Back when the Xbox 360 and PS3 were duking it out for superiority, there was a little game called Bullet Witch that was an Xbox 360 exclusive. It was a decent third-person shooter but had some noticeable framerate issues, among other things. That game has gotten a second-chance with its new PC port on Steam, so how does it fare on its second go-around?
Alongside the expected gunplay, given the game’s title, the player also has access to melee & magic attacks. You start out with a machine gun-like mode for your broomstick, which acts as a pseudo-gun in this game, but the ability to wield it in alternate modes, such as a shotgun, can be unlocked with these gun styles also having upgradability over time. I personally found the magic-based attacks (which employ the same unlock/upgrade paths) the most enjoyable, however.
The gameplay sticks to the standard action mold one has come to expect from the genre, often gating the player until they defeat certain enemy or enemies to be allowed to progress. The difference from some other action games in Bullet Witch is that attacks actually affect the surrounding environment. If you’ve played games such as the Just Cause franchise, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect, albeit tempering your destructible expectations due to this being a much older game. Let’s say you have a car next to a gas station. If you ignite that car and the blast touches the gas station, it will cause it to explode in a massive blast. There are some drawbacks to this mechanic, as enemies can hurl objects at you for instance, which due to the game’s over-the-shoulder camera makes for the occasional cheap death.
In terms of differences in the original versus the PC version, it’s more of a port than anything else. The unsteady framerate of the Xbox 360 version is much more stable (assuming you have a half-decent rig to play it on), and PC owners have the choice to lock it at specific frame rates or leave it unlocked entirely. There’s some resolution and graphical options to fiddle with, but all in all it’s a slightly better looking iteration of the original Xbox 360 release — don’t expect a complete graphical remaster from this PC port. Note that all of the DLC from the original release is included in this version, so that’s a nice bonus.
If you were a fan of the original Xbox 360 release and want to revisit the game in a slightly better format, the cheaper price of the PC port makes this a good recommendation. But due to the somewhat dated gameplay aspects in this day-and-age, it’s a tougher recommendation to make for newcomers unless you are aware of the game’s faults and can look past it for what exists in the game as-is.Bullet Witch was reviewed using a PC digital copy provided by XSEED Games. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|The physics system in terms of destructibility is something we don’t see too often in action games still.|
|Much better framerate in the PC port compared to the Xbox 360 version.|
|While the number of configuration options are somewhat limited, they’re still welcomed by PC owners.|
|More of a port than a remaster, which may turn some people away from picking this up for a second time or their first time.|
|The over-the-shoulder camera can get in the way or even cause unnecessary deaths.|
|The configuration options are a bit basic compared to other PC releases of older titles.|