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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Focus Home Interactive
Developed By: HeSaw
Genre: Shooter
Players: 2-2
Rated: M for Mature (Blood, Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence)
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Screenshots: Link
Price: $19.99 (PSN, Amazon)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

September 15, 2014 - Rail Shooters are back! Developer HeSaw and Focus Home Interactive teamed up to bring the first rail shooter to the PlayStation 4 console in Blue Estate. If you are like me, outside of the information revealed about the game, I didnít know anything about the property the game is based on. Apparently, the game is based on a graphics novel by authors Andrew Osborne and Viktor Kalvachev. Do you need to read the novel(s) to understand the game, nope; however theyíre a great read for those interested in the lore. However back to the topic at handÖ. Is Blue Estate the greatest rail shooter to hit consoles, that depends on the person playing.

Blue Estate puts you into the shoes of an aspiring thug, Tony Luciano, whose the son of one of the most notorious crime bosses in L.A. Tony is all about the ladies, which is his greatest strength and weakness. Because of his love for one courtesan in particular, Cherry, he thrusts himself into an all-out gang war that yields death and destruction throughout the seven chapters that comprise the game. The story is so-so, but thanks in part to the twisted and diverse characters and the over-the-top set pieces, you often find yourself laughing at whatís going on and why this game was made. While this game is all about having fun, there are a few moments where you may cringe at what you see and hear.

A nice addition to Blue Estate is the inclusion of local co-op. While the game can easily be played and enjoyed by yourself, having another person to enjoy the mayhem is always a plus. Each mission you partake to find your courtesan will take around 20-30 minutes to complete, depending on how you tackle the level. If you are all about flying through the game as quick as possible, you can easily beat the game in around 3-4 hours. For those who are all about maximizing your score through multipliers and shooting various collectables within the world, you can easily since 7-10 hours into the mayhem.

Controlling the on-screen action is done by your trusty dusty DualShock 4 controller. While the inclusion of a PlayStation Move control scheme would have been awesome as Iíve been looking for a reason to use my controllers again, developer HeSaw did a solid job capitalizing on the features of the PS4ís controller. The game utilizes the gyroscope built into the DualShock 4 controller to determine where your gunís reticle is pointing. The right trigger fires your gun, while the left trigger re-centers your gyroscope as oppose to zooming in. Triangle/R1 is for switching your weapon, square is to reload and the touch pad is used for melee attacks/Quick time events.

What helps Blue Estate stand out is both its art direction and the writing. The environments are crisp and exciting. A lot of the backdrops you are destroying have realistic qualities, which is a testament to HeSawís dedication. Character models are given distinct look that falls in-between cel-shaded and a graphic novel presentation. The bullets that are flying all around you do realistic damage to your surroundings. Unless you are trying to hide behind a metal or stone wall, you will often find yourself constantly moving from cover to cover due to the destructible environment. There is a solid variety in bad guys you will come across in the game, but at times you will notice some of the character models being recycled, but dressed in different attire.

The writing in Blue Estate will have you in shock-and-awe in between laughing. The banter you here between characters, let along from Tony himself, is chalk full of curse words and pop culture references that seem to fit the on-screen action. Tony will find himself shouting out over-the-top one liners that will have you laughing. Imagine shooting someone standing behind a bar, then hearing lines like ďThe next roundís on meĒ or ďI guess you guys didnít hear, led is not good for you.Ē While the story itself is forgettable, you will definitely remember the one liner(s) that Tony Luciano delivers.

No matter how you slice it up, Blue Estate is a short experience. Within your first playthrough, you can easily acquire all the collectables within the gameÖ as long as you are paying attention. If you are looking to platinum the game, it will require another playthrough or two simply to meet the requirements that are put on the trophies.

What Blue Estate does well is not care about how itís looked upon. While this game can easily be forgettable, because of the unique art style and cleverly written material, Blue Estate has memorable and shocking moments that will etch itself into your memory. While rail shooters still has a ways to go to return to the glory days of the genre on the PS2, Blue Estate is a solid attempt at making a memorable stance on Sonyís home console. At the price of $19.99, Itís hard to complain about the product you are given. If you havenít picked up Blue Estate yet, give it a go. You will be surprised by its effect on you.


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