Developed By: Megacat Studios Published By: Graffiti Games Categories: Platformer, Shooter, Eater Release Date: 08.13.20
Bite the Bullet is a gross game. Almost feels like something out of Troma at times gross. It’s ugly, it’s meaty, and disgusting. But that’s the point, it’s a deliberately nasty game. Feels 90’s to the core with it’s look, mood, and music.
A side scrolling, shooter, platformer with open stages, sounds a bit standard. However, like the title may imply, eating in a main mechanic of Bite the Bullet. Eat food you find. Eat enemies you stun. Eat. Eat. Eat. this isn’t without story relevance though. In the future, food has become scarcer and scarcer, to combat this, implants known as “Bionodes” which grant people who take them the ability to devour anything, including the unorganic, such as metal with no real harm. This also leads to mutations, with the “Ghouls” coming from that, being your main obstacles.
You can play the game just as a straight up shooter if you really get down to it, but it’ll also make the game a bit of a drag and you will miss out on so much the game has to offer. Eating offers a small variety of benefits such as healing, Fat, Calories, and Protein, and even raising your character’s mass. You’ll be slower the fatter you get, but you’ll also get a nice boost in defense, it’ll make you tank right through a good hunk of attacks. The Fat, Calories, and Protein you collect will all be put towards upgrading the weapons you find in stages. The game employs a metabolism mechanic however, which means you’ll burn what your gain from eating the more you move and jump around, and in my case I seldom have enough for upgrades to my weapons, or at the bare minimum the random upgrade, which can actually downgrade your weapons. Seeing as you pick up weapons constantly, with their own little perks and stat boosts, I never really upgraded them.
The game does have a level system and killing or eating enemies grants experience. At the end of the stage you’ll see a ginormous skill tree, or web rather. This is where a nice hunk of the game’s depth comes into play. One direction has you just upgrading stats and abilities, others lock you into a certain diet. Are you vegetarian? A metal muncher? Just love meat? You can go into those specific branches and they each have a plethora of exclusive abilities. This however also makes it so you cannot get benefits outside of healing from eating outside of that group, ultimately making the game more difficult. There is a path for eating everything fortunately, so it’s not as if you’re forced to pick one group of edibles. In my run, I picked the path of meat, a good hunk of the boosts intake of what eating earns, slows the loss, gives bonus additions when another is raised, etc… The abilities earned are the fun part, with one I like turning the vomit you give out from rotten or wrong food becoming flammable or another making stunned enemies your shields.
Each area you go to has a handful of stages, with the final of each area hosting a boss. While you can and the game definitely encourages speeding through stages for a challenge, I feel that stages often just drag on and on and not seem to know when to call it a day. It might be because stages just seem too open at times and really end up feeling samey, despite having different looks. Stages never really seemed that fun to go through, even if shooting down and chomping on enemies was satisfying. Even if it’s a linear path, I almost wonder if I’m lost or going in circles sometimes, even with the mini maps. Enemies often either shoot endlessly, in patterns, or just bum rush you, which isn’t too difficult to put up with if you take your time, but can come off as them being a bit braid dead and easy. Bosses on the otherhand often just feel like bullet sponges and don’t know when to end. You take a bit to get it’s health down, too bad it has more phases that have even more health. The bosses are intense and are fun to fight, but just take quite a bit too long.
Bite the Bullet mostly runs fine, but I noticed quite often there’s be a decent dip in framerate. It wasn’t consistent, but it would happen at least once a stage when it gets a bit chaotic. The game has quite a bit of effects going on, so I can imagine why it would drop, but it’s a bit disappointing when it happens. I also noticed that whenever I tried to start a tutorial after I received a new weapon, the game would just softlock, meaning no matter what I pressed, the tutorial wouldn’t start, still requesting I press confirm.
I’m left feeling conflicted about Bite the Bullet. While it is fun to play and I was enjoying myself, I feel that the game really wants to you play for a while and am left feeling burnt out by the end of some areas after a boss that takes way too long. I’d say the game is no pun intended better played in Bite Sized portions.
Buy Now: $14.99 Digital – €49.99 Physical Special Edition
*Game Download Code supplied for purpose of review