Redesigned From The Character Up: Bombshell

Does ... does that work? Can you just put three barrels and triple the number of holes?

Right. Bombshell [official site]. Originally announced as a sort of replacement project for a cancelled Duke Nukem game due to 3D Realms endless legal troubles, it looked … well, a bit shit. Very 2009 from a graphical standpoint, low-budget 90s from a thematic one. It sort’ve disappeared after that with that initial trailer now deleted and a total re-reveal of the game taking place. Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison has grown her hair out a bit and found some armour with a midriff and trouser bottoms if not a proper chestplate. She and the game are looking a lot cooler and a lot closer to the Diablo-With-Guns-And-Ms.-Nukem that’s presumably the aim.

It still seems to be taking itself a mite too seriously, though props to the voice acting and writing¬†for delivering the line “THIS ISN’T A GAME” without a note of irony or humour. It’s got the caricatured villain and beautiful if ridiculous locales down, just put some knowing smiles on those faces and we’re good to go. I mean come on, I’m not fighting this guy with a frown and serious thoughts about the nature of posthumanity and cyborgism.

The small FAQ on the official site states that the devs are still committed to providing good mod tools and that they plan to have the game out this year.


Top comments

  1. unacom says:

    That is what assistants are for. Reloading clips, undenting armour, tying and shining ridiculously high combat boots, purchasing and carrying Ammunition, finding and securing adequate lodgings, scheduling signings, herding groupies, taking the fall or occasional bullet and the like a true hero cannot be expected to busy him/herself with.
    Come to think of it, someone ought to make a game of it.
  1. Megarlin says:

    About time the pistola con caricato showed in a game.

  2. Rich says:

    That revolver would be a royal pain to reload.

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      Harlander says:

      Apparently it (the pistola con caricarto named by Megarlin above) used a moon clip, so actually reloading it shouldn’t take too long.

      Putting cartridges in the clips will probably take up a fair bit of your morning. (Less if you’re less of a monumental klutz than me)

      • unacom says:

        That is what assistants are for. Reloading clips, undenting armour, tying and shining ridiculously high combat boots, purchasing and carrying Ammunition, finding and securing adequate lodgings, scheduling signings, herding groupies, taking the fall or occasional bullet and the like a true hero cannot be expected to busy him/herself with.
        Come to think of it, someone ought to make a game of it.

  3. Aysir says:

    The character design kinda makes me wish the game was an over the shoulder PN.0.3 kinda thing. Looks promising, though Diablo gameplay can be hard to get right in a single player game.

    • Liandri_Angel says:

      Yeah, same here. Isometric camera angles are just really boring to me, for some reason.

      Admittedly, I don’t have much of an interest in the game, now that it’s not a DNF clone, (yes, I know, daft reason), but it’ll be lightyears ahead of that godawful ROTT remake.

  4. Zallgrin says:


    Oh, I love this. Shelley’s design is so damn sweet and it looks like a nice Diablo-like game, which means insta-buy.

  5. LionsPhil says:

    She’s certainly changed since the Quake-engine DNF trailer, if it’s even supposed to be the same character any more.

    That is a pretty impressively silly scowlyface.

    …wait, did she just call the main villain Haskell?

    • termit says:

      They COULD’ve made an office-wide brainstorm and got developer’s input on villain names ;)
      But if that was the case, Malbolge should be the obvious choice.

    • Porkolt says:

      No, I definitely think she said .

  6. Merus says:

    It looks a lot less shit than the first trailer, but they really would be served by leaning into the ham. I mean, knowing winks to the audience and a sarcastic, fourth-wall nudging main character is 2015’s version of badass one-liners stolen from movies the developers liked.

  7. int says:

    Bombshell bombs hell!

  8. corinoco says:

    Nope, still not getting the inclusive for female gamers thing are they? Why the cleavage? Why the lack of armour high in the chest, where an impact would maim or kill? Character design from a 13 year olds drawings indeed.

    I don’t recall Vasquez having a chest like that, and she kicked but with large guns just fine, so why the boobage?

    • Zankman says:

      Well, the whole thing is supposed to be a) Fiction and b) Overt/reaching “Over-the-top” levels of Fiction.

      So, yeah, it is understandable in that sense.

      Is it still pandering regardless? It is still too sexual regardless?

      People will have different opinions.

      IMO, the cleavage is unnecessary.

    • Zallgrin says:

      It’s a relatively silly setting with a relatively cool female character. Sexualized? Yes, but not enough to be a deal-breaker for me.

      Also, if there is anything to be criticized about Shelly then it’s not as much her clothes, as the typical “Squad got killed, hero decides to avenge them” story, which does very little to portray her as an actual human being. Yes, the narrative is empowering, but it’s simplistic empowerment of Duke Nukem and the like.

