Blue Estate is an on-rails shooter that you can control with either the pad, or Kinect and begins with Tony Luciano searching for Kim Bong Sik of the Sik brothers, who has kidnapped Tony’s girlfriend ‘Cherry Popz’, and then later various others including Clarence, who’s trying to clear a few debts.
But before we have a look at the story, I want to touch on the controls, and the whole ‘Kinect’ label pre-doomed many Xbox 360 titles, but with the increased power of Kinect 2.0 we are hoping for better things from the once mandatory camera peripheral.
Many are classing it as a Kinect title, but whichever scheme you go for you will be pleasantly surprised with a few niggles.
Kinect forces you to aim with your left hand, with gestures on the right, while the pad puts aiming to the right stick, with gestures on the left,
both work well with a bit of getting used to, but I think I would have found both a little easier if they were reversed, or better still the option to do so,
There’s quite a difference between the control methods with Kinect forcing you into Auto-fire, which isn’t too noticeable but does change things up on the enemy packed later levels.
As you begin the story you’ll take control of Tony Luciano, the slightly psychotic son of the slightly psychotic Don Luciano, Your tracking down Kim Bong Sik of the notorious ‘Sik brothers’ who have kidnapped your sex-symbol girlfriend Cherry Popz, (Yes, the same lingerie clad lady you see on most screenshot / images, and strutting her stuff on the title screen)
While searching for her you’ll soon get the impression that women are here to look sexy and the guys are going to shoot back, and initially it feels like a very lame attempt at entertainment, but there’s more to it than that, and anyone who has seen just a page from the novels will realise that it’s the world of Blue Estate and the game replicates that perfectly.
As mentioned previously controls (while initially a little awkward) work well, and commands such as reloading are set to automatically take-cover (Time-Crisis style) which while not relevant in the first half of the game, it soon becomes a necessity later on, or if playing on the higher difficulties.
This also carries to the graphics, while I feel they could have been a little sharper, with more animations, there’s a great comic book feel, and while a few mid-game missions are a little bland, with fog limiting any real visibility, graphically Blue Estate does an adequate job.
Audio is marginally more impressive, with some funny voice acting, gun shots, and one-liners, there’s not much of a soundtrack, almost unmentionable, which could be a good thing as it plays along in the background without distracting you from the vocal efforts, which seem varied enough to last the span of the game,
Usually with games that are arcade titles at heart, you’re looking at quite a short game, with limited longevity, which is true of the campaign, which will take little more than 3 hours to work through, a length that would be slated for a full price release, We do have an Xbox One exclusive “Arcade Mode” which takes you across 7 exclusive levels, with various challenges with one, similar to ‘gun-game’ that see’s you getting better weapons in reward for higher streaks, is my favourite, and with rankings and leader-boards it’s all that little extra that will make Blue Estate a great little pick-up and play title.