Top Critic Average
The whole thing can be polished off in a long day (that's what I did), and in certain sections I was enjoying the old-school run-n-gunning. But just as often I was being frustrated by glitches, poor enemy AI (which is pretty unforgiveable after they mock it for being such in the early levels, and then never improves), or aching repetition.
The difficulty is never so punishing that you feel like you can't improve, and playthroughs can be short enough that you are never too far from just restarting a run fresh in order to succeed where previously you failed. The lore is shallow yet entertaining and battles infrequently unfair, but I keep finding myself wanting to play just one more run to see if I can perform better than last time on my way towards utopia.
Bedlam serves as an homage to the first-person shooter genre. It's not quite as polished as the games it emulates, and its nature as an imperfect replica should be quite apparent to any FPS veteran. In spite of its shortcomings, Bedlam is highly entertaining and well worth your time.
Bedlam is undeniably an enjoyable kick for those who grew up in the '80s and '90s, surely drawing from personal experiences with the games it's emulating. The eccentricities found in Brookmyre's writing may work to alienate those merely passing through, but for those drawn in by the familiarity of its charming block graphics it'll simply be an added bonus. If you're still missing the days of dial-up LAN games of Quake then this is well worth a look, but if you have no idea what that first sentence meant, well you're probably better off giving it a miss altogether.
I genuinely did have some great laughs, and there are worse ways to kill an afternoon, but ironically Bedlam falls prey to many of the same issues of the games it apes.
Bedlam leaves a lot to be desired. We were really intrigued by the game at first, but the more time we spent with it, the less appealing it became to us. That, along with technical issues that shouldn't be present ultimately left a bit of a sour taste.
Bedlam is an interesting experience, and one that older gamers can probably appreciate a bit more than the younger generation today. Even with my experience of older games, this is an experience that reminds me how much gaming has evolved over the last few years, and for the better. It's a nice idea, and in a world where gaming could use more inventive narratives, it succeeds. It just isn't a very fun game to play, and that's honestly missing half the point. If the idea behind the game interests you enough, read the book it's based off of instead.
Bedlam tells a really interesting and genuinely funny tale. So it's a shame then that few will stick round to hear all of it because the game itself is so lacking in joy.
Bedlam is a game that, in better hands, could've been an unbridled classic in today's shooting genre, but, alas, with lazy development and issues that consistently rise to the surface, it simply never gets to that point.
Bedlam's concept is absolutely brilliant, and it's voiced very well too. Unfortunately, its stiff, unforgiving gameplay just isn't much fun, and what you're left with is a great idea whose potential just hasn't been fully realized.
In the end Bedlam has an interesting premise at its core and dialogue that will amuse for a while, but it gets same-y very quickly in each environment. Perhaps if the game started more quickly and had you hopping genres a little earlier in the game, it wouldn't outstay its welcome quite so quickly. As it is, it can only really be recommended if the genre-hopping idea has you weak at the knees.
Bedlam is great fun, fast-paced, challenging, and humorous. The bugs that exist just now will hopefully be fixed during its Early Access period on Steam. Therefore, problems aside, Bedlam's story and gameplay should keep the interest going right up to the end. Bedlam has huge potential, but is unfortunately not quite fulfilling it at the moment and is simply a fun-yet-average shooting game with a quirky story.
It's repetitive in its continuous swarms of enemies, challenging in the constant flurry of bullets headed your way and ends up sapping most of the potential fun out of itself. Bedlam may suit your needs if all you need is a trip down FPS memory lane, but you're better off seeking any number of similar titles which actually offer compelling gameplay.
The one saving grace to Bedlam is that it doesn't take itself seriously. There's some nicely written self-referential humour in there. Sadly, Bedlam seems to think it is genuinely funny, rather than the actual joke, so some of the humour falls a bit flat in assuming that people want to play the game in the first place. It's all a giant pity, as I could have enjoyed Bedlam. But nice concept aside, it's many months worth of development time underdone.
Bedlam: The Game is not all that fun to play, but that doesn't mean that it's an outright disgrace. Rubbing shoulders with its cruddy combat and occasionally criminal controls is a release with a strong sense of humour and some razor-sharp writing. It's just a shame that this escapade fails to ever elevate itself beyond the properties that its parodying, serving up a sloppy first-person shooter that should have been so much more.
A great idea executed poorly. £15.99 on PS4 is a big ask for a shoestring budget shooter that handles far worse than the games of yesteryear it seeks to emulate. Nostalgic retro FPS fans would be better off spending the money on a copy of the book.
Bedlam is, on many points, an interesting title. It has a fascinating story, nostalgia, and fun with universe meme. The world building around the game and the inclusion of old-school titles in the setting are features truly well-worked upon. Sadly, the same can't be said about Bedlam itself.
Bedlam is a neat concept that has managed to result in a game that's utterly bankrupt of creativity, polish, or fun. It's a game that went so wrong at every turn that it makes you just feel bad for its developers. There's nothing here but a bunch of half-hearted references and wistful nostalgia for old video games, both of which you can get plenty of for free on the internet.