Bloody Good Time PC Review
Each match generally consists of ten or so rounds of the standard Hunt game mode, with the hunter/hunted dynamic, but there are alternatives - Elimination and Deathmatch.
Elimination is just a slight variation on the normal Hunt mode wherein every time you kill a target you are then assigned as their target - so, if you’re especially good, you could well end up with half the server trying to kill you at the same time. Then there is straight deathmatch, which unfortunately a few servers are adamant on running even though it completely defeats the point of playing Bloody Good Time when it’s just a every man for himself free for all.
Annoyingly, variations on these themes are plonked in to standard Hunt games every couple of scenes, for some reason. You might play four scenes of Hunt, only to find the next scene could be switched up to Deathmatch, which is annoying since if you wanted to play that then you'd have joined a Deathmatch server. Or it could be that you get the Infected mode. where half the players are given a disease which drains their points until they ‘tag’ a clean player to get rid of it. There's also a very rubbish mode where everyone has to kill whoever is winning.
Yes, for a couple of minutes around once per game the person with the most points is the target of everyone in the server and it’s fun for absolutely no one. If you’re winning you spawn, you’re killed - repeat until you are no longer winning. If you’re not winning then you just hope that whoever spawns next to you is the winner purely so you can kill them before anyone else does. These are arbitrary modes, stuck in for ‘variation’ where there really doesn’t need to be any.
Other annoyances quickly become apparent. Take pickpocketing, for example; you can pickpocket people as long as they aren’t looking directly at you, enabling you to steal their weapon and a point - but it’s a feature that does nothing more than frustrate. Pickpocketing isn’t particularly satisfying to do, you just do it because you can, but to be pickpocketed is infuriating because you probably wont notice it’s happened until you go to pull out your rocket launcher only to find you no longer have it.
The security feature, aside from making no narrative sense ('I’m an evil director, kill each other for fame and money! Muahahaha! Only, don’t do it in these pre-designated areas. Thanks.') doesn’t quite click either. Guards or a camera will see you do something and then they chase you, zap you for points, steal a weapon, and then just let you go. It’s never really clear what’s happening and it feels a bit frantic and confused as a result.
Remote control rat bombs make great weapons
And actually, that’s a fair comment on Bloody Good Time in its entirety. It’s just too fast and messy for its own good. When you’re hunting your target it’s less a case of silently stalking them waiting for the right moment, and more a case of running around looking for them, and then just opening up pretty much as soon as you can. Then, when you go in for the kill, the combat can often feel so clunky that even if you get the drop on someone, they can just spin around and gun you down before you can beat them.
It often feels like a step backwards from The Ship - a game that did so many things right but just had a few issues that kiled the user base. In that you could stalk properly, following people around art-deco Steam-Liners until making the calculated decision to strike. Security systems made more sense - you were caught, punished depending on how many weapons you had on you, and then thrown into a brig. Not that The Ship was perfect, mind.
Outerlight has over-compensated for the failings of The Ship with Bloody Good Time, making it faster, more ‘varied’ and ‘streamlining’ (but really, simplifying) has missed the point of what made The Ship a cult hit. It’s still great fun sometimes, but it isn’t all it could have been.
The thing is, Bloody Good Time is only £4. That’s probably cheaper than your lunch. It only comes with three maps, and it’s not as good as The Ship, but the thing is it’s still fun and people are playing this right now, whereas The Ship is pretty much dead online. It’s an interesting experience and a great break from the normal shooters even despite the flaws.