      TLDR: Less sexualized clothes would be cool, but makes sense in the ridiculous setting. Second: Fuck clothes, I want better characterization. Clothes easier to fix, but good characterization more needed.

    • Golden Pantaloons says:

      She’s still wearing more armor than Duke Nukem ever did…

      Apart from the missing armor plates in the chest area, I don’t really see anything silly.

      Also, I think the giant-robot-arm woman idea is pretty fresh. Whenever you see cybernetically enhanced women in fiction, they’re usually faster, or more agile, or smarter. Not stronger, at least not in an obvious way. Her enhancements are not exactly pretty, and they look downright brutal.

      Maybe it’s only breaking the mold in a small way, but you gotta start somewhere.

    • Liandri_Angel says:

      Serious question, are gamers really bothered by a woman in a metal tanktop? It’s way less than the dumb “totally not a bikini” armor shittons of MMOs do.

      • pepperfez says:

        “Better than MMOs” is a mighty low aesthetic bar to overcome.
        Speaking only for myself, it’s not any one “sexy but totally badass you guys” character that’s annoying, it’s the prevalence of them. Among other things, the systemic over-representation of campy pinup-murderer characters ruins the (presumably) intended impact of schlock-action pieces like this one: How am I supposed to know the whole thing is deadpan over-the-top parody when its protagonist looks like every other female action hero?

        • Liandri_Angel says:

          I dunno, the fact that it’s a cheesecake-ish outfit from a dedicated, unrealistic top-down shooter that was spun-off from a Duke Nukem project makes it clear it’s not meant to be serious at all. Then again, your mileage may vary. I guess I’m a bit biased, because it’s not so in-your-face like a ton of other video games out there.

          • pepperfez says:

            Yeah, I guess my complaint isn’t actually about this game so much as on behalf of this game. Like, “Bombshell is a spiritual successor to Duke Nukem. Of course it’s sleazy. What’s your excuse, generic online shooter, for stealing their aesthetic?”

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        Phasma Felis says:

        I’m a gear nerd, so I’m more annoyed when someone tries to convince me that something is armor when it obviously isn’t. I think I’d be happier if it was just a normal tank top.

    • Razumen says:

      A lot of female gamers I know love character designs like Bayonetta, just because a character is wearing something sexy doesn’t mean it’s sexist, or excluding female players.

      • pepperfez says:

        Bayonetta, like my personal “how to do ridiculous sexuality right” hobbyhorse Skullgirls, is trying to do something with its sexy character designs. I think most objections to characters like this one is that they’re just defaulting to some generically sexy traits (e.g., cleavage armor) instead of purposefully making a character. If you read the comments from Bayonetta designers, they were obviously very conscious of making a sexual character; Bombshell, I imagine, not so much.

    • Distec says:

      Really starting to resent this idea that modelling tits makes somebody a pubescent pervert. Grown adults have been depicting them in various sizes and states of undress for ages, but the conventional wisdom is “lol only 13 year olds”. If you think the history of drawing boobs is problematic, okay. But let’s not stoop to this level..?

      Especially when the game is this and it’s really not bad.

      • Razumen says:

        I agree, some people just don’t get it that many people want to play as or look at attractive characters (be they male or female) in their videogames – it’s not a matter of sexism, even if some of the character designs have sexualized elements, it’s just an element of FANTASY.

        And then there’s the double standard where they say people should be able to wear what they want, and then they turn right around and raise hell about Bayonetta or another character’s choice in clothing. Like seriously, you can’t have it both ways.

        • pepperfez says:

          Game characters do not make choices. They are not people.
          There are indeed different standards at work, because we shouldn’t judge people the same way we judge art objects.

  9. Zekiel says:

    Is the bad guy supposed to sound like Starscream or is that just me?

    • Jalan says:

      Stop reminding me that Chris Latta is deceased, dammit. The world is a lesser place without awesome actors like him.

  10. paintio says:

    Is that Kristen Stewart?

  11. Rikard Peterson says:

    The bits from cutscenes look like a completely different game. I thought we stopped doing that back in the 90s?

  12. April March says:

    If I was writing that game I’d have the villain respond to “This is not a game!” with “Well, no, it’s more of an interactive experience.”

  13. G_Man_007 says:

    Kirsten Stewart IS BOMBSHELL!!!

  14. jayfear says:

    Potentially interesting, though I hope this isn’t one of those angrydark games where people’s only two emotions are angry and in pain. It gets old when everyone’s grunting, screaming and sneering at each other with humour and compassion nowhere to be found.

    This isn’t a “I want hugs and cuddles” urge but simply a desire for realistic characterisation. If I had to fight evil with a gun like that I’d need a laugh during the epic reload time.

  15. Foosnark says:

    They pretty much had me at “Diablo with guns.” I’m still looking for that fix that Hellgate London was supposed to be.