Is It Really A Bloody Good Time?

By Phill Cameron on November 9th, 2010 at 12:05 pm.


I’ll admit, the first thing I did when I started playing Bloody Good Time was bounce off it. I read through the How To, joined a game and.. got summarily confused, bemused, and killed. Over and over, for reasons I wasn’t entirely sure of, by people I didn’t think were supposed to be able to kill me, and in ways I didn’t completely understand. This isn’t exactly the best feeling to have when you start playing a new game. Especially one with such an esoteric premise and play style as Bloody Good Time.

You see, a film director has gone crazy, as film directors so very often do. He’s taken on a moniker, namely Director X, (he’s crazy, not creative), and decided to fill his studio with aspiring actors and actresses, and have them kill each other in the name of making an excellent slasher flick.

Right, now forget everything that I just said. It doesn’t matter, has no bearing on how the game plays out, and only really serves to provide a setting for the game. You run around, behind, and over film sets, seeing past the facades and props as you frolic about killing the other players and going to the toilet. And eating. And sleeping.

You see, not only are you an actor in this man’s demented film, and not only are you expected to walk around picking up weapons and murder aids with the goal of offing your co-stars on his whims, but you’re shackled to the bodily functions we all suffer from. Get too tired and you’ll slow down, before fainting. Too hungry, and you’ll have to pause while your belly rumbles. Bladder too full? You get the picture.


When you hear about the mechanics of a game like this, you can’t help but get excited. Thoughts of a multiplayer Hitman waft past your mind and you start to imagine setting up elaborate traps and fiendish ambushes. In reality, that’s not exactly how Bloody Good Time plays out, despite the possibility of doing all that.

Each map is divided in to scenes, which are basically just rounds that feature a different game type each time, be it Hunt, Infected, Kill the Leader, Free for All, and so on. There’s usually a break of about a minute between each mode, giving you time to go for a quick nap, eat a burger, or have a piss. And in the game.

The whole thing, however, revolves around the Hunt mode, with a few others thrown in there to break up the pace. You’re assigned a target, and someone is assigned you as a target, and you go from there, using your minimap and the constant update as to where your victim is to track them down and set something up. Layered on top of this is a stars system, where different types of kills net you different amounts of stars. Sometimes the shotgun will be worth five stars, and othertimes just two. In theory, this is a way of stopping things becoming a fragfest, with everyone just picking up the nearest weapon and having at it. And it kind of works, on the surface, with the players who take the time to find the valuable weapons getting the most points.

The problem is that some of the weapons are so much more straight forward and boring than others. If I wanted to go around killing people with a shotgun or a revolver, I would hardly be playing Bloody Good Time. I’m here for the poisons, the robotic explosive rats, the lullaby sheep, and the gluegun. I here for weapons which require finesse and setting up the best situation to use them. But most of all, I’m here for the traps.

Littered throughout each level are a series of traps, ranging from gas rooms, false floors, spike pits, whatever horror trope you can think of, it’s probably there, somewhere. It’s one of the only areas where the setting actually makes sense, and it’s also one of the only times that the ‘murder aids’ actually start to open the game.


I mentioned bouncing off the surface of the game earlier, and that was mainly due to the fact that you’re just thrust into a place that has so very many different possibilities thrust upon you. Things like the gluegun might not make immediate sense. Obviously it shoots glue, but for what purpose? And then you realise there’s a neat little X marking the spot where each trap fires, and you laugh, aim, and shoot a sticky patch right on it. Time it right, and your victim is going to slow down at just the wrong moment.

There are a dozen or so different items that all enable you to render your opponents vulnerable, and it’s through learning what they do, and how to apply them to the levels, that you’re really going to get the most out of Bloody Good Time. Frankly, I don’t care so much about the score; if I can get one perfect, stunningly executed execution out of every game, I’m happy to come last. Except, of course, I probably won’t because traps net you the maximum stars for a kill.

Missteps abound, unfortunately. The mere inclusion of the guns in the game seems at best a compromise, and at worst a lazy addition, if only because they reduce Bloody Good Time so often to a really weak FPS. If they’d filled the game with more inventive, highly contextual weapons, it would have been infinitely more interesting to play.

