If you've been playing DOOM and have felt it's glory kills and demon-slaying are a little on the tame side, then BPM: Bullets Per Minute may well be worth a look.
An explosive, deadly romp through music-infused caverns and dungeons, it's got a lot to like - but it also trips over itself with its violent choreography every now and again.
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When first starting up, it's easy to feel like you've accidentally dabbed some paprika into your eye. BPM is very orange, and it's a little hard to take in at first. The walls? Orange. The floor? Orange. The enemies? Well, for the most part they're also the same colour as David Dickinson.
It certainly grabbed my attention, and while I did feel like my dreams were painted a shade of tangerine after playing, it's the audio that should draw most of your attention in BPM.
That's because all of your offensive actions are tied to the beat of the game's soundtrack. It's not quite as metal as Mick Gordon's efforts on DOOM, but it's still a rip-roaring good time. Fire your weapon on the beat, and boom, headshot.
Miss your window, though, and your gun can jam. Add in the fact you need to reload in time with the music, too, and it's easy to feel like everything is against you. Thankfully, the same rules apply to the game's monsters, so you'll be doing a lot of awkward first-person dancing as you shuffle around to time your next attack.
If this all sounds a bit much, there's an autho-rhythm option, but you'd arguably be missing the point.
Get the hang of it, though, and it's easy to get into a flow state of sorts where there is nothing but rock music and orange visuals - everything else just sort of fades away.
Movement is less constrained, so this isn't a Crypt of the Necrodancer situation, and that's probably for the best - lest you be subjected to some kind of demonic Hokey Cokey. Movement is constant, and if you're standing still, you're doing it wrong.
As someone that's more than a little hooked on roguelikes, I was looking forward to seeing what BPM could offer in that regard, but it's disappointingly a little staid.
Earn some stat buffs by visiting statues, sure, but there's no way to upgrade your next run. Roguelikes are at their best when your death feels equally like a lesson and a fresh start, and while I'd have loved to see a new starting weapon or even a new path through a level, those are absent here.
Between rounds, players can carry any coins they deposit into a bank, but it doesn't spawn often enough to feel like a meaningful investment - meaning all too often I ended up wasting currency on a run.
Levels also feel a little one-note. Sure the dungeons are great fun to swashbuckle through with your audio-driven arsenal, but all too often the same layouts appear.
BPM: Bullets Per Minute is a fun shooter with a banging soundtrack, but its roguelike elements feel a tad undercooked.
Still, where else can you dance around like a demon slayer while tearing through the hordes of hell, shooting on the beat and keeping the party going?
Reviewed on PC
Review copy provided by the publisher
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