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BPM: Bullets Per Minute

BPM: Bullets Per Minute (from English – “bullets per minute”; an allusion to beats per minute – “beats per minute”) is a computer game in the genre of rhythm-roglike shooter, developed by Awe Interactive and released independently on September 15, 2020 … The game is scheduled to be released to the console on October 5, 2021.

The player explores randomly generated rooms, which can contain either opponents or a reward. Most of the action in the game, including shooting and reloading weapons, should be done in time with the music; enemies, including bosses, also move and attack in time to the soundtrack.

The game received mixed reviews from critics. Critics noted the original synthesis of genres and a good soundtrack, but criticized the game for the high impact of chance and poor balance, and also noted that the game quickly becomes boring.

Game process
Bullets Per Minute is a roguelike shooter [1] in which the player controls a Valkyrie. The game is divided into four worlds, from Asgard to Helheim, each of which is divided into randomly generated rooms, in which the player is either waiting for enemies to be killed in order to advance further, or a reward – for example, coins that can be spent in stores. or golden keys with which you can open doors and chests. After the death of the player, all levels are generated anew, and the player returns to the beginning of the first level and starts from scratch. Sometimes levels are generated with a specific modifier: for example, the game has a low gravity mode and a mode in which it is impossible to earn coins.

At the levels, you can find special and ultimate abilities, such as freezing, stealing life and summoning an assistant, as well as items of equipment that can be worn in four slots – armbands, boots, a shield and a helmet. Equipment items have various properties – for example, constant health regeneration, spare life, double damage, flight, and infinite ammunition (that is, shooting without reloading). Also, the hero has characteristics such as range, damage and movement speed, which can be increased during the passage by donating coins to special statues. In the game there is no way to get permanent enhancements that affect all passes, however, it is possible to put coins in the bank and withdraw them during another playthrough.

The combat system of the game is tied to a metal-style soundtrack: all actions, except for movement and jumping, can only be performed in time with the music – including shots, dashes and reloading. A shot or reload pressed outside the beat of the music will have no effect. Weapon reloading is carried out in a few clicks and is unique for each of the 16 types of weapons: for example, to reload a shotgun, you need to press the reload button three times to the beat of the music, and for a revolver, you need to press it for each cartridge separately.

Similar to the player, the entire environment is also tied to music. Opponents, including bosses, move, shoot, attack and dodge in time to the music. Despite the fact that the music is unique for each level, its tempo does not change throughout the entire game and is approximately 90 beats per minute.

One playthrough of the game, from the first level to the final boss, takes 40-80 minutes even if all rooms are completely cleared. Game changing challenges can be unlocked as the game progresses; Thus, the Full Auto test will add an automatic firing mode to all weapons, thanks to which the player will no longer need to follow the rhythm when firing. The game also has a setting that automatically adjusts the clicks to the rhythm, which can be turned on and off as the game progresses.

Development and release
The BPM “rhythm shooter” announcement: Bullets Per Minute took place on May 1, 2020, and the game’s release on Steam was scheduled for August of the same year. Later, the release date was named September 15, 2020, and the release of the game on the console was also announced. The game was released on Steam and GOG stores on September 15, and the game was scheduled for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2021 [7].

Criticism
The game received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Metacritic has an average game score of 73/100 based on 25 reviews. Critics praised the game for its concept and soundtrack, but criticized the game for its heavy reliance on randomness, making half attempts pointless, lacking balance, and noted that the game quickly gets boring.

Alexey Afanasyev from DTF complained about the strong frustration from randomness and criticized the game’s appearance, in particular the “unsuccessful” palette, but noted that the game brings a unique experience and recommended the game to all fans of arena shooters and heavy music. Mikhail Ponomarev, in a review on the 3DNews website, gave the game 7 points out of 10, writing: “putting energetic rhythm mechanics at the forefront, the BPM authors completely forgot about working out game nuances.

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