Also, it seems to play far better with less players, with around four or five being the optimum. Granted, the largest servers I’ve seen have been for sixteen players, but that’s far too many, with things getting hectic and overwhelming before a round even starts.

Bloody Good Time left me initially confused not because it’s necessarily confusing itself, but because it is, as a game design, confused. It feels like half the game I really want to play, and half a concession to make it appeal to people who might not necessarily go for it. The Ship was a concept that desperately called out for refinement. And while Bloody Good Time is interesting in its own right, it’s not the distillation we needed, and more just a watering down.

For £4, though, it’s worth a pop.

, , .

51 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. DevilSShadoW says:

    I really wanted to buy this for the price alone but for some bizarre reason, it’s just not clocking with me.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      erm, it was supposed to be clicking
      but clocking kinda makes sense in a weird kid of way

    • Popish Frenzy says:

      Oh snap! Just got meta puned.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Agree with the summary. A slightly missed opportunity, but still got something going for it (the price being a big one.)

    I think I said this before, but added to list of things you would have liked to see included I would have liked more interaction between other players. The methods of stealing stars and weapons from them is something, but I would have liked some kind of cooperative objectives alongside hunting your quarry. It would have been much more interesting if you could lull people into a false sense of security and then backstab them when they least expect it. Imagine L4d, but with Bill out to kill Zoe in secret. Instead, you just mill around looking suspicious.

  3. Sweedums says:

    I bought this game when I saw the low price point, and because some of my finest and funniest moments in my gaming life have taken place in The Ship… and yet it just didn’t grab me. guns in The Ship were fairly rare and usually had low kill values so it was infinitely more satisfying to go around with say, a frying pan, or croquet mallet…. Bloody Good Time is just too crazy because of the guns. The Ship brought along with it a sense of paranoia as you didnt know what your quarry, or your hunter looked like, so every encounter in a hallway was like your very own cuban missile crisis, with both sides stroking their kill buttons until you realise its not who you are looking for. I miss this so, so much, and I am so sad that outerlight have been closed down (as the rumours say… correct me if im wrong)… I wanted The Ship 2 so badly.

    • wererogue says:

      Yeah, I loved the disguises in the ship, and I loved how careful you had to be where you killed your quarry. If it wasn’t still $20 I’d have tons of friends playing it, but it seems like that’s just the wrong price for everyone.

      BGT just doesn’t grab me the same – I like the traps, I like the better interface, but I hate the character design (it seems like the slasher setting is just an excuse to put in cheesecake) and I could do with more guarded areas – I remember having different strategies to find my target and return to a central area to defend myself and brush up on who looks like what now.

    • Kryopsis says:

      There are disguises in Bloody Good Time, wererogue. Is that no the same thing? I confess, my experience with The Ship was limited: I did not enjoy it. Bloody Good Time is deceptively enjoyable at first but the lasting impression is much less positive. There are some areas that could certainly be improved.

    • jeremypeel says:

      I missed The Ship at release, but after all this recent talk I’m really interested in it.

      I think Outerlight would be well advised to have a sale right about now, especially as they’re desperately in need of the revenue.

    • Dozer says:

      I bought The Ship last time its innovation and uniqueness were highlighted here, but found that a) along with all other multiplayer FPSes, it doesn’t like my ADSL-down-3-miles-of-copper-wire internet connection and I’d keep losing connection to servers, and b) it was hard to find a server where people were playing. Also c), my life is changing and I’m not enjoying playing multiplayer playground games so much anymore. Hope you have better luck!

  4. Brumisator says:

    Awwwwww, well this sucks….

  5. EBass says:

    Sounds very very much like the excellent Half Life mod turned full game (which as far as I’m aware nobody bought) “The Ship”

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Yeah, this is uh.. basically the sequel. Made by the same people. As alluded to in the article.

      =)

  6. Nihileth says:

    I guess the issue would be that if you only had traps, no one would prowl about the map trying to get easy frags and invariably run into those traps, everyone would trap-camp. Maybe. I haven’t played it.

  7. Sunjammer says:

    Yep. Already made my opinion on how utterly shit Outerlight are at teaching their game mechanics in the past, so I’ll just cry a little bit again over another missed opportunity and wish them the best. They had a second chance with a formula that was a diamond in the rough, and they blew it.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I don’t understand how people could struggle to learn this game.

    • fuggles says:

      Sadly I believe the whole team was laid off by the publishers as soon as this was released.

  8. Lilliput King says:

    I don’t think it’s confused. It knows exactly what it is. I don’t think what it is what a lot of people want it to be, though. The mention of Hitman in this article is telling.

    BGT isn’t Hitman. It isn’t slow, methodical assassination planning. The word that best describes it is arcade. It’s fast paced killamajig action, and the game mode switches about 5 times per map, radically changing your goals. Hunt is indeed the core of the game, but after three minutes of that you’ll be playing deathmatch, or infection, or hunt the leader. Hunt the leader in particular is a really nice way to switch things up, the leader losing 3 points per death and the person who managed to get ‘em gaining 5, it keeps everyone in it to win it.

    I’m not sold on the ‘needs’ system, but I like the fact that there’s always something to do. You only get the one target during Hunt, and after you’ve killed them you don’t get assigned another, so you gotta make it count, son. But after you’ve nabbed them once, you’re left to gather a new arsenal (predicting what will be a valuable weapon next round is one of the core skills), see to your needs, steal from other players, stop anyone stealing from you, use the camcorder to steal fame from others, and ultimately try and work out who is hunting you, as you get bonus fame for whacking them before they whack you.

    There are the seeds of paranoia, the is-he isn’t-he, that we’d like to see in a good assassination game in that last activity, but it’s really not what the game is about, and if you go into it looking for that and only that, you’ll probably be disappointed (be patient and wait for Brotherhood!). It constantly urges you get moving. There’s places to be! Things to be done! But it works. It’s fun. It’s innovative. You should at least give it a go.

    • MrSafin says:

      I totally agree with you. Bloody Good Time isn’t shallow as one might think, because there’s an hidden depth in it. You must choose your tactics quickly, or you won’t get your chance to rack up points.

      And it is true that there is ALWAYS something to do. Camping isn’t an option (well, there’s always the sniper rifle which you can use to pick out your target from afar), because in the mean time you could do something more useful.

      I think that for 5 euros this game is a top notch purchase. A really creative game.

    • Squiffy says:

      Thirded. In fact, even though it feels very arcade-y, I found it also facilitated a slower, more sneaky style of play just as well.

    • DrGonzo says:

      My experience of the game is still just, ‘DrGonzo was murdered for no reason’. Over, and over again until I quit due to frustration. I haven’t managed to get any fun out of this so far and to me it seems more like The Ship was the sequel to this, as in it takes out most of the frustrating parts and improves on mechanics Bloody Good Time tried. But no it’s actually the other way round. A massive step back in my opinion.

  9. Artist says:

    Stupid Ubicrap refuses to sell the game to me between 6am-10pm… wft??

    • Tusque d'Ivoire says:

      I have the same problem, and am seriously reconsidering to buy this game, even if letting the 50% code i got from RPS go to waste would be a shame. And it’s – for once – probably not the Ubi’s fault…

  10. Al3xand3r says:

    Because it’s from the same developers. EBass. Although I Must say it seems worse. How hard is it to find your target if there are no disguising features like in The Ship?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Well, for a start, there are disguises.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Ah, cool. I assume they change your whole appearance? It wouldn’t be that hard to spot “the black guy” no matter the clothes he’s in for example, if not many players are in the match. I thought there’s no disguising cos all the screenshots showed the same playboy bunnny suits and clowns etc. If these are full disguises and anyone can look like either with just a costume change then cool.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Yup, they make you one of the other characters, Brotherhood style.

      You do need to know where they are, though, but putting one on in the one minute warmup time before hunt massively improves your chances.

    • Archonsod says:

      The radar generally points to them anyway. Killing your target is the easy part, it’s eluding your hunter that’s the tricky bit.

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      My main gripe with the game is that it could really do with more populous levels with bots that aren’t part of the hunt, like brotherhood. Thats the main reason I’ve been playing the single player a bit more than multi

  11. CMaster says:

    OK, so been playing this a bit.
    I haven’t played The Ship since it’s old HL1 mod days, when it was brilliant, but also confusing and prone to a lot of frustration and griefing.

    Unlike The Ship, this game is fast and manic. There’s no carefully planned kills, no pretending to be NPCs, not really any pretending not to try and kill someone. You just leg it around after your target trying to gank them, and hoping that your hunter doesn’t find you first. If you suceed in getting your target, then time to pull some “random arsehole” moves of pickpocketing or using a camcorder. That said, this manic nature can be quite fun, although it always feels like there’s quite a bit of luck in the game, and while they’ve added protections so that being killed for no reason doesn’t really matter, you can easily get into a sitation where your target is always killed by somebody else before you get to them, for the whole 3 minutes you get.

    Where the game really falls down however, are the “bonus” rounds. While the “kill the leader” and “hold the flag” modes are all fair enough, the infection mode, where half the cast are zombies is horribly unfun and encourages camping (eg on haunted house level, go to the conservator, grab the sniper and aim at the door – you’ll never get zombified) and then “blood money” – the free for all mode, completely ruins the game. How so you ask? Because in this mode, you get the full points reward, normally reserved for just your target each round for killing anybody. Pick a decent weapon with 3-5 star rating and go on a rampage, and you can easily make more points in this one round than the entire rest of the game – I g0t 40 stars once this round – that would be like getting a 5 star (maximum) kill in every hunt round, while never being killed yourself

  12. mod the world says:

    Once you know the maps better and know what each trap does, the game gets 100x times more enjoyable. It’s very satisfying to lure your hunter into a trap while he stormes directly at you, paying more attention to the minimap marker than anything else.
    BGT is too arcadey with 16 people, but if you play with 8 or less, you will get this paranoical feeling every time you run into some one. Also you can kill people while they sit on the toilet, that’s an auto win!

  13. Wulf says:

    Hm. The colourful aesthetic does appeal to me, but it just sounds like they’ve stripped down The Ship into an action movie game. Which is all well and good if you like that sort of thing, but I was hoping for more of the same with The Ship, I suppose, which was a surprisingly intelligent game. I long for such.

    Oh well, different strokes, I suppose. If only we could get more people aboard The Ship.

  14. Navagon says:

    Ultimately it feels too much like a conventional Quake 3 style deathmatch with some traps and toys thrown in. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it aside from how far short of its potential it falls.

  15. Sinomatic says:

    I’ve only really had a couple of hours with it, but once I got my head around how things worked (and started to get a sense of where things were on the maps) I was quite enjoying myself. Is it the best shooter in the world? No. Is it decent funtimes for a few pennies? Yes.

    The one thing that annoyed me more than anything was the name above people’s heads not being easy to read – by the time I’d determined I was definitely about to attack the right player, they’d either escaped or killed me. That might not be a problem on less populated servers, but when there are a few people in with the same character models it can be hard to differentiate quickly.

    The whole sims-esque bodily needs is a bit odd in a shooter, but who doesn’t enjoy farting their way around a map or being murdered mid-pizza?

  16. Malagate says:

    Seems like a fair bit of lamenting for the ship in this thread, with which I will gladly add my oar! The ship was potentially lots of fun, just like BGT sounds like, but there was always a few things that spoiled the game most of the time.

    Firearms were a kind of peeve of mine for example, anyone who knew the map well enough would run straight for the tommyguns and effectively be invincible. Doesn’t matter if the gun doesn’t make a lot of reward money when you will always kill your target and your hunter can’t touch you, especially if everyone else is struggling to make any kills with knitting needles and pool cues. If they only went as far as the flare gun and revolver I think it could have been a lot better, although there would still be the problem of those who only stood around security guards and witnesses…it’s quite hard to pull off a kill if a guard is standing next to them, but not impossible!
    One of my favourite kills was done in front of a security guard, basically across a lobby I opened a door that was out of line of sight for the security guard my mark was hugging and headshotted the target with my revolver, cue lots of “WTF?!” on the chat from the recently deceased…

    Hmm, if there’s enough Ship players maybe we should organise an RPS cruise?

    • Lilliput King says:

      It’s a good idea Maybe suggest it to Rossignol as a possible game for the RPS game night thingy.

    • Oak says:

      I’d be very happy to join if this happens.

