BPM: Bullets Per Minute is developed by AWE Interactive and is available on PC.

BPM: Bullets Per Minute can only be described as Guitar Hero and DOOM coming together to make one of the best games I’ve played in the year 2020. BPM is a rouge-like similar to The Binding of Issac, you start in randomised dungeons that throw many different surprises at you along the way, sometimes you’ll start in a darkened version in which you only rely on a small spotlight, some are cruel and remove all loot from the dungeon and some are quite fun like low gravity dungeons. These randomised locations always kept you on your toes due to having to learn new strategies but some could be used to your advantage, for example, low gravity makes it easier in reaching high places full of secret goodies. My least favourite selection has to be the ice version which makes it all a virtual ice rink, it’s hard trying to get to where you want to go but fun none the less.

Players can choose from one of five characters which are each unlocked after passing certain milestones. Each character has unique stats, starting weapons and abilities. It’s really fun trying to master the game with each of the characters though due to the difficulty of it I only just managed to beat the game with one so far. Yes, the game is quite difficult but it isn’t so that players have a hard time it’s more the game is trying to teach you to shoot, jump, dodge to the rhythm and honestly when you pick it up and can manage to clear a dungeon flawlessly and wiping the floor with the boss, you soon learn that the learning curve is a ton of fun. Each time I beat a boss you’d shoot it until it was finished off, each shot let out what only can be described as a legendary guitar solo and I’d stick my arms up or do a Bill and Ted like guitar strumming action each time, this game sucks you in and is hard to put down.

I felt that the game was truly rewarding each time I played, honestly for so long I was bad, I had a -29 loss streak but I kept coming back eager to go further and further. As you keep spending money in the shops you build up loyalty points that unlock more to buy, for example, the weapons guy he will have a randomised selection each time, eventually, he gets better weapons as you keep giving him coins. The random giant chick that sells armour, power-ups and health upgrades also get similar loyalty points and soon becomes the breath of fresh air you need in-between each play-through with his little charming tunes. You’ll also find keys on levels to unlock chests which give you all sorts of epic power-ups or weapons to beat your foes. These can range from a mind flaying hat that damages enemies close to you, a life-saving shield that regenerates portions of health (this helped me beat it), boots that explode each time you hit the ground and so much more, all goofy and random, some helpful, some not so much. It’s the utter randomness of each play-through that gives this game ultimate replayability.

Some have been saying how the colours need cranking down, I disagree and here’s why. Each level is supposed to be hellish like a dungeon, the art style works in its favour to provide that doom-like feel. Each level has a different colour scheme and I think it works beautifully, it just adds to the overall theme. The music, wow, some of the best heavy metal orchestra stuff I’ve ever heard, I already have the soundtrack saved on my phone, the way the shooting and action and even enemies play to each beat is beyond stunning, it’s impressive and I’ve never seen anything like it after 25 years of gaming. Everything from the design and gameplay works for hand in hand and I have to give props to the whole team when you hear those guitar riffs after finishing a boss off, wow, just wow! It gives me chills every time. This game is a work of art.

Verdict

I can confidently say that this is up there with the best releases of 2020 and deserves to be a contender for the Game of the Year. We see so many games being released that seem so similar to others we’ve played before, it’s very easy to start getting a little bored with the same old formula we’ve seen before. AWE Interactive decided, so mash-up between First Person Shooter and a Rhythm game? Hell yeah! I saw a YouTube comment once, DOOM The Musical, it definitely can be compared to that but BPM: Bullets Per Minute is one of the most unique games I’ve played in a long time and despite the difficulty, I’d put this up for my GOTY. Thank you for the experience!

10/10

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