When I first heard I would be reviewing Blue Estate, an on the rails shooter from HESAW, I immediately thought of Rambo The Video Game and the terrible time I had playing it. That game should be given to prisoners to play as part of their daily punishment, for me it was definitely something I had no desire to repeat. So, I was sceptical to say the least going into Blue Estate. Don’t get me wrong, I do have fond memories of rail shooters in the arcades of my youth, when Tickles pointed out to me that they were incredible fun with a light gun, and this is very true – but I don’t have a light gun, only my controller and my Kinect to to blast my way through the levels. Blue Estate is a game focused on the comic books created by Viktor Kalvachev, although I have not read any of these personally I did check out the previews they have on the website, just to get a feel of the world they have created through their art and writing. Like all rail shooters Blue Estate is all about the violence, and how many headshots you can get in a round. Some may find most of what is contained in Blue Estate sexist and racist at times, as it starts out with a rather sexy woman pole dancing at the main menu.

The story of Blue Estate starts out with Cherry Popz walking into the office of Roy Devive Jr., a private investigator, who happens to narrate the entire game as you progress through the levels.Cherry was looking for Tony, the son of Don Luciano, crime lord, business man and all round gangster. Cherry’s pole dancing skills had come to the attention of Kim and Jin, the Sik brothers, who happened to own their own strip joint and kidnapped Cherry to dance for them. Of course Tony considered Cherry his property and so the bloodbath begins. Tony Luciano is the kind of guy that shoots first and asks questions later. Armed with his custom made pistol Tony sets off to take down the Sik brothers and reclaim Cherry. Beginning to shoot in Blue Estate is a simple affair, right thumb stick moves the crosshairs, LT reloads and also allows you to take cover doing it, however cover is not always possible, and you will find yourself reloading in the open for the most part. The left thumb stick controls gestures like picking up ammo, brushing back Tony’s greaseball hair and even opening doors, the faster you react to these gestures the more points you get for them. I actually found using the right stick awkward for aiming, for some reason it just did not feel natural to me. You do also have the option of using the Kinect to control the game but again I found this sloppy and reverted back to the controller.

The humor in Blue Estate cuts very close to some lines without crossing into totally offensive, and if I am honest I did chuckle at times with the slap stick sequences. Playing through the levels does not seem to make much of a difference in Blue Estate, once you have played the first one, you virtually know what the rest of them are going to bring. You can acquire different weapons from time to time including a shotgun and a very classy gold AK47, but even with these in your hands the gameplay is much the same. Collectables are scattered across the levels in the form of golden statues to giant eggs but you will have to be quick to get these as you don’t have the option of turning back to shoot them. The story continues with a guy called Clarence once you have shot all the guys both Sik brothers have thrown at you, and then taken out the brothers themselves in very controlled boss battles. Clarence comes into the story looking for Blue Estate, a prize horse belonging to Don Luciano, and he has a different style, his gun sports a silencer. This fact makes no impact on the gameplay as you are still going through the levels shooting as many bad guys as possible while trying to rack up the highest combo you can. Honestly changing characters and dragging out the story makes no difference to this game, it is simply same shit different day.

The developers did try to mix it up with a range of enemies, from guys that run at you with machetes, to shotgun weilding fat guys, but they all might as well be ducks in a barrel as the aim is still to shoot them as fast as possible. If you die during a level you do have extra lives, continuing with another life starts you off in the exact place you died, and I found this a big plus as some of the levels seemed to drag on a bit. In one level you walk through dog pheromones, and from that point occasionally you will have a Chihuahua trying to mate with your leg. The object of this is to shake him off and shoot him giving you a trick shot. I only have to ask the question, why? Not only is the game filled with scenes that objectify women and comes quite close to offending Asian people, but someone decided to throw in some animal cruelty just to top it all off. Hey if you are going to do something you may as well go the whole hog. The Xbox One version also has a little extra in the form of an exclusive Arcade mode. These arcade levels are unlocked as you progress through the campaign, and are more of the same, just in a timed environment and at a faster pace to the actual game itself.

Blue Estate is your typical rail shooter that offers little in the way of excitement, although I have to admit I enjoyed parts of the gameplay. I definitely enjoyed it more than Rambo The Video Game, but I also found parts of it offensive and off putting. Graphically it is not terrible in any way, just average and boring, with generic enemies popping up in the usual places. Sometimes it is hard to see all the enemies that are on the screen but Blue Estate does highlight these with a yellow ring for you to shoot at. I did enjoy Roy Devine Jnr. and his voiceover as it added something enjoyable to what basically is a mundane experience. If you are the type of gamer that is looking for a no brains duck shoot then Blue Estate will be right up your street, but if you prefer you games to have good taste, some sort of depth, and replay value, then Blue Estate is not for you. I have played it once and admittedly enjoyed parts of it but I have no intentions of repeating the experience.