Based on a graphic novel by Viktor Kalvachev, Blue Estate follows the story of psychopathic mobster Tony Luciano as he seeks to kill pretty much everything that moves in the Mafia underworld. It’s an on-rails shooter built specifically for motion controls, and is slated for an upcoming release on the Xbox One.
The game isn’t actually new to consoles entirely, though – the PlayStation 4 has played host to the game since last summer, and the reviews have condemned the game to a failing grade. Whether Blue Estate can find some success with the Xbox One’s Kinect features is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly an uphill battle for the developers.
Criticism for the PlayStation 4 edition of Blue Estate came fast and frequent, with many thinking the targeted dark comedy aspect was ruined by too much blatant and over-the-top sexism, racism and fat-shaming. The character of Tony existed for one-liners insulting the Asians he repeatedly mows down, something which didn’t strike a chord with most gamers, who likely haven’t taken a gander at the Blue Estate comic itself and didn’t brace themselves for the content it would deliver. The game doesn’t typically deliver on clever wit, but those looking to kill some time – and enemies – might get a kick of out some of the jokes, or the legitimately entertaining twist-and-turn ending of the game.
Storyline aspects aside, the gameplay places players in an on-rails world where they simply make gun gestures at the screen to shoot at enemies, and occasionally brush the hair out their eyes mid-shootout. It’s a ludicrously simple concept, which makes the game very easy to pick up and play. The plot – a simple case of a kidnapped girl and shooting everyone else to get her back – should be pretty easy to follow as well, and we could see the game potentially being a Games For Gold title offered to subscribers for free. It goes without saying those without Kinect need not pick up the title, as motion controls are its sole focus.
Old school gamers who grew up on arcade cabinets like Virtua Squad will recognize that they need to think about which enemies to take out first, lest Tony take one bullet too many for the self-described ‘Angel of Murder’ to handle. Despite the simple controls, enemies will come fast and frequent in Blue Estate, and gamers will need to stay on their toes for each level.
In terms of pricing, the Xbox One section on their website actually directs people to the PlayStation Network, where it sells for $19.99, but Xbox One gamers will actually enjoy a discounted price of $12.99. The developers also confirmed to us that a PlayStation 4 price update would soon come into effect, and will likely low the cost of the PS4 edition to $12.99 as well.
Blue Estate is scheduled to make its debut on Xbox One on February 18th, 2015.