Movie tie-in games are always a coin flip in terms of success. You have decent adaptations such as Spider-Man 2, The Warriors, and Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Then, on the other end, you have the less than appealing adaptations such as basically everything else. Unfortunately, for Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days, although it does what it can to be an entertaining top-down shooter, it falls into the category of sub-par.
For those who aren’t sure, Reservoir Dogs was originally a film by famed director Quentin Tarantino. Since it’s release in 1992, the film has had two video game adaptations based off it. The first being a sixth generation title (PS2 and Xbox) that revealed hidden details about the main plot that weren’t featured in the film, while the second is a top-down shooter that bears little resemblance to the property it’s based on. To be fair though, the characters and styling of Bloody Days are very reminiscent of what Reservoir Dogs is all about. That is to say, it’s violent. Which is all well and good when relating the game to film, but how does Bloody Days hold up as a game?
Overall, it’s a hit and miss affair, with some things that work and others that don’t. The thing that stands out the most is the gameplay. The violent nature of Reservoir Dogs lending itself quite well in this regard, as there’s no shortage of blood or bullets to be seen. Actually, I say no shortage, but the ammo capacity in this title is in short supply. The game provides a decent selection of weapons to choose from, as to not make things dull. However, you're very rarely ever going to be accustomed to one type of gun, instead just picking up the nearest weapon and hoping for the best. Which is fine in the sense of fast-paced action, but if that was what the developers had in mind, then picking up weapons shouldn’t have been a chore. I understand it’s a small thing to complain about but that being said, when you're in the middle of a heist and the police start a firing off rounds, the pistol you need in their line of sight is going to do little good since to you need to equip it with E. It may sound simple enough, but equipping things when getting shot is actually quite hard. Let’s just hope their aim is like that of a stormtrooper in the original Star Wars movie.
Not just picking up weapons, but moving, in general, can be finicky. That’s only a partial issue though, and it didn’t hinder my experience of the game so I can’t give it any fault. Instead, I’ll give that to the aiming. Now, equipping works fine, a little bit of a chore but fine. Aiming, on the other hand, is significantly more precious than it needs to be. I get that there has to be a sense of realism, but for a top-down shooter? Helldivers managed to cover the spectrum of aiming and moving quite well, so it’s definitely not something that’s unachievable.
Moving away from controls, let’s move into the core of the title: heists. This pretty much makes up the whole of the gameplay. It’s during heists that you can gain currency in order to tackle other objectives and progress further into the plot. However, that’s the only thing you’ll be using currency for, as you don’t have to buy new weapons since they can be picked up off of dead enemies and there aren’t any upgrades for the standard time power that the game gives you. The loot from a heist is, more or less, a measure for how well you did during the heist in general. Which works okay enough, but it would’ve been nice to see more of a variety in terms of starting weapon or time powers.
Speaking of which, the ability to rewind time is the big selling feature for Bloody Days, giving players an opportunity to change errors that were made during a mission. Rewinding is, much to my dismay, nothing more than a detailed extra life system. Granted, a system where you have the chance to keep all your teammates alive, but one where if you screw up a number of times its game over anyway. Nothing about this mechanic sticks out to the point where I’d recommend it’s worth buying the game alone for.
The plot is in the same boat, being something that doesn’t really hold up on its own. The gameplay to Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is, at the very least, violent and, perhaps, cathartic. The story, however, misses that beat and then some. There’s a decent opening section when you start the game, but everything after gets lost in a messy translation. It seemed as if the game wanted to go for a new perspective, yet decided to keep the feel of the 92’ film as well. Which is doable, the 2006 game is a solid example of that, but Bloody Days does it to the effect of being all over the place.
The main thing to take away from this is that Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days isn’t a bad game, per say. Despite some design issues and clunky controls, I would label it more as misguided. It had a lot of potential and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a sequel. Of course, the game itself is still very underwhelming and leaves something to be desired. Whether that be better controls, upgradable abilities, or a more structured narrative. All in all, Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is stuck in the middle.
Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days (Reviewed on Windows)
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is a top-down shooter that excels at the minimum. The replayability may be lacking, but it's definitely worth at least one playthrough.