Bullet Witch Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

System:
Xbox 360
Release date:
Febuary 27, 2007
Publisher:
Atari
Developer:
Cavia
Players:
1
Genre:
Action
ESRB:
M

Bullet Witch

It's armageddon time. Bring your own black cat.

Review by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
March 9th 2007

The arrival of Bullet Witch was greeted to strains of Pink Floyd (custom soundtrack. the in-game music is rather bland). Bullets scream out of the starting machinegun while helpful tips pop up to offer the basic ins and outs of dodging, ducking, aiming, and hurling vans across the street to smash into nearby houses. The city at dusk with its weedy streets and flickering shadows bears a strong resemblance to Saint's Row, though smaller in scope and much more destructible. Supernatural barriers block progress, requiring the extinction of floating demons with very big brains. They go squish rather meatily. Turn a corner, and nearly get Alicia's lovely face blasted off by a surprise tank. Now it's time to unleash the thunder! (or lightning. the game can't make up its mind what to call it). A satisfying explosion with plenty of smoke, fire, and shards of debris will follow. No time to rest. More enemies ahead.

Then comes the final tip popup, which calmly advises you to blow up a gas station. The ground shudders as the air fills with black smoke, nearly obscuring huge chunks of flaming concrete raining down from the sky, which can squish Alicia flat. Climbing up the off ramp with scattered cars and more undead soldiers, to reach the twin barrage of tanks waiting at the summit, unleashed rockets and gunfire, only for Alicia call down another lightning blast just as Dark Side of the Moon gets to the good bit. More fire, more chaos, more enemies all trying to drill a dozen holes in this goth witch, to cap it off with one final floating brain that can telekinetically toss cars and trunks around like tinker toys. One semi to the face, and it's a quick trip back to the last checkpoint.


Unleashing the tornado might just be the most satisfying interactive moment in videogame history, as it swallows up enemies and tears up buildings with the force of the real thing.

If all of Bullet Witch had been as good as that first experience, it would have been an easy recommend to any action junky, but the other five levels are much larger and less focused. While there are still some standout moments, they're mixed with instances of missed potential, and served up with a side of confusion; not knowing where to go, what you're doing, or why there isn't anything exploding.

Stage four is the second best stage in the game. It starts out leading refugees over a mountain pass, and onto train tracks set over a narrow canyon, with clumps of enemies to tear through in the process. Then a twelve story tall demonic giant drops down on the tracks behind you, in what should have been the start of a frantic race to crush the foot soldiers to clear the way, guarding your allies to get off the bridge before this behemoth turns you all into paste. Instead, the big guy is just too darn slow, robbing the event of any tension, and it doesn't really matter if anyone but Alicia survives, cutting down on the challenge. After the giant buys it, enemy troops fill up the massive wooden structure of the local mining operation; destructible if you've an appetite for it. Except invisible walls prevent you from heading up the stairs, leaving you to walk along the canyon on the side. Fighting your way to the top with the whole thing collapsing around you (which is really how the city stage should have played out) would have been so much more memorable.

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