Blue Rider by developer Ravegan S.A is a top-down, 3D arcade-style shooter that was inspired by classic shmups such as Gain Ground (Sega) and Smash TV (Midway Games), to name just a few. The game’s premise is simple: shoot all on-screen enemies; destroy canisters to replenish health; and defeat the end level bosses. It’s really as simple as it sounds.
The gameplay is roguelike in its execution with only one life to complete all nine available levels. There are no continues either. When the game ends, the player can choose to start the game from any level that has been previously completed. All progress – including power ups – are lost when this happens.
There are fifty enemy types to destroy, ranging from soldiers to tank-like robots, among others. Gun turrets also litter the landscape, making progression through the environments challenging (and at times) frustrating. The smooth maneuverability of the player’s craft – which can turn 360 degrees and travel in any direction – makes avoiding certain enemies a bit easier, especially when they fill the screen with a bevy of bullets.
Combat isn’t as fast-paced as one might expect, as most of the in-game enemies plod along when they retaliate. Due to their slow speed, these enemies can be easily avoided – and then destroyed – by the player. It’s only when they’re in large groups that avoiding them becomes difficult. Power ups can be obtained to increase the speed, and enhance the weapons, of the player’s ship. These power ups – which appear as colored canisters and orbs – drop when enemies, containment canisters and gun turrets are destroyed.
As a game, Blue Rider is a simple, arcade-style shooter that does a relatively good job of mimicking the classic shmups of yesteryear. The lack of any continues (or additional lives for that matter) separate this release from other games in the genre. While entertaining, the roguelike gameplay can be punishing – and even unfriendly – to gamers who are new to this hybrid genre of shooter.
Blue Rider from eastasiasoft is an acquired taste to say the very least. Hardcore gamers looking for a challenge will appreciate the game’s punishing gameplay mechanics (i.e. single-death penalty, no continues, etc.), while newcomers may not enjoy it as much, as they may find themselves giving up long before reaching level 2.
Platform: Playstation 4
Developer: Ravegan S.A
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Blue Rider Official Website:
|Colorful 3D graphics and smooth animation.|
|Loud explosions and convincing gunfire add to the experience.|
|The roguelike, single-death gameplay isn't for everyone.|
|Hardcore gamers looking for a challenge will appreciate Blue Rider's punishing (and unforgiving) gameplay.|