Bullet Witch

Year: 2006
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Review Date: 6/6/09
Rating: **

Sorely disappointing. The year is 2013 and the world is overrun by demons who are pushing Mankind to the brink of extinction. Humanity's savior arrives in the form of a beautiful young woman named Alicia who is armed with a giant machine gun and an arsenal of magic at her disposal. Alicia is a bit of a mystery - she's a witch with a dark past and a hidden agenda, and is also host to a demon of her own. I can't really tell you any more than that because I gave up on the game only twenty minutes into it.

After an incredibly boring opening cinematic, the first thing you notice is that the graphics are surprisingly poor for the current generation of hardware. The game looks more like the Dreamcast version of "House Of The Dead 2" (1999) than anything, and the characters move in a similar fashion. Alicia herself looks really good, but everyone else looks crude and awkward. I could easily live with that if the game were fun to play, but it's not. It's basically a first person shooter played from a third person perspective, and the controls are extremely difficult to manage. There's no auto-aim or target locking feature, so you have to manually aim every shot with the right analog stick while running around with the left analog stick. If you stop moving long enough to actually line up a shot, you end up riddled with bullets and left for dead. And this is on the "easy" setting, mind you. Turning around is also a complete pain in the ass, and if you get attacked from behind, you'll be dead by the time you can turn around to face your opponent. On top of that, the herky-jerky camera made me want to toss my cookies after fifteen minutes of running around.

It's unfortunate because I really wanted to like this game. The protagonist is someone I could really get into and the game feels like a spiritual successor to the enjoyable "BloodRayne" series. Alicia is wonderful - she's beautiful and well proportioned, has a wonderful personality, and owns a variety of cute and sexy outfits that are completely inappropriate for the task at hand. She has soulful eyes and Sarah Natochenny imbues her with a strong and delightfully melancholy vocal performance. (unfortunately, the rest of the voice acting is pretty poor) She also carries a huge freakin' gunrod which serves as a machine gun, a melee weapon, and a magic conduit, but it's a clumsy weapon and accessing spells is difficult and confusing. Apart from having a likable main character, the only nice thing I can say about the game is that it has an awesome musical score. Perhaps I should have just bought the soundtrack instead.

Ultimately, "Bullet Witch" is a sub-par action game and yet another wasted opportunity to evolve the "girls with guns" genre beyond its traditional trappings.