Bullet Witch

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


Bullet Witch is an acquired taste. Its mundane start, clunky targeting, and uninventive third person game play take some time to adjust to. Bullet Witch finally clicks later in the game when it becomes something truly special that patient and persistent gamers will relish.

In a stereotypical Earth post-war, humans are a dying breed. Overrun by an army of demons, the few left either flee or fight. Of course, you're one of the ones fighting, controlling a witch named Alicia tasked with blasting the demons from one of the more unique guns you'll ever find in a video game. Alicia is gifted with athleticism, sharp aim, and magic ability to wipe out the entire horde en masse or one at a time.

Early levels play out like a tired third person shooter. It's straight run and gun, which has an archaic, out of date feel to it. The touchy targeting makes it hard to precisely fire at a target. Level design also relies on finding small corridors to pass through, and the game world is far too open ended to expect the player to find these spots.

Then, as if by some miracle, the game pulls itself together allowing you to completely forget about the meandering start. You'll adjust to the targeting and allow the epic boss fights, stunning visuals, and awe-inspiring magic to work in tandem to immerse you in this unbelievable battle. You'll begin to level up Alicia, further increasing her magic and firepower to ridiculous levels, and that's when you can't put this one down.

Simply put, the first time you unleash Alicia's tornado spell inside a military base, you'll never forget that moment. A flawless destruction model combined with solid physics make a combination that must been seen to be believed. It instantly makes up for the bland, flat cityscapes earlier. This is pure next-gen beauty.

Bullet Witch keeps upping the ante with enormous boss battles, including one on top of a falling plane against a full moon that crafts a gorgeous visual image. On top of that, the fight is intense and challenging. The final boss is likewise intense and ridiculously long, though it's the proper ending in terms of the story and situation.

Thankfully, that story doesn't simply settle for a good and evil battle. It gives it a purpose, and the fantastic twist it takes before the final level is a classic. Voice acting can be sketchy in spots, yet this emotional moment keeps its impact intact.

Upon beating the game, the player can trek through any level again to continue leveling up Alicia to unleash spells with far more power. Extra difficulties increase an already high (but fair) challenge. Dedicated players will spend some time here to find everything, including a robust set of achievements you can be proud of if you land all of them.

You'll need to stick with Bullet Witch to grasp it. If a demo or video turned you off, come back. Even if the game play fails to grab you, there are enough sights and surprises to make the trip worthwhile by the time its all over.


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Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 09:46 PM