Bite the Bullet Review: Ungapatchka
Kalvin Martinez / Feb 11th, 2021 No Comments
Apocalypses bank on the breakdown of normal and polite society. Often finite natural resources are the cause. However, the scariest potential apocalypse would be if we ran out of food. Imagine starving to death, and what lengths you would go to eat. Now realize millions are going hungry every day without the ruins of society prompting it.
Bite the Bullet delivers sound gameplay and mechanics with good fundamentals. However, it stumbles a bit with its systems leaving the game a bit overdressed.
Taco Bell, Bring Back the Mexican Pizza and Potatoes
Following an economic collapse, food shortages and starvation plagued the Earth driven by underpopulation and pollution. A temporary solution were bionodes implanted in humans allowing them to eat anything be it organic or inorganic. However, the bionodes corrupted humanity with mutations turning them into ghouls. Those smart enough to realize the jig was up took to the stars leaving Earth to the mutated ghouls.
After the exodus from Earth, Drawincorp emerged as a conglomerate looking to collect genetic material from across the galaxy. Done in the name of progress, preservation, and profit, they want to catalogue all genetic material. Yet the ghoul infested Earth proves to be a hitch in the plan. Fortunately, Supreme Executive Vora enlists two mercenaries: Chewie and Chewella to bring along the eight involuntary specimens from Earth to complete the Compendium. These highly skilled and insatiably hungry mercs will get the job done right for some nosh and the right price.
Bite the Bullet has a rock solid premise and a fascinating world. The story is front loaded. Once you get the tutorial out of the way, you’re treated to additional story beats between missions. It makes for a strong balance where the narrative tantalizes you, but doesn’t overwhelm or bury the gameplay.
One of the best parts of the game is how the story piques your curiosity immediately. While portions of the gameplay can be overwhelming, the world and its offbeat characters are a great palate cleanser. It is the perfect accent
Eat Lead and Everything Else
Shoot everything that moves and eat anything that doesn’t. That is the operating guide for Bite the Bullet’s gameplay. Playing as either Chewie or Chewella, it is your duty to go to dangerous locales searching for a rare ingredient at the behest of a Darwincorp. Sadly, that isn’t an easy task because there is an army of ghouls ready to kill you.
So, it’s your job to light em up! Equipped with a basic semi-automatic rifle, you’ll fire indiscriminately to carve a path to your goal. Fortunately, you’ll find bigger and better guns like shotguns and flame throwers along the way. Which is good because enemies only get meaner and more deadly as the ingredients become rarer.
Not simply a jarhead, you’re also a bonafide gourmand or gourmande. Now you can solve your problems with bullets, or you can get a little nosh. Right before you take the killshot, your enemies will be stunned or dazed. That’s when you can get your nibbles in and simply devour the opposition. This is important because being a mercenary is tough work and you burn a lot of calories doing it.
As you head toward the payload, you’ll need to keep an eye on your calories, protein, and fat. All the actions you do like jump (wall, double), dash, shoot, bludgeon, and use special attacks all burn calories, protein, and fat. Run low and your health will start draining. So, you can’t solve all your problems with a bullet. Sometimes vore is the answer.
Luckily, you’ll also find helpful power-ups throughout your missions like mutant veggies and beef, fast food, snackies, protein shakes, and buckets of mayo (for when you need to get fat quick) that’ll keep your strength up. Everything you eat will refill your health. However, like real life too much of any one thing can result in a change in your body.
Eat a lot of protein and you’ll be lean and muscular adding to your power and agility. However, you’ll need more resources to maintain that physique. Too much fat’ll give you a thicc bod with a powerful gut. It also makes you a defensive tank able to withstand more punishment at the expensive of some of your acrobatics. Again like real life, your body shape will fluctuate as you expend and intake calories, protein, and fat.
Further, you can specialize your diet in the game’s RPG-style upgrade system. When you reach the end of each area for a level, you vomit into a Lady Justice type scale ((emetophobes may want to look away during this) allowing you to spend upgrade points. Do you prefer to get those gains and only eat protein? Or are you more exotic and want to subsist on metal eating destroyed drones and other robits? Bite the Bullet lets you tailor your playstyle to its different class and upgrade branches.
Of course what is a meal without the main course? After you finish the amos boches, appetizers, samples, and other snacks. The true challenge comes in the form of massive, multi-part boss fights. If the grueling run and gun combat before wasn’t enough to test your skills. These boss fights definitely will.
Besting them takes patience, good aim, great evasive timing, and sometimes a little luck. However, they are the rare ingredient payloads you need. So keep at it until you force them into submission then eat those big bastards.
Bite the Bullet is, pardon the saying, ungapatchka. It’s laudable the effort and thought that went into the game’s considerable systems. However, in practice they detract from it being a damn good run and gun side-scroller. That isn’t to say the game is bad, but the hat stacking makes it muddled.
Bite the Bullet was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.
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