Review

Blue Estate Prologue Review

  • Game release: December 31, 2014
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

Stunningly unfunny.

I've never read the Blue Estate comics. And now that I've played Blue Estate Prologue, I know to stay away.

The game is the first installment in an episodic rail shooter that uses the Leap Motion device for PCs. If you're unfamiliar with Leap Motion, here's the deal: you plug a small sensor into your USB port and place it somewhere on your desk or table, ideally in front of your monitor. You control games by waving your hands and gesturing above the sensor. In the case of Blue Estate, you point your finger at the screen to hover the reticle over your targets, and automatically fire your weapon when you've locked on. Other gestures allow you to reload your weapon, switch guns, or take cover behind nearby objects like walls and columns.

The controller works decently enough with Blue Estate, which doesn't require much precision for you to succeed, though it stubbornly refused to recognize my attempts to take cover or pause the game a few times. Blue Estate's identity doesn't hinge on its use of this motion technology, however, but on its disgusting adolescent attitude.

This isn't the only way in which Blue Estate's perspective is warped.

Blue Estate Prologue sets a snarky tone straight off, with hypernerd cliche (and private investigator) Roy Devine Jr. telling the story of the exotic Cherry Popz, who, we're told, has a deep aching void that only a good private dick can fill. Oh--it's also a stinky void, as if we weren't learning enough about the slinky stripper. Roy's nasal narration provides Blue Estate's main framing device, and is accompanied by fantastic artwork. One early scene portrays Cherry in silhouette, grinding against her pole beneath a single bright spotlight. In the foreground are disembodied images of all manner of firearms--and a single plate of spaghetti and meatballs. It's a powerful and suggestive image, and it's too good for the game and story it's a part of.

You wouldn't expect the mobster you play to be classy, but the dialogue is aggressively mean-spirited from the moment you enter the strip club that plays home to your shootouts. To the Asian trio that greets you: "Are your ears crooked, too?" While shooting the club's endless guardians: "It's like they built mooks into the walls!" And then you meet Cherry Popz' replacement, Bertha Kowalski, whose voluptuous figure provokes Blue Estate's endless fat jokes. "I guess the sequel's gonna be The Big Mermaid," says player-character Tony, referring to Bertha's mermaid costume and the giant aquarium she sits upon.

This one-hour prelude thinks as little of you as it does its characters.

Once she loses her balance and falls into the massive tank (because fat women are funny!), Tony goes out of his way to let her flounder within. When he takes mercy on her and shoots her out of her predicament, she tries to flop to safety, still clad in her mermaid attire, which allows Tony to make more jokes at her expense. These cynical displays of non-humor are what I will remember Blue Estate for, as opposed to its bog-standard on-rails action.

The action isn't awful--it's just so very expected. As the game leads you through its opulent hallways, the camera shifts and enemies rush in for the sole purpose of taking your bullets. Great weapon audio gives your shots a sense of power, and henchmen fly backwards in a rewarding manner when you unload your shotgun into them. But one of the delights of a rail shooter is its showpiece moments, and Blue Estate Prologue is lacking in this regard. There are a couple of nifty sequences, such as an upside-down shootout, but developer HeSaw doesn't take the opportunity to craft spectacular displays of ultraviolence or heart-pounding boss battles. Instead, the prologue's main boss fight is a tedious slog that involves repeating the same stretch of gameplay until you initiate your opponent's numerous deathbed soliloquies.

This string of last gasps provides one of Blue Estate Prologue's only true moments of wit. Otherwise, this one-hour prelude thinks as little of you as it does its characters. In this case, the dumpy, bespectacled Roy is the stand-in for the players who install the game to their hard drives, and Cherry is the piece of meat the Roys of the world lust after. As he opens the door on a counterfeiting operation presided over by lingerie-clad laborers, Tony even says, "Mother of God...this is like an actual dream I have repeatedly had." Blue Estate doesn't subvert these tropes or parody them. Instead, it just smears the screen with racism and sexism, hoping against hope that you think that hating Asians and women is hysterical.

It isn't.

The Good
Lovely still images
Potent weapons
The Bad
Odious humor, odious characters
Unoriginal rail shooting with too few showpieces
3
Bad
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd likes a good dirty joke and a titillating nip slip now and again. He completed Blue Estate Prologue twice on two difficulty settings. It wasn't any funnier the second time.

Discussion

35 comments
tabttu
tabttu

Kevin, I know you are probably very busy; however, I hope that you take the time to read this.  I would like to ask that you try playing the Blue Estate one more time... I know you already played the prologue twice, BUT you played on PC each time. I think that if you were to try playing the game on another platform (namely the PS4) that you would find that the game is actually a lot of fun! I do not really understand your issues with racism and sexism. If those are your main complaints about Blue Estate, then you must feel the same way about most video games. Games such as GTA, Saints Row, and even the newly released Watch Dogs!  These games have just as much racism and sexism as Blue Estate, as do many other games! I feel that you were being VERY obtuse and one-sided in your review of the game and that you gave a good game a very poor review simply to be controversial! Perhaps you gave the game a poor review because you are an OLD, BALDING WHITE MALE, or am I being too racist and sexist? 

saint311
saint311

re: staying away from the comics - Kevin, I know you're smarter than to correlate an IP's quality in one medium to match that of its quality in another medium.  The comic did not suck.  Well, at least the first 10 or so issues didn't.  I stopped reading after I met Mr. Kalvachev and he was an a-hole.

primeminister77
primeminister77

I played Blue Estate on my Leap Motion and I can say that I had LOT'S OF FUN ! and FUN is what we are waiting from a game ! I am fan of FPS and rail shooters like Time Crisis, and Blue Estate do an excellent job to offer us every cool features of a rail shooter, a fun story and a dark humor better than Duke. OK Mr VanOrd, you don't like this kind of humor, but I totally disagree with your review. This game is a BIG JOKE !! Everyone is complaining about copycat in video games, but this one is truly an original one!


digi_matrix
digi_matrix

"He completed Blue Estate Prologue TWICE on two difficulty settings. It wasn't any funnier the second time." 

Kevin VanOrd suffering for our sins :(

Eurogamer posted a let's play of it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grnOVTO_How), and it looked so damn boring in addition to the boring racism and misogyny.

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

The good -
This not being Rockstar or Volition, we could lower the score because as opposed to those politically correct car thefts, gang violence, drug dealing and tons of racism and other isht... this game crossed the line by insulting fat people and making remarks about mongoloids... We at Gamespot feel so good about ourselves and our double standards.

jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

"...because fat women are funny!"

Fat people are funny.

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

Game release: December 31, 2014

How in the blue hell (get it?) did Gamespot get its hands on this so early?

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

btw if by any chance my comments appear more than once... thank Gamespot for it. Every time I post I can't see a comment (on Firefox, Opera OR IE) and it says "1 comment" but when I get back to reviews... it counts my comments into the total. Oh well, it's Gamespot, so nothing works...

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

You bad game! Bad! So naughty! You dirty little trash of a game! Come get some spanking :<... 

PS. Poor Asians... next time they will be racist against each other or against Westerners... they will surely take notice of this fellow being offended that someone made a slight remark about them in a mobster game xD

Lhomity
Lhomity

I threw up a little in my mouth ;(

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@primeminister77 One has to be a tad arrogant creature to assume that everyone shares his sense of humor. Thankfully the world we live in doesn't have Mr Kev as the ultimate authority on what's funny and not. All he can do is lower the marks for the titles that aren't overly popular so there's not much outrage. I wonder what would happen if he whined like that about GTA or Saints Row... oh but those are untouchables. Uh huh! Legendary. Being racist shmuck is cool there... I'm sure the Gameloid sheeplings will come up with some kind of excuse to justify their hypocrisy.

primeminister77
primeminister77

@shenhua1337 In this game you play a psycho killer called Tony Luciano, who's a racist and violent guy, so what do you expect from this type of character ? to send flowers? or to speak polite to people who have abducted his best dancer? this is a comic book story, a parody, nothing comparable to other shooter games where you can cut throats, slip up people...

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@jacquelineferre Trust me when I say that this one joke crosses so many lines I can't even begin to draw them all. It's a disgusting combination of fat humor, sexism, racism, and general human cruelty. I can't begin to fathom the mind that could have created such a thing and thought it was hysterical. And this is coming from someone who laughs at decade-old fart jokes!

Lhomity
Lhomity

@shenhua1337 You can delete them if you like. Mouse over your comment, and you'll find the delete button below it.

MigGui
MigGui

@shenhua1337 @primeminister77 you do know GTA lost points because of sexism, right? it wasn't kevin, but carolyn did lower the marks of a overly popular title because of prejudice...

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@Kevin-V  I've been playing the PS4 version, and I've gotta say, that mermaid is sexy.  Any fat jokes made at her expense, including naming her "Bertha," would fall flat to me.  I've never played the PC version, so I don't know if the jokes are different from the PS4 version.

Either way, maybe what they were going for is the character of Tony having only one, narrow-minded standard of beauty, and the wrong view that a full hourglass equals fat; at least I hope that's what they were going for.  I think I might fire off an email to give them some feedback and ask questions.

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

Oh and btw: "It's a disgusting combination of fat humor, sexism, racism, and general human cruelty." <- I think you should go out more... the real world could... be kind of a shocker to you.

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@Kevin-V @jacquelineferre And I can't fathom how can you expect decency when playing a mobster and probably a sociopath... Maybe fat people could grow themselves some thicker skin? Oh, wait... was that offensive too? To me being morbidly obese (unless you're really sick and the meds drove you to it) is much more offensive than people who crack indecent jokes.

MigGui
MigGui

@shenhua1337 it wasn't tiny mention, it was commented throughout the whole review. carolyn made it perfectly clear that she hated that part of an otherwise perfect game. 

and the problem here is not that the game is mysoginous or racist, it's because the jokes are not funny, they're like that 14yo cousin that curses all the time and says he "loves to fuck bitches" all the time, just to show off. and, well, that the game itself didn't seem interesting to the reviewer.

a review is a personal opinion, and his personal opinion is that the game is bad, he never said everyone should agree the game is bad or the characters were created by 14yo testosterone-driven annoying adolescents.

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@MigGui @shenhua1337 @primeminister77
GTA III - 9.3
GTA IV - 9.5
GTA V - 9 (and that tiny mention of misogynism...)

And Saints Row only gets lowered score for bugs and stuff...

So yeah, clearly you're the one who's right here, uh hum...

BTW Check out the current GTA Diaries - Steal the Weed...
I wonder how can Kev live with that... surely it's a huge offence to him.

PS. Imo, Carolyn is one of few ppl on Gamespot that makes sense these days in reviews.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@shenhua1337 Yes. Because every day, everyone I encounter is being disgusting to women, making rape humor, making fun of minorities to their faces, and accusing gamers of being fat chronic masturbators. 

If your days are characterized by these issues, you are living in the wrong neighborhood. Regardles, I am not going to avoid sharing what I think about a game. Why would you want to read a review, if not to find out what the author thinks? If you don't want an actual critique, you can always read press releases and the back of game boxes. 

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@Kevin-V @shenhua1337 @jacquelineferre I'd say if the game made you so offended then it deserves some credit for that alone. Hence the humor you are disgusted so much about should be marked as a plus.

Keep reading my posts Kev, you might just learn something. Who knows, maybe one day you can actually write a decent review :) there's still hope for you lad.

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@Gelugon_baat @shenhua1337 Would I be working for Gameloid I'd simply tell you the usual holier than you tolerant bs "Don't like my opinion? Then why are you reading it?"... 

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@shenhua1337 @digi_matrix @Kevin-V So in a game that rests on its humor to be interesting (there's nothing else interesting about Blue Estate), we shouldn't evaluate that humor? 

This game's humor disgusted me. I am not going to overlook that. Do I think everyone will agree? No. Am I a mind reader who know what you will think? No. I can only tell you what I think.

If you don't care about what the author thinks about a game, then why are you reading reviews?

shenhua1337
shenhua1337

@digi_matrix @shenhua1337 @Kevin-V  Hahaha, yeah sure. You see, it's not about the game, it's about Gamespot being filled with weirdos. First their issue with objectifying women (mostly driven by "rape" and "real or not real rape" scandals in US), then their crusade to show that nope, games can be violent (prolly driven by silly US legislature and few shootings) but we at gamespot NEVER condone it. And now we have people who can't write a review without telling others what is funny and what is not. After all, as someone said in their own defense, people are entