Just taking a quick outward glance at Blue Estate for the PS4, you’d think that there would be some rather fun elements contained within, after all, it does possess some decent visuals and highly stylized art design. However, upon further investigation we find a game that’s basically floundering around amidst a sea of socially relevant issues and using its crude humor and offensiveness to further sell its gameplay. For all intents and purposes it’s basically a cartoon-ish look into the life of a fictitious mobster and all the violence he subsequently wages. But where other games of any depth look to instill some larger lesson or deliver an intriguing dramatic narrative, Blue Estate takes solace in its criminal atmosphere alone, which may or many not sit well with many.
In case you weren’t aware, this title is actually a bona-fide rail shooter (a la’ the old arcade shooter “house of the dead”). You don’t really have any significant control over your character and essentially are guided around as if you were on a track, blasting away baddies with full abandon. In this sense the game feels a bit more like a slow-motion rollercoaster, although perhaps not quite as fun or entertaining. Having said that; it isn’t without its appealing attributes – it is after all, presented in a unique graphic novel-ish sort of style, echoing the general look of a comic book or older pulp publication at times. The problem of course is that it unabashedly marginalizes lots of different peoples along racial, ethnic and gender lines, which again, will immediately leave a bad taste in most people’s mouths. We can only assume that this was the intention from the start of course, which means if that’s what they set out to do in the first place, mission accomplished.
Visually, Blue Estate isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but nor is it ugly. In all seriousness, it is a fine-looking offering which could have been made much more appealing than it is with some more thoughtful writing and the addition of more interesting gameplay concepts. As it stands, many will likely find it to be quite a bit boring, especially when there are games like GTA V on the shelf (which essentially bring a similar sort of action to the mix, replete with elements of organized crime and all that freedom of exploration). One of the game’s only saving graces is its use of the DualShock 4’s touch capabilities, which is definitely fun and a major highlight for the title. With Blue Estate you are basically bound to the highly scripted experience that its developer created, which in truth isn’t going to be particularly appealing to a wider gaming audience.
If you’re into rail shooters though, by all means, definitely check out Blue Estate. If one were to consider it an attempt to sort of revisit retro themes within the context of more modern graphics, etc. it actually seems to work. Needless to say, this really isn’t any kind of landmark release or title worth playing through a second time however.