In the past, video games based on iconic action movies seem to have turned out terribly. There’s that canceled console game based on Taxi Driver that troubled the adaptation of Apocalypse Now and the critically reviewed 2006 game version of Reservoir Dogs. But no one seems to be giving up on Quentin Tarantino’s classic heist movie, so this spring, a second adaptation is in the works to be released, hopefully, beyond past expectations. Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days may surpass everything because of its clever central idea.
Basically, Bloody Days is an awesomely violent action game take based on a series of heist missions and, of course, who else, starring the movie’s six color-coded protagonists. It’s almost similar to Hotline Miami though not as stylish, and with a similar structure. Each map is like a mini maze where you need to learn the location of enemies and find the most efficient ways to get rid of them, in short, kill them, and in the process get to pick up their weapons along the way.
Now, here’s the thing with the new game: Instead of using a single avatar, the player gets to select two or three at a time and play as all of them. A player can’t use them in a unified squad movement or a series of sequential turns, but instead by rewinding and fast-forwarding to control each character simultaneously. At the Game Developers Conference where Bloody Days was first shown, developers at Spanish studio Big Star Games said this game was actually inspired by Tarantino’s suggestion that he loves temporal shifts. Of course, it pays that Big Star Games and Lionsgate work together. If you were a DJ, it’s like recording tracks and laying them over each other, but each track can modify the one before it.
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Confused? So was everyone else until the game was shown in its full glory to the delight of the gamers present. Let’s say, Mr. A slowly rounds a corner and there’s a guard that shoots him. Quickly, you hit a key and transfer to Mr. B who sprints forward and kills the guard before he can get off a shot. After this you can then transfer to Mr. C, and so on and so forth. It might take a few rounds to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, the violent fun takes over. Those who tested the game felt a bit chaotic at first and had to go through several deaths before getting the hang of it and naturally swapping from one character to another every few seconds with ease. And the characters? Well, Steve Buscemi is still Mr. Pink, Michael Madsen as the still grinning psychopath Mr. Blonde, and Mr. Brown is the Tarantino himself. Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days will be released on Steam in the spring and later again this year for Xbox One.