Bullet Witch Review

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Graphics: 5.0
Sound : 4.0
Gameplay : 3.5
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 4.2
Review by Kurt Knudsen
Bullet Witch is a third-person action shooter, and one of the few of its kind on the Xbox 360. That said, one would hope that it would be fairly well put together in an attempt to attract more attention to the title and genre. Sadly, Bullet Witch is a shooter that falls short on almost all fronts. The title is lacking in many areas and just doesn’t have the 360 polish that we hoped for.

The game starts off with a cut-scene intended to set up the story. But after watching it, the back story is still a bit of a mystery. Bullet Witch takes place in 2013 after disaster, war, and disease have taken the lives of many people and created an army of zombie soldiers (how original). You play the part of a one-woman army set out to protect civilians and destroy this onslaught of demonic creatures. To aid you on your journey, you have a Gun-Rod, a really big gun that can be upgraded, and some magic spells that help you in tight spots.

On the surface the game seems like a winner; A scantily clad woman, magic, weapons, and zombies, what more could you want? Well, substance for one, and perhaps visuals on par with other 360 titles. The models in this game obviously received the most attention and everything else was pretty much ignored. The textures throughout the levels are low resolution and basic. All of the soldiers you fight at the start of the game are the same and there’s very little variation throughout.

Level design in this title needs some serious polish. It’s easy to get lost or confused for a little bit because everything looks the same. There are also flying brains that set up barriers to block your path, causing you to backtrack, take various routes to kill them, and then find your way back. The level design and indirect control really doesn’t work well to guide the player. The buildings in the game look on par or worse than some from GTA 3. Many are basic boxes with the same texture repeated throughout and it’s not uncommon to see several identical buildings lined up to create a city block.

Bullet Witch does, in fact, offer decent animations. The mo-cap was done well and the animations are fluid from one to another. Unfortunately, the lip-syncing is terrible and looks like a football being squished to create mouth movements. Aside from the animations, the graphics just don’t have the quality I would expect from a triple-A title. And if the ugly graphics weren’t enough, the game is kind enough to present you with an annoying popup every few minutes during the game, many of them repeating. Since this is an action-based game, stopping the action to show a hint is a pretty bad idea.

The audio in the game is just like everything else, terrible. The voice acting is not the worst thing heard in a video game, but it’s bad enough to make gamers cringe. The sound effects for Bullet Witch are generic at best. There’s nothing that sounds great or unique, just the normal bullets flying and explosions. And the musical tracks for the game are as generic as the sound effects. They are typical for the genre and nothing impressive, nothing to further enhance the mood or immerse the player.

The gameplay is monotonous and repetitive. Surprised? You wander around the city and kill the zombie foes, maybe a brain, and then go further along. After you complete a mission, you get achievement points to upgrade your equipment. You can buy and upgrade new weapons and magic spells as well as increase your health and magic stamina. Since you have a machine gun with an 80 round clip, it’s rather pointless to buy anything else in the beginning. Aiming at the enemies isn’t always easy, so it is easier to spray and pray rather than trying to pick them off with a sniper cannon.

AI in Bullet Witch is probably the worst in any shooter aside from maybe Project IGI. The enemies, and even your teammates, just sit there and shoot. You can run right up to them and they won’t react. Running out of ammo and reloading while moving towards an enemy is not a scary situation. The AI is so bad that an enemy will spin around aimlessly as you run for cover or reload. If you happen to be right on top of an enemy unit, you can take it out with some fast melee moves. Unfortunately the camera is such a pain to operate that it’s easy to lose focus on the enemy and spin around in empty space for a few moments. Thankfully, the enemy probably won’t be shooting at you during this time so it’s easy to recover.

As far as substance goes, Bullet Witch doesn’t offer much. There isn’t much variety, the magic doesn’t play a big enough part in the game, and it’s just not that impressive. You start off with a few spells and more can be unlocked as you progress through the game, but the spells just don’t offer anything unique or impressive to make the player want more. Most players will find themselves ignoring the magic spells until the parts of the game that specifically require them.

In conclusion, Bullet Witch is a game that could have been great, but instead fell flat on its face. It isn’t an original concept, but it’s a genre that fans enjoy and the game is one that’s easy to pick up for a few minutes here and there. In the long term, however, the game neither draws the player in nor does it offer enough substance to keep players coming back for more. The one redeeming feature of Bullet Witch is the fact that you don’t have to uninstall it; you simply remove the disk from the console and throw it in the fire.