Blues and Bullets – Episode 1 (PC) Review

Noir Crime with a story that’s not so black and white.

Episodic cinematic games have been growing in numbers over the years, and while we see a lot of AAA studios working on such titles, it’s good to see more indie folks getting involved in the genre. Noir style, black and white, and full of revenge, Blues and Bullets is here to take players on a story driven game about a crime that’s least expected.

Elliot Ness has a history, a dark past, one that he might not even be proud of. He once had a story to tell, but he keeps that to himself, which is until one day someone requested his service, someone he thought he would never hear from again. This is exactly the story that episode 1 tells, and it does it strikingly well.

MSRP: $4.99
Platforms: PC
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
Multiplayer: NA
How long to beat: One hour

Gameplay is consistent with games similar to Blues and Bullets. Players move Ness in a much guided fashion to key points of the environment, clicking on items of interest, chatting with well-acted characters, and making split second decisions. Where they add a little more variety into the genre is with some cover based shooting moments that lead to some fun, if not limited, action.

Visuals and audio are stunning, as the black and white environments light up with specific colors, to include blood, posters, or explosions. It’s a visual style we have seen before in select titles, but one that always comes off rather impressive. The only thing weighing down the experience is some rather limited or off putting animations to the characters. Voice acting for Ness is extremely well done and will be familiar to fans of Doug Cockle. The supporting cast is also great with a few exceptions. Meanwhile, the background soundtrack is appropriately moody and sets the stage for the time and era perfectly.

Story elements in episode one don’t miss a beat, and things get much darker and twisted then I ever expected. Before I knew it, I had already played and finished the game in 100 minutes, and it left me wanting more. Blues and Bullets was a title I had very little expectations of, and it blew me away with a fantastic first episode. Now I wait with baited breath, a glass of whiskey, and the hope that each episode here on out is only more of the same quality or better.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Great cast
  • Unique black and white visuals
  • Shooting segments
  • Dark overtones
  • Animations lacking
  • Length is short
  • Replay value low
Written by
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.