Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?
He’s a cop on the edge, and this time, they pushed him too far. Coming to theaters this summer… Bullets of Justice! Ok, not really. Bullets of Justice is not the latest action flick. Rather, it’s a first-person shooter by Tap Lab. Players take the role of a nameless, faceless SWAT team officer. Your job is to take out the bad guys. Fortunately, you’ve got a lot of firepower at your disposal.
Shooting the Bad Guys
Bullets of Justice uses a 3D polygonal graphics style reminiscent of older shooters. It’s not realistic looking, but it has charm. Fight your way through a variety of environments, including a bank, a warehouse and a suburban neighborhood. Sound effects are mostly limited to gunshot noises, although they sound good. Rock music plays constantly in the background, adding to the atmosphere.
Bullets of Justice is a first-person, on-rails shooter. That means that you don’t control your movement. Rather, the game will move you to a certain point, then stop. You’ll pop in and out of cover, automatically firing your weapon. When you’ve killed all the enemies on screen, the game will move you again. If you’ve ever played Time Crisis, you know how this works. It starts out fairly easy, but as you progress through the levels, you’ll face more enemies at once. Also, they’ll be standing farther away from you. So far, in fact, that it can be hard to see them, much less shoot them. When you do kill a bad guy, they explode in a shower of money. If you get them with a headshot, the game lets you know.
Putting On the Brakes
While Bullets of Justice can be exciting, the experience is marred by constant pauses in the action. When you clear an encounter, a choice of three upgrades appears on screen. These include things like health restoration, increased critical damage and higher ammo capacity. It’s not that bonuses are unwelcome, but these pauses throw off the rhythm of the game. What’s more, you’re given a chance to upgrade the upgrade you’ve chosen by watching a 30 second ad. It’s purely optional, but stopping to watch an ad really hurts the immersion. The game will also pause to offer you the temporary use of a different gun. To get that, you’re required to watch an ad – twice!
In general, offers to watch ads show up all over the game, not just while you’re playing. Want a rare gun? Watch an ad. Want to open more loot chests at the end of a level? Watch an ad. I soon found myself skipping past all these offers. Of course, you can forgo all this by buying a VIP pass at $2.99 a week. The pass lets you get all the benefits of watching an ad without actually having to sit through them.
Did I Mention the Guns?
Bullets of Justice has a lot of guns. Some you buy in the shop, some you get during a level, and some you get for completing a level. This includes shotguns, RPGs, sniper rifles, SMGs, and a variety of assault rifles, like the AK-47 and M4A1. Rare versions of these weapons come in neon colors, for those of you who like that sort of thing. Each gun has it’s own advantages and you can improve them by collecting weapon materials throughout the game. Your other gear consists of a helmet, tactical vest, gloves, and kneepads, each of which gives you a small bonus.
In addition to the regular game, there are zombie levels as well. In a zombie level, you stay in a fixed position and have to blast waves of the living dead. The zombies approach surprisingly fast, and can quickly overwhelm you, making for a tense experience. Interestingly, although there are pauses for upgrades, there are no options to watch ads.
Bullets of Justice isn’t a bad game. I had fun whenever I played it. But I also never found myself particularly eager to pick it up. The constant pauses in the action really hurt the gameplay. Take them out, and you’ve got a solid little game.
Is It Hardcore?
Bullets of Justice offers on-rails shooting action with a wide variety of guns and challenging levels. Unfortunately, it breaks up the action with repetitive attempts to get you to watch ads. These pauses take you out of the game, and make it an unsatisfying experience.