Jun 16, 2015

Bombshell E3 2015 Preview


Bombshell from 3D Realms is a game with ambition, creativity, vulgarity, and action. And it’s all backed up by the gameplay given to me by the Vice President of 3DRealms, Frederik Schreiber. His passion and excitement for this game, rubbed off on me. And in all reality, Bombshell is a game I’m very much looking forward to.

The setup for the game is the result of “The Washington Incident”, where Shelly, the main character loses her arm while working for the GDF or Global Defense Force, and then goes inactive. During this time, she is augmented with a mechanical arm. This mechanical arm becomes more than she realizes, and provides unlimited gameplay opportunities as the game demo progressed.

Bombshell is serious in tone, as they described her as Furiosa from “Mad Max” before the movie introduced us to her, or like Sarah Conner from “Terminator 2”. This made me smile, as Shelly is forward, powerful, and agile. Shelly has access to eight weapons, and four special abilities such as a punch that somewhat acts as a dash. It can be used to finish off an enemy, or get Shell out of a situation where she is surrounded by enemies. They said that the game has somewhat hidden combo systems between the primary and alternate fire modes along side movements to create special attacks akin to how players discovered things in Street Fighter II in arcades.

You come to learn that the arm has AI, known as Amiga. Amiga becomes an ally, and a controllable vehicle to perform certain tasks. Amiga works well in combat, but helps with the game’s environmental puzzles. When the arm is disconnected, it moves and shoots on its own. When you control it, Shelly stops where she is at.

The game is played from the isometric perspective, but there are times where the camera will change depending on the situation to show off the scene in the best way possible. For instance, when performing an execution, the camera will zoom in over her shoulder as she finishes them off. Thankfully, she is invincible during these animations, and you are not punished for performing them. Something neat I noticed, was that whenever there was an explosion, the explosion would form in the shape of a skull. It’s that kind of detail I appreciate.

The technology running the game is impressive, with all of the UI elements running in real-time. The game is gorgeous and runs incredibly well. There were often many moments either from enemies or from the player where items would be destroyed and particles and pieces are falling down. The physics are incredibly detailed, and very impressive to see in action. Among the worlds shown to me, are very gorgeous and visually distinct from one another. What begins as a very routine mission on Earth, becomes something unique and planet-jumping excursion into the unknown.

As you play, you are leveling Shelly up, gaining new powers and abilities. If you so choose, you can replay the game with your upgraded Shelly and go after the secrets Bombshell has to offer, by using Amiga and your abilities to obtain them.

There are minibosses, and bosses like you would find in a Diablo-style game, but I wasn’t able to get a good sense of the scale and difficulty due to the dev using console commands to buff Shelly so I could see what the higher tier weaponry and skills looked like. But I imagine the game is challenging, regardless of the difficulty chosen.

This is a departure for 3DRealms, but this is a character that players can embrace, and gives me a lot of excitement for.┬áThere’s some classic, timing-based combat to be found in the game, and Bombshell will be coming out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.