We discover in our review Neon Blight, a game set in a futuristic city where shootings are the order of the day
Neon Blight is a video game bullet hell developed by Bleeding Tapes exclusively for PC. The title is available on Steam and Epic Store at the cost of €19,99 and we have had the opportunity to try it to express our opinion about it. In this review of Neon Blight we will analyze the game in all its aspects so as to evaluate the actual quality of the titlewith all its strengths and weaknesses.
The story of Neon Blight starts right from the agents Lara and Franko who fly over the city with their flying car and await orders from the police station. Crime is now everywhere and it is up to them to protect the city from evil now uncontrollable. After a call from the power station, they leave the futuristic city to go to a place where the vegetation is quite rich with the entrance to a center in the center. secret base.
The two protagonists reach the crime scene full of dead agents where they can quickly find the leader of criminals of that massacre. By catching him, they are made aware that half of their colleagues have been corrupt and that it could get support at any moment. The protagonists find themselves displaced and do not know how to react, since killing him would be certain death while saving him would ruin their career forever. We don’t know exactly what happened and the game catapults us in the future of 15 years. Lara intends to leave the police, while remaining a freelance vigilante, to direct the old man shop of the uncle who sells all kinds of objects, materials and much more.
The initial premise of the plot is very intriguing but after a few hours it is shelved focusing mainly on the gameplay. It’s a shame considering the care behind the characters’ dialogues and the decidedly mature tone felt in the first hours of the game.
The gameplay of the game turns out very simple and similar to bullet hell titles like Enter the Gungeon. Basically we will have a firearm with infinite shots and by killing the enemies we will get new weapons from their corpses. You can really find everything in between rifles, shotguns, machine guns but also ammunition, coins and objects which provide passive skills to the protagonist. These items can be purchased in various shops around the game world. To change weapon you just need to use the wheel on the mouse while to fire we will use the aim directed with the mouse pointer. Finally, in addition to shooting, we will also be able to dodge the shots with a somersault. The gameplay of the game is essentially this, at times too simplified and decidedly repetitive, also given the little variety of enemies.
A very interesting game mechanic is that of the shop in which we will have to decide what to sell and at what price. The management of the coins is essential to better face the enemies and we have to sell the weapons that we will accumulate during our adventure at the right price, otherwise nobody will buy them. So, in addition to the shooting we will also have one resource management in the storewith the possibility of improve the cash register or increase the number of windows available to sell more items, all at the cost of tot coins. At first glance this variety in gameplay is fun and interesting, not focusing only on the shooting but the real problem is that it is all very sketchy and not very thorough, with few customizations available. The management of the shop after a few hours will become monotonous and repetitive, becoming almost an uninteresting routine.
Continuing our review of Neon Blight, in order to continue the adventure we will have to take our flying car and land in the outer lands. From here opens up a world full of paths and places to explore full of monsters, criminals and side quests. Killing enemies along the way will be the best way to get weapons, both for personal gain in the shop, and to get well equipped against the air boss. Defeating the main enemy is necessary to continue the story. The game has elements Roguelite and in fact, in case of death, we will lose all loot forever and we will have to retrace and face again all the defeated enemies of each area.
The map seems intricate at first, full of places to discover but after a few hours of play it does he feels a strong monotony in the explored areas. They will all be similar, with the same enemies and with very few interesting things to discover, just somewhere will have useful shops or other relevant ones. The introduction to the game world is also unclear without a real tutorial explaining exactly what to do and how the game world works. By groping you can orient yourself but for less experienced players it could be frustrating to continue in the game, without understanding how to continue the adventure.
The various settings of Neon Blight are made in pixel art with a strong focus on recreating a futuristic atmosphere. Each building has written a neon and textures of various colors which at first glance are also pleasing to the eye. The main hub, or the city where our shop is located, is well made with the right attention to detail in every single building. When you move on to the external lands, however, you immediately notice a decline in the care and variety of the settings. In the first few hours we will shoot in large expanses of lawn, all identical, hardly distinguishable from each other, giving a strong feeling of disorientation and repetitiveness. Without using the on-screen minimap it’s really hard to find your way around.
Technically the title is well done without any major bugs during our adventure. The sound sector does its duty with well crafted and quality shooting sound effects. Instead the atmospheric music is subdued and not very memorable since they are excessively silent and uninspired, not suitable for the anxious action context of the game. A note of merit concerns the localization of the game which, despite being an indie game, has subtitles in Italian.
At the end of the Neon Blight review we are ready to take stock. The game at the start it had potential but it soon became clear that something went wrong during development. The ideas are many in the cauldron but few are made properly while the others are implemented in a rough and not very thorough way. The gameplay is simple and immediate, having fun in the first hours but given the little depth it gets boring in a short time.
The story could have been the strong point of the game but is dropped after the prologue given the gameplay-oriented nature of the title, a real shame. Artistically interesting but nothing exceptional, Neon Blight is confirmed as a wasted opportunity not totally to be thrown away, given that some aspect of the game is still successful. Fans of games like Enter the Gungeon might consider it as well good level of challenge that the title has to offer, even if on the whole you have to start with low expectations.
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