Bloody Good Time ReviewPlatform: PC
, Xbox 360
UK Price (as reviewed): £3.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $4.99 (exc. Tax)
“Hitman: Deathmatch” is a pretty close description of Outerlight's second game - Bloody Good Time - but it’s not quite right. Maybe it’s more “Team Fortress 2: Spies Only”, or maybe “Assassins Creed: Multiplayer”. No, wait, that’s an actual thing. “Hitman: Deathmatch” will do, we suppose. Suffice it to say that it’s a game about killing people discretely, apart from when it’s not. Oh, this is getting confusing already.
If you’ve played The Ship
- Outerlight's first game - you know what to expect. Each person on an up to sixteen man server is given a target - another one of the players - and it is each persons job to kill that target without getting spotted by the omni-present security systems, while in turn avoiding getting killed by the person chasing them.
The rather convoluted premise is thus: you are all actors who want to be big stars and an evil film director has employed you all to be in his next big horror film. To create the film he tasks you with killing each other while filming it, and the one who is left at the end takes the fame. It’s an OK premise, functional if nothing else, and since it’s multiplayer it’s not like it’s a narrative that we particularly need to buy into, but it does seem odd that said director would then install rigid security to get in everyones way.
We hate clowns
When you kill someone, you need to do it in secret. If cameras or security personnel see you holding anything weapon like - be it baseball bat or rocket launcher - then they give chase and give you a good tazering accompanied by confiscation of said weapon and the removal of some points. It means that, in theory, you have to stalk your prey and time your strikes to be safe.
The weapons to do the murdering with are nicely varied. There are melee and ranged options, plus a few oddball contraptions too. Baseball bats, knives, axes and swords are the staple, while the rarer guns are much more threatening and powerful. Shotguns and pistols make satisfying blams, and the assault rifle is a thing to be feared should anyone find it. Also there are the exploding remote-control Rats, obligatory frying pans, crossbows, and a bunch of secondary items like decoys, speed boosts, health boosts, etc.
Each of the available maps also has a bunch of traps at static points in the map that act as actual set pieces for novelty kills. One, for example, fills a lift full of poisoned gas; another rips the floor out of a room causing anyone standing on it to plummet into endless black; one drops a giant sign onto peoples head; the list goes on, there are loads of them. And while traps are far more difficult to get a kill with it’s worth trying for because they bag you the max points available for murdering your target.
You see, there is a dynamic point system in place to keep things fresh. At the start of each ‘scene’ (a round which lasts a couple of minutes) along with being assigned a target you are also told what point values are given to each weapon. Killing someone with a frying pan might get you a big five points this scene, whereas the mighty assault rifle will only get you one. The same values are given to each person to keep it balanced, and sometimes you will have the high scoring items already in your inventory. It’s a case of trying to find a decent scoring weapon at the same time as finding your target, while at the same time avoiding being killed.
Oh, and there is a needs system to balance too. All the time you have three attributes that are constantly ticking down: tiredness, hunger, and bladder control. When each gets dangerously low you’ll slow down and in the case of the bathroom bar start HILARIOUSLY farting as you walk. It means that you have to eat/sleep/visit the mens room every so often to take care of the needs, but doing so will leave you completely open for attack in the ten second window where you’re doing what you need to do.