It was a murder on the dance floor. I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself frozen because of ini personiture, unable to decide whether I want to play FPS, roguelike, or a rhythm game. All right, I know how many times-no-but now, it’s a little less thing in life that I might have to worry about. Here, we have a game that forces these different genres to become a non-heinous challenge game, and the then sweaty consequences are equally compelling as it is. Please, let me explain.
Before saying anything else, I have to confess that, for at least ten minutes after the start of the game for the first time, I really believed I would have a technical problem. It could be an error or a compatibility issue with my graphics card. Color saturation has been deliberately increased to frightening levels; the first area gave the impression that someone had smeared syrup on my screen when I didn’t look. This can be reduced in the menu, but the “normal” graphics cannot be achieved. I’m used to it. Last.
The key is that the activities of your weapon, both firing, and reloading, are tied to a synthetic-tinged rock soundtrack. You need to act at the right time to the rhythm of the music. Try to shoot asym sync and your gun gets stuck. Try to reload beyond the beat (something may require multiple button presses) and nothing happens. So it is reasonable that enemy attacks are also connected to music. It was a constant dance on the blade between me and the monsters.
It’s a system that needs some acquaintances, but when I feel I’ve overcome it, it brings some unique moments of satisfaction. Against the backdrop of rumbling power Cho Cho Cho chores and roaring guitar solos, I glided through the dungeon hilariously like a demon-hunting Bruno Mars. Dun-dun-dun-dun, the guitar murmuring. Pow-pow-pow-pow, under my gun, when I knocked down two bats and a worm. I automatically started adjusting the time I pressed the dodge button to match the music, although I didn’t need to. It’s strangely drunk.
However, the happy feeling of this sync never lasts more than 15 minutes or so. Doom is a clear influence, something that is becoming increasingly apparent as I go further. Constant movement is essential (which BPM tells me clearly), and stuffy rooms will often be filled with enemies. The problem is that Doom has a rhythm of its own. A constant, urgent rhythm helps you always try until the danger passes. Tying this in the middle of an entirely different rhythm due to music regulation will dis disk digger you. Mediation.
As a result, players are required to jump two different inner beats simultaneously, which I imagine many will struggle with. I do, certainly in later stages, when the rhythm of Doom becomes bigger and more important. So – and I feel almost at fault for saying this – the game only really shines when the rhythm controller’s heart is torn from the experience.
Just beat it
Turning on the automatic rhythm will remove my weapon from the soundtrack. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that a small enemy could lose 25% of my blood in one attack (even if it was easy). I can deliberately throw my play into doom’s echoes. I not only do better, but I’m happier. I can appreciate the variety of weapons found. Hitting bosses is more of a challenge than the jobs I’m afraid of.
The game modification tools that BPM identifies as Challenges can be unlocked, although somehow, I don’t know (this is one of the things the game isn’t interested in explaining). One feature that I accidentally got was Full Auto, which really brought the game to life for me. The difficulty is by default difficult, but all weapons are capable of firing automatically and you don’t need to worry about rhythmic mechanics.
Players are required to jump at the same time two different inner beats, which I imagine many will struggle with.
The real human-like design has a much stronger influence on the experience than shooting to the rhythm, part of the reason why it doesn’t work as well as I hoped. Strangely enough, there is probably no permanent advantage to earn. No shortcuts, no beginner weapons, no increased blood, no increase in basic indicators. By the way, there are statistics on BPM. Factors such as range, damage, and movement speed can be increased by providing coins for randomly placed statues scattered in each dungeon.
Coins, for which you can also buy weapons and items from two gently mentioning shop owners, are a prime example of how BPM struggles with the concept of orderly chaos integral to the real-life experience. One thing you can switch between runs is coins, through a bank created too randomly. While each dungeon will have both shop owners, the bank is much rarer. It’s almost never there in rare cases my bags are full of gold and are often not seen when I need to withdraw the most.
Similarly, the distribution of weapons and abilities can be done with a little more order. There are some great things to buy and find —a handgun, infinite ammo, a poisonous trace left after waking me up, shifting instantaneously —but the best things tend to be distributed on an all or nothing basis. Bosses can also create more dangerous variations. Fighting two bad guys at once with a basic pistol is not ideal, let me tell you.
The dungeons themselves have variations, and indeed, they will be combined with the Challenges. I’m not afraid to be surprised with a low-gravity dungeon, but suddenly having enemies take and deal more damage to me feels unfair. That’s something I should choose to challenge myself, not stumble midway through.
For all its flaws, there is a lot to love in BPM, although most of them are separated from the central rhythm mechanism. There’s a lot of fun with rock music — but you’ll have to learn it.