    • Eggy says:

      wtb shipping good time

    • Oak says:

      That should be

      “I’d be very happy to join if this were to happen.”

      or

      “I’ll be very happy to join if this happens.”

      I apologize to anyone who was offended by the error.

  17. Maxheadroom says:

    i managed to bag one of the 50% off codes but you have to buy it through the UBI Store (before attaching it to Steam) but their shop appears to be broken

  18. Over and Over Again says:

    Well , if someone have a code for me sent it to gamekingx@live.nl :D , i would be in love with ya :D.

  19. Oak says:

    I’m not sold on the ‘needs’ system, but I like the fact that there’s always something to do.

    It seemed an awkward carryover at first, but I think it’s totally necessary. Not only to dog you and keep you on the move, as you said, but to force those moments of total vulnerability on everyone. Also it provides the opportunity to flush people down the toilet.

    Other than that, though, you’re right on the money about the game.

  20. Maxheadroom says:

    Anybody else having trouble with the UBIStore?: http://shop.ubi.com

    it’s the only place you can redeem the discount code but it’s been squirley for a couple of days now, at least for me, and every machine ive tried from

  21. Shon says:

    If you need to know what’s going on, try arcade mode. It’s single player and they explain everything all the time. Every weapon gets s pop up on what the buttons do.

    I have been playing this a lot and I like it. I find deathmatch a bit boring though. I run around and hit every trap button I find and it almost always nets me half a dozen kills per game. I also would happily never play Infection again.

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i feel for the devs, i might’ve got it out of curiosity but knowing the people who made it wont see any of that money makes me less likely to.

  23. EBass says:

    Hmmmmm from what I’m hearing it sounds like they’ve ripped out most of the best bits of the Ship. The stalking people, pretending to be an NPC planning the perfect kill with no witnesses was great. The fact you can just leg it after your target with a shotgun out seems dull dull dull to me?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Well, you can’t. The security will get you if they see you carrying weapons or committing crimes. They steal all the points from the crimes they’ve seen you commit if they catch up with you, and because of all the cameras it can be pretty difficult to escape. And being caught after killing your target in hunt loses you pretty much all the points you get that round, so it’s not really desirable.

  24. Jez says:

    Alot has been refined in this game, and I love it.

    The positives (in comparison to the ship):
    – Better weapons
    – Secondary weapons are great and add all kinds of dynamics
    – Better and more traps
    – Higher quality level design (although this happens with better technology to work with)
    – Far simpler (and improved) needs system.
    – Mixed round types to mix up the game
    – Points system more simple
    – Guards will now move around and chase you, and this add’s the dynamic of escaping guards.
    – The ability to pickpocket people inbetween rounds is hilarious!

    Negatives:
    – Rough start for new players
    – A couple of the round types (especially deathmatch), really make the hunt modes seem pointless, as players can get 10x as many points in these rounds as they can in the hunt.
    – Smaller maps
    – Feels less stealthy, less precise, and well thought out when going in for kills then the ship, feels more arcadey.

    Awesome game though, well worth every dollar, cant wait to run a lan of it :)

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      If you get a deathmatch round where a gun is 4 or 5 stars (especially if it’s the assault rifle), then some players will grab a good 50 or 60 stars in 3 minutes on a 16 player server. Compare this to usual 4 or 5 stars you’ll get in a normal hunt round.
      Horribly fucks up the score.

  25. Mike I. says:

    I felt similarly about The Ship. I bought it because I loved the idea behind it, but then found it to be so poorly executed that I only played it a handful of times. My experience with it was that, despite all of the options for interesting and subtle interaction, it simply devolved into a confusing and frustrating frag-fest with a really steep learning curve. Not my idea of a good time.

  26. Theory says:

    I read through the How To, joined a game and.. got summarily confused, bemused, and killed. Over and over, for reasons I wasn’t entirely sure of, by people I didn’t think were supposed to be able to kill me, and in ways I didn’t completely understand.

    Getting killed is largely irrelevant. Look at how the points work: up to 8 for a perfect murder, but only ever one for being killed by your hunter. Once you realise that it’s only the manner of your death that you should be managing, to reduce your hunter’s points bounty, things become a lot more fun.