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Bombshell review: More "bad" than "badass"

Hayden Dingman | Feb. 1, 2016
Alternatively: Don't shell out cash for this bomb.

The bad

“Why can’t you just spot the acid-bugs before they get to you, Hayden?” Well, reader, it’s because the camera is zoomed so far up this planet’s ass that you can barely see ten feet in any direction. This game has the same problem as Hotline Miami 2, in that enemies love to stand juuuuust off-camera and snipe at you, which is incredibly easy because the camera hovers low enough you need to practically stand on an enemy to shoot them.


What you actually end up doing is staring at the mini-map in the corner. It shows you enemies off camera and shows where you’re currently aiming, so I played half the game lining up shots that way.

The worse

Have you replayed Super Mario 64 recently? If you have, you probably noticed that many of the platforming sections would be way easier if the camera would just behave—meaning aligned properly, instead of awkwardly angled.


Bombshell, for some reason, includes awful platforming bits where the camera is just always a little off-axis from where it should be. And you can’t rotate it. 3D Realms strongly recommended playing this game with a keyboard/mouse instead of a gamepad, but the angles for those platforming bits are awful and I have died exponentially more times from a misjudged jump than all the enemies I’ve encountered in the game.

The ugly

Bombshell also includes some RPG-lite aspects. You can upgrade your main character Shelly with some stronger secondary powers and (more importantly) additional armor. And you can upgrade your weapons, too.


But all of that is contained in this knockoff Fallout Pip-Boy interface, and while I can appreciate the homage the execution is pretty underwhelming. Especially because Fallout’s UI is already not that great.

The breaking point

And now, we finally return to why I will not be finishing Bombshell a.k.a. because it’s busted. Everything else pales in comparison.

I don’t just mean “Falling through the world and dying” busted or “The game keeps erasing my map” busted. Those are certainly things that keep happening, and they’re certainly Problems with a capital-P, but they would not be reason enough for me to give up on a game.


It was two events, both of which happened Thursday.

1) In the third or fourth level (unsure, because they all sort of bleed together into one long corridor of baddies) I reached a place called the Vertigo Arena. My objective: Survive some waves of enemies. Suffice it to say I did not heed that objective, and for once the enemy’s braindead goons managed to shoot me dead. “No big deal,” I thought, reloading my checkpoint.


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