The best part about Bombshell is its ability to embrace how ridiculous a top-down shooter about slaying cybernetic aliens as a woman — nicknamed Bombshell — who has a robotic arm that turns into over-sized guns really is. It?s a game where bullets fly as fast as your attention, leaping from its grim storyline, to its rapid combat, to its upgrade system. It?s a frantic back-and-forth in the PAX Prime demo, but its chaotic style is consistent, detailed, and driven.
Preparing for Battle
Bombshell has more of an up-front emphasis on its narrative than you might expect from a game where your primary interaction is shooting at oncoming aliens. Shelly ?Bombshell? Harrison loses her squad and her arm in an incident and is given a second chance at war. It?s a spartan setup for what the developer told me is a story with both human and non-human characters filling out their side?s perspective on the conflict. There could be something to Bombshell?s relationship with her arm when it starts having conversations with her later in the game, especially since there could be undercurrents of guilt and anger there. Whether or not the game will find the time to fit that kind of nuance in between the sparks and explosions is a fair concern.
From what I saw in what is reportedly the game?s opening level, where its narrative, while prominent, sat behind the game?s gripping firefights, I?m still skeptical. There?s clearly a want to combine a less-aggressive story with the aggressive game, but in the demo it wasn?t more than a launching point for the action. For all its initial world-building, its narrative thrust might be more functional than thoughtful, which is not inherently a problem, but something that?s impossible to tell in this small section of the game.