As she flaps away with her fin you say to her “Don’t you know they eat raw fish around here?” and you laugh to yourself. The game is out Duke Nukem-ing even Duke Nukem Forever in terms of 80s and 90s b-movie humour in gaming.
As I was being shown the game, it all felt very reminiscent of Red Steel for the Wii, thanks to the similar location. So I wasn’t too surprised to be told that the team behind it was made up of some ex-Ubisoft devs, with development so far being a measly 7 months. The game runs on Unreal Engine 3, but thanks to such a gorgeous art style it looks a lot nicer than the regular grey and brown UE3 titles that people have seen as standard. The gameplay also has small nuances that set it apart, such as the characters fringe coming into frame that you have to flick back up, and a slowmo mode much like Max Payne.
I am a sucker for light gun games, because in 2013 they’re not seen as cool or relevant anymore. There’s a reason I still have a CRT knocking around. Because this haemorrhages both the style of 90′s games and looks like an extremely confident light gun title I have to give it a lot of love. Whilst House of the Dead: Overkill was brash because of it’s overuse of swearing, this is brash because of its overuse of the female form. It’s a game that I can see being controversial because of the content, but at the end of the day it’s just big dumb fun that’s trying to push what they can get away with.
The first two chapters shall be released at the end of this month for the PC with the game having a total of seven. PS3 and 360 versions shall follow, with PS4 and Xbox One versions next year.