Dud: 10 Minutes Of 3D Realms’ Bombshell

Given that Bombshell [official site] seemingly began life as a Duke Nukem game, before legal battling saw the aging blonde bimbo replaced with a bodacious babe, I’d expected it would be more bombastic. Explosions! Quips! Explosions! Flushable toilets! Explosions! A sense of humour. A bit of a bad attitude. Something. Anything. Instead, its twin-stick shooting looks kinda fun but the wrapping is so dull.

We’ve got our first proper look at the game in a new gameplay trailer coming out of QuakeCon, which shows ten minutes of hot fetch quest action (find a key for a supply crate!) with dull dialogue and no flushable toilets.

The shooting looks fun enough, though a little flat, and I dig playing with skill trees and upgrades to make the murderer of my dreams. But gosh, what is the game and plot wrapped around it? Playing as a superhuman supersoldier with a cyberarm should lead to wacky supermurder antics. Instead, here’s a chunk of dialogue from a soldier chap (voiced by one of the devs as a placeholder, I hope) giving Bombshell her orders:

“We need your help. My squad and I were on course to deliver supplies to a small GDF outpost when we got jumped by some of the locals. We dealt with them, but one of my lieutenants was forced to retreat, taking the key to this crate here with him. Without it, there’s no supplies and no delivery. We can’t leave without it.”

Riveting stuff. Who cares! She appears to be on an alien world, blasting away fleshbeasts, and yet for some reason it has a garbage story to drive the action. The action could drive the action: you’re a supersoldier with a cyberarm, of course you’ve come to murder everything. The level art style looks boring for a hellworld too.

If Bombshell is what happened to Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, which it certainly seems to be given how Dukey a few characters look, it seems utterly lost without Duke Nukem. He may have bad personality, but at least he has some – what’s on show here has little.

Interceptor Entertainment, them lot behind the recent Rise of the Triad revival, are making Bombshell. It’ll have the name of former Duke overlords 3D Realms on the box too, but the new 3D Realms are owned by Interceptor and mostly a name with a lot of nostalgia attached to it.

Bombshell is due this autumn.

12 Comments

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    Wisq says:

    Wait, she’s literally named “Bombshell”?

    I sense a somewhat limited character arc here.

  2. horrorgasm says:

    Like anyone, anywhere was going to play this for the story.

  3. Ianuarius says:

    Looked so boring that I can’t imagine anyone playing for any other reason. :/

  4. ffordesoon says:

    There are a couple of neat bits here. The UI has some cute touches, and the Vanquish-y dodging that pushes dudes out of the way and rockets you around is nifty.

    But yeah, it’s looking pretty wimpy. Not bad, exactly – everything works more or less how it should, and as shallow bubble-wrap fun goes, I’ve seen much worse. But I’m not seeing the hook that makes me choose this over, say, Lara Croft: GoL.

    And the writing is… Um. Well. Hmm. I respect the unrepentant stupidity of it – nobody’s writing “[I’m] your worst nightmare!” with a straight face in 2015. But if you’re going for a shamelessly stupid Heavy Metal-ish SF-sploitation aesthetic, you should go to eleven with it. Give her a laser-wielding cyber-tiger she can summon called Tigersaurus Rex, or give her what Austin Powers once tastefully called “machine gun jubblies.” Give her a gun that shrinks penises until male enemies die of shame (that may be what the blue wavy gun already does, for all I know). Hell, genderflip the strippers from Duke Nukem and have her throw money at them while she goes “Shake it, baby!” to dudes in thongs. Do something, anything that shows a glimmer of self-awareness or a willingness to go too far or anything more interesting than the dull po-faced direct-to-video snorefest on offer here. If you’re going to be stupid, be smart about it. Otherwise, you’re just, well, being stupid.

    • ansionnach says:

      Tigersaurus Rex! Good one! Could be fun in co-op. Liked the music, although with dramatic music like that those bits of the game should be challenging. The graphics were fine as well (although I did watch it in 240p). Voice acting really broke the atmosphere. I’d almost throw in a plot element to explain why nobody can talk and have text everywhere… or just do comic book-style speech bubbles. Liked the robotic voice and the quips were fine.

      Playing Duke3d in kids mode pretty much keeps everything bar the scantily-clad ladies. As much as I found it off-putting, stupid and embarrassing in Duke3d there’s no way I’d play a game full of male strippers.

      This game definitely needs a personality injection. The only great Duke game I’ve played was Duke3d. Maybe the first platformer had its charms and was playable but the second one wasn’t really. All that aside, it looks like everything that needs to be there is there in this one, so there’s no telling what it’s like until you get to play it.

  5. vorador says:

    As far as twin stick shooters go, this one seems pretty dull.

  6. KDR_11k says:

    I guess they gave up on flushable toilets since all that extra stuff probably didn’t help with getting DNF finished.

  7. Jalan says:

    Yikes.

    I’d rather go for a Blake Stone revival than this.

  8. Geebs says:

    Well, it looks a lot more fun than Diablo 3.

    You know what it’s like to have remade? Future Cop: LAPD, that’s what

  9. fuggles says:

    Is it too early to call it bumshell?