Blue Estate is an on-rail shooter that just released for the Sony PlayStation 4 and uses the DualShock 4 controller’s built-in gyroscope (motion sensor technology) to allow players to aim their shots. This does not require the PS4 Camera. With a story that goes out of its way not to take itself too seriously, and unexpected arcade fun thrown into the midst of intense gun fights, this game is one of the better on-rail shooters seen in a very long time. There are still ways this game could have improved though, of course. One nagging feature in particular was the inability to re-calibrate the gyroscope from the Pause Menu.
During our testing we found that the controller would get off-center and no longer take our aiming even remotely the same as when we started off. This was easily fixed by re-calibrating, but required quitting out of the level to do so. Levels are also fairly extensive with unlocks only coming after the entire scene has been completed rather than allowing a checkpoint system. This is good on one hand because it stays true to the roots of Arcade gaming difficulty, but also bad at the same time because a complete run is required to unlock the next stages and this is contrary to most gaming mechanics these days which often allow a player more save of progress.
The sound effects and soundtrack to this game are not exactly my taste, but they serve the purpose and fit the role well enough. It feels like these are just background elements though when it could have made a big difference if brought to the forefront of the experience more – since I did sort of expect that from a title that is relying largely on its eccentric main character. Tony Luciano is a really strange man, and he should have been given some cooler, stranger tunes to kill to. That being said, much respect to the developers for what they did end up orchestrating in this department.
The DualShock 4 is used to aim and shoot in a very simple way that allows fast paced playing without as much time spent on walking and more time spent on just getting the headshots required to survive. Challenge comes into play in the fact that so many non-playable characters are trying to kill you, and you can only hit so many before that reload is required. The touch pad is used to open doors, grab health kits, and do other stuff like get Tony’s hair out of his face. There’s also local co-operative play in this game for those who have two DualShock 4’s and want to join in the shooting together.
Blue Estate is based on the Comic Book series by the same name, created by Viktor Kalvachev.
Blue Estate is definitely a step in the right direction for on-rail shooters as well as a great example of how DualShock 4’s full capabilities can be utilized. Just imagine how much more accurate it would have been though, if the PS4 Camera was involved. Not to mention, imagine the increased Replay Value if the title had a better auto-save system. The inability to re-calibrate aiming really hurts this title in the end – and makes it hard to recommend to others. If you are the type of gamer that remembers the old school Arcade games and are up for a challenge against artificial difficulty (the gyroscope becoming tangled with whatever dark matter atoms hold this universe together) then this is a title for you. If you didn’t understand that last sentence, you may want to check out our Video Review and see for yourself before deciding.
Overall Score: 7 / 10
RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Available On: PC | PS4
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this Review.