I remember purchasing Bullet Witch on my Xbox 360 when it released all the way back in 2007 and just feeling a little ‘meh’ about it. It wasn’t awful, sure, but it wasn’t a particularly great title either – I think that was the general consensus amongst critics, too.
It’s surprising then that it’s had a PC revival eleven-years later. Coming with revamped visuals and all of the additional DLC, it’s the perfect opportunity for those who missed out on the game years ago to give it a go. Unfortunately, age hasn’t been kind to Bullet Witch and… well… it’s just a bit crap.
Bullet Witch puts you in the heels of Alicia – a demon-hunting witch who heads across a destruction-filled Earth as she looks to take down a powerful foe and maybe even save humanity. There’s a bit of extra detail added for good measure through Alicia’s past, but in honesty there’s nothing about the narrative that’ll particularly wow you or see you really caring about what’s going on. It’s all about the killing of enemies and clearing of levels, neither of which are particularly thrilling either.
Bullet Witch sees you blasting away at enemies with your broomstick-gun in third-person shooting action, all whilst mixing together some elemental-based magic attacks that can unleash destruction on both your enemies and the environment. You’ll trudge through a variety of levels, destroy any enemies that are in your path, and make your way across basic platforming segments. It’s simple and inoffensive, but at the same time does nothing out of the ordinary as far as shooters are concerned.
It does have a few neat ideas though, such as the level of destruction that you’ll inflict upon levels as well as the constantly expanding arsenal of weapons at your disposal. It’s a common thing in third-person shooters to become better equipped the more you play, but the way each weapon ties into Alicia’s broom is actually pretty neat. There’s definitely potential there for her to become an impressive ass-kicking demon-killer.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing else about Bullet Witch that feels particularly inspired, with the game just throwing the same kind of stupid enemies at you time and time again over simple level structures. Don’t get me wrong, the scale of destruction can be impressive (especially when the elements are behind it), but there’s nothing about the game as a whole that’ll really blow you away.
Oh, and it also has one of the most frustrating and drawn out last boss battles ever too, which is something I remember hating about the game back when it originally launched too. The only saving grace about the encounter this time is the fact that it doesn’t slow down the whole game with an incredibly low framerate… hurray, I guess?
Visually, you’ll see improvements upon the game’s original release, but it’s still pretty bland. You can play in fancy 4k and at 60fps, but you can’t hide the shoddy character models, murky textures and dull level design. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the worst looking game you’re ever going to play, but it’s certainly not an attractive one either.
One redeeming factor for Bullet Witch is the fact that it’s available for a low price, with the £12.99 fee not proving to be too much of a hit to the wallet. I’m sure plenty of gamers have some affection towards the game, so forking that out to re-visit it might not seem like too bad of a price to pay. Those who’ve never played it and want a thrilling third-person shooting experience might want to look elsewhere though…
I also have to admit that there was something about playing Bullet Witch that I actually (and perhaps a little guiltily) appreciated. I completed the game a good few times whilst achievement hunting in my younger years, so re-visiting some levels and enemies – no matter how bland they were – felt a little nostalgic. Of course, most gamers wouldn’t have put the same amount of hours into the game as I did, so that small feeling of joy will probably be reserved for a very select group of gamers.
Bullet Witch wasn’t a particularly good game when it launched back in 2007, and unfortunately some shiny resolution upgrades and a steadier frame-rate do very little to change that now. Add to that the repetitive and uninspired gameplay, and it’s easy to see why it never became a big name release in the gaming community to begin with.
A low price point might make it worth investing in if you’re intrigued or somehow enjoyed the game the first time around, but those wanting an action-packed third-person action adventure as a badass witch might be better off sticking with Bayonetta.
Publisher: XSEED Games, Marvelous USA
Release Date: Out Now
Format(s): PC (Reviewed), Xbox 360