Heavy Bullets

Shoot, loot and die in Heavy Bullets.

By Daavpuke, Posted 25 Jul 2014

Random dungeon crawlers are definitely on the rise these past few years and shooters will always be popular, so it’s not hard to imagine a game like Heavy Bullets trying to cash in on that. In the roguelike spirit of “die once and you’re out,” the smooth and flashy title does try to bring its own flair to its concepts. Hell, given the simplicity of it all, the Early Access version of this work in progress is already pretty much good to go, to stay adventurous for a while.

Heavy Bullets,Preview,Early Access,Indie,Steam,PC,Roguelike,Shooter

While the halls and creatures of the dungeons only have a few angular shapes with just one color plastered on each side, the contrast in neon tones works to create a psychedelic rush. This trippy vibe gets enhanced by the brisk pace of play, along with pulsating tracks from artist Doseone periodically rushing in at tense moments. These cubic halls may seem like a lazy job at first, but the pinks and blues will soon become a second nature in this sweeping brawl for survival.

Viewed from a first-person perspective, players are only armed with one gun; a six-shooter from the olden days with manual reload action. One of the renewing designs in Heavy Bullets is that each bullet needs to be pushed in by hand, in order to restock ammo. Making things a lot more brutal still, the titular element of the game sees bullets fly around and drop somewhere in the direction they were fired. There are extremely few additional rounds to be found. There are no gun clips, no ammo crates; these six casings will need to last a while. Losing any comes at a steep toll.

Heavy Bullets,Preview,Early Access,Indie,Steam,PC,Roguelike,Shooter

As stated, hard and fast is the tempo in this spiral that climbs down procedurally generated maps, filled with obscuring tall grass and entrance-blocking rocks. A nice touch is that Heavy Bullets also uses more classic dungeon crawling tropes by having obstacles systematically hide some secret areas. Most of these reward the explorer with one of the rare items that can be hauled along travels. Special goods fill the one and only slot of expandable content, which ranges from just a health potion to a scope, not included on the main weapon.  There’s a tactical element to the choice of exactly what item will fit the play style best. Sometimes, a tracker that tells when monsters are nearby can be a lifesaver, while a gun low on ammo could use a melee blade to conserve rounds.

These specials don’t come cheap though. With health also going down fast, the room of error is small as monsters quickly swarm in for the kill. Luckily, there are some shops hanging about corridors where it’s possible to switch currency dropped from kills for precious aid. Moreover, a banking system allows coin and goods to be stored for a subsequent, possibly better playthrough. Through this deposit transfer, Heavy Bullets sort of skips over traditional roguelike traits, where everything is lost once dead. Banks aren’t just everywhere though, plus those items might really come in handy. It’s a tough decision to soldier on or softly envision biting dust.

Heavy Bullets,Preview,Early Access,Indie,Steam,PC,Roguelike,Shooter

As dungeons go deeper, gameplay also gets harder quickly. New monsters appear, more deadly and in greater numbers than before. Basic turrets are already extremely accurate and tough to explode, but when paired with a walking bomb, things get teeth-clenching hard. It’s in these times that carelessness is punished severely. Unloading the weapon on a mob will leave the gun empty and even surviving a first wave can be deadly, as it’s easy to forget to manually reload each single bullet.

Given the elevated pace in Heavy Bullets, retries come cheap, certainly when stocked up on items that were banked. Finding new secrets, such as hidden panels in the wall or obtaining a way to hack closed doors, can also boost the exploration sense again and again. It’s as well-suited for three hour binges as it is for just ten minute runs. It’s currently still in development, but other than just a bit more loot or an enemy or two, it’s hard to think of something the dungeon crawler still needs. It’s already damn entertaining.

We also did this thing, for giggles. Watch it.

Those wanting to test their reflexes in a randomly generated shooter dungeon need to take a look at Heavy Bullets and its tough neon challenge. It’s fast, it’s tight and plays around with traditional gameplay models for its own type of game. Early Access or not, this universe with pointy teeth and scarce ammo is as functional at present as it needs to be to unleash its hell on worthy adventurers that keep coming back for more. It might even have a hint of Dark Souls, but don’t tell anyone.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

Heavy Bullets,Preview,Early Access,Indie,Steam,PC,Roguelike,Shooter,Dark souls

comments powered by Disqus


General Information

Dark Souls


Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai Games America
Developer(s): From Software
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: 2011-10-04

View All

Popular Articles