Bedlam: The Game by Christopher Brookmyre Reviews
An ambitious and fascinating wander through gaming's history, but one that can't replicate the addictive gameplay of the forefathers it documents.
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.
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.
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.
A faux-retro shooter with an irreverent sense of humour, Bedlam is hard to recommend as anything other than a curio, despite its popular source material.
Bedlam: The Game isn't particularly well made, nor much fun to play, but it is interesting. I've played far better games that I'll remember less.
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.
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: 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.
Bedlam will help you remember why classics are classics; but not because Bedlam lives up to them.
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 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.
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 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.
The worst history lesson ever.
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.
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.
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.