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Blue Estate (PS4) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: PS4
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
6.5
6.5/ 10


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

We Liked?


  • Great looking title for its genre and smooth as butter
  • Comedy moments shine more now the offensive sting has been lessened
  • Solid shooter action for the genre
  • Good use of the Dual Shock 4 gyros

Not So Much?


  • Comedy misses a little more than it hits and will easily offend some
  • Very short at under 4 hours
  • Slightly over priced for what you get
  • Mob character completely unlikeable and almost ruins the experience early on
  • Script and voice work is lacking places


Final Fiendish Findings?

Blue Estate started life on the PC last year as an exclusive title for the much awaited Leap Motion device – the small PC peripheral that could track your every hand movement.  It was a reasonable show piece for that device, but only shipped as a “Prologue” edition featuring the first few missions. Having reviewed […]

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Posted July 1, 2014 by

 
Final Fiendish Findings?
 
 

Blue Estate started life on the PC last year as an exclusive title for the much awaited Leap Motion device – the small PC peripheral that could track your every hand movement.  It was a reasonable show piece for that device, but only shipped as a “Prologue” edition featuring the first few missions.blue_estate_4

Having reviewed the PC edition of Blue Estate I was pretty sure what to expect coming in to the newly released PS4 edition.  Hesaw managed to concoct a reasonable on-rails shooting experience last time out.  The whole experience was marred only by the few glitches of the Leap Motion hardware, the miss rather than hit comedy and the huge dollops of offensive misogyny on display

Subject material wise Hesaw had little to do with the tone of this shooter is based on the noir / gangster pulp based comic series of the same name.

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Blue Estate follows opens with a typical noir based voice over from private investigator Roy Devine Jr.  He is visited in his ramshackle office by the exotic dancer Cheery Popz.  She asks him to take a case on for her and so begins the prologue chapters played previously on the PC edition.

Launching the game and, as someone familiar with the prologue, you notice some immediate changes.  Things look a little smoother, run a little better but importantly they seem to have toned down some of the offensive language – a good start!  You continue to spout obscenities and xenophobic quips for the duration of the two chapters on offer here though but at least some of the more caustic seem to have been removed.  Tony despatches his enemies with glee with every encounter glorifying the murder of each successive enemy slain.  It aims for the schlock-horror misogynistic tone of Duke Nukem or Shadow Warrior but manages to overshoot considerably.  Still compared to the Prologue it feels more comedic this time out – Tony is still a VERY unlikeable character though.

Blue Estate’s attempt to be funny and hip probably miss a little more than they hit, but again this feels greatly improved spread across the games 7 chapters this time around.  Its treatment of female characters is possibly one of the worst I’ve experienced though.

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OK, so that’s the really bad parts of Blue Estate: Prologue out of the way.  Now for the great part.  The game looks pretty good and moves well thanks in part to the Unreal 3 engine it’s sat upon.  The characters models look good and animate really well.  Environments are detailed and well realised with plenty to see and hide behind when needed.

The opening animation sequence that was narrated over looked stunningly impressive and easily outshines the rest of the game.  You see Cherry Popz gyrating and dancing on her pole in shadowy outline whilst large weaponry silhouettes are overlaid along with a plate of spaghetti.  It looks very artsy and works fantastically well in context.

Voice acting is reasonably for the most part.  Cherry Popz is more than a little wooden though.  Script wise, as I’ve mentioned above, you’ll require a strong stomach and the ability to not offend easily to endure the “comedy”.  The narrative noire troupe is well handled and the short onscreen freeze frame messages are sometimes smirk inducing.

Playing the game this time relies on your trusty Dual Shock 4 rather than the Leap Motion hardware and it’s the better for it.  Rather than requiring the PS Camera Blue Estate simply uses the Dual Shock’s inbuilt gyroscopes to track movement on the on-screen crosshair.  Initially a little tricky to come to terms with you soon realise the trick is to recalibrate to the screen centre, using L1, almost as much as you reload using L2!  Doing this will give you a good “centre” to move from every time.

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The on-screen crosshair moves fairly accurately with the gyroscopes and you’ll soon to popping off scores of foes.  Precision is a little trickier though and headshots, with the non-scoped/sighted pistols can be a little trickier.  The action still feels solid enough and there are plenty of set pieces that will leave you grinning and satisfied.  Remote play is still possible on the PS Vita but is cumbersome due to reload and fire becoming mapped to the top of the rear touch.  Perhaps Hesaw could patch in a redefine buttons option so you could move them to the shoulder buttons on the PS Vita.

Final Thoughts

Blue Estate, as I had hoped in my PC review of Prologue, has had some of the more tasteless parts toned down (or at least diluted over 7 stages) and as such moves from being something truly offensive just for the sake of it, to something pulpy and enjoyable. Bumping it’s average score of 5 on the PC up to a respectable “good” rating on the PS4.

The initial mobster character you play is not the best and had it been solely his game I’d probably still be shaking my head.  Luckily the second character you follow in the story is far more likeable with some great back and forth with his sidekicks over the radio.

The content is still a little close to the knuckle for some I would imagine and the objectification of the female characters still a little grotesque at times.  The humour is low-brow and mostly involves leg shagging dogs and nods to pop culture YET it still manages to raise more than a few smiles along the way.

If you’re looking for an on-rails shooter there are few that look so good and offer such a strong narrative style.  Hesaw have pulling things around from the early prologue showing and made something that is at least a solid time waster and a good entry in to the genre for on-rails fans (like me!).  The price might be a little steep for a game that runs to around 3 – 4 hours at most, but there are at least leaderboards to incentivise return plays.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.