You know how video games have trends? Here is a thematic trend. First-person shooters are always popular and often lead the trend, followed up by RPG’s. BPM: Bullets Per Minute jumped on that Viking trend that’s going about. Can three games be classed as a trend – I don’t know, but what I can say is that it’s rooted in a few genres and creates an interesting combination. BPM: Bullets Per Minute is a rogue-like, first-person shooter, music and rhythm game set to a Norse mythological setting. So let’s talk about it.
I want to start off with the specs as always. This reason is two-tailed: firstly, it’s called tradition and secondly, this game asks for a lot. Let me show you.
|Intel Core i5-4590 or Equivalent||GTX 960 2GB or Equivalent||8GB|
|Intel i7||RTX 2060 3GB or Equivalent||16GB|
Dear reader, I jest you not. The recommended specifications do that much of a jump and get that vague. I know not if it was the developers or Steam but that GPU is skipping a whole generation and ‘Intel i7’ leaves an abyss of confusion, there are ten generations of i7 processors! Now composure is key so lets move on to my specs.
|Intel Core i7-7700k||NVIDIA GTX 1080||32GB|
Well… We have an ‘i7’. The GPU is in the middle. What I will say about my setup in comparison to the recommended specs is: It’s fine. As for the performance?
Excellent. I can achieve all 144PFS my monitor is capable of… sometimes. The game likes to throw many enemies into small rooms and sometimes that can cause the FPS to dip. To be honest, anything over 72FPS is perfect. The game remains playable and the room stays toasty. Sometimes it can take a bit to load but I’ve never had any issues with it crashing. Sometimes it may fail to launch but a quick trip to taskmanager and relaunching the game fixes that.
I feel it worth pointing out that the game looks stunning sans filter. Everything looks likes it fits. The halls and rooms of the Asgard level help with the grand scale of things – it looks amazing. Provided you turn the filter down because oh my God this game is swimming in thick filter. The whole first level is basically all red. Vanaheim is basically all brown filter! Do yourself a favour and turn them down a bit.
If I told you, that once again this is another game with a premise and very little story, you’d notice a trend. It is true though. You are a Valkyrie… with a gun. You traverse the maze of a stage and enter mini arenas to destroy the creatures, rack up a score, make some gold and find some keys to get loot. Each room has a door (or multiple) that will unlock upon beating the room. You then progress to the next room, rinse and repeat until you fight a boss. Beat the boss, move realm and square one.
It’s actually very simple… It’s the easiest part of the game. Let’s talk about something harder though.
BPM Is short for Beats per Minute, anyone with a standard high school education could have told you that, so what is BPM: Bullets per Minute? Shoot to the beat. There’s a synth like guitar wailing in the background like it’s being tortured and you shoot to the beat that is denoted on the crosshair. You are the percussion. But shooting to the beat would be too easy. You also dodge and reload to the beat, this means that you do every section of a reload… every time.
Now you get better guns and good buffs as you go along. You can find statues where can toss a coin in to get a buff to a stat or find armour pieces (that give no armour) that give major buffs and even spell books behind locked doors with interesting powers. Some buffs are better than others and some can be bought in the shops: More ammo per mag, better luck, more speed and a host of other goodies that make the game easier. Speed however, there is such a thing as too fast, be careful.
As I said you will move from realm to realm and take out bosses – four realms in total. You can also change Valkyrie in the start menu. Each one has a different gun and stats and you will soon find your favourite. Either way, the game plays exactly the same each time. I should mention whilst I’m here… bunny hopping is a great way of building speed outside of fighting.
Each boss is different and due to whatever gun you have and how hard the RNG may or may not shaft you – they can be difficult. Remembering that everything is to the beat and with all bosses having many attacks (including area of effect), you may find the first boss a challenge. This game takes practice.
In just under seven hours I have not managed to complete the game once. It’s a real one and done type run game but you always remember the bosses patterns and that’s important. You do progressively get better and that’s perfect. Each boss also has a unique arena that thematically fits and different types of attacks and phases. Anyway, I am struggling here to delivery any sage advice so lets move swiftly on to the scores.
Overall BPM: Bullets Per Minute is great. You can easily sink a few hours in here and there and still feel fulfilled. So I guess we should move on to the all important numerical values:
The performance is solid on my rig. I’ve had no issues that had to be fixed via patches or workarounds and honestly, even the FPS drops I can sometimes get don’t linger. Frankly, the only reason this isn’t a 10 is that it sometimes fails to initially launch. This can be annoying but like stated, taskmaster fixes it.
As far as the premise goes: it’s certainly unique. Blending first-person shooter and rhythm-based combat beautifully to make a challenging experience that you can just as easily jump right back into the moment you die, well the only other thing you could ask for would be to use your own MP3s. A wee bit of Vengaboys or Bee Gees to really make you laugh.
This also holds true for gameplay – they are intrinsically intertwined gameplay and premise. Yes you could do this for any theme and any weapon type be it knights and swords or Native Americans and bows – but I don’t feel it would be as fun and at the end of the day, isn’t that why we play games?
Anyway guys that’s it from me – Until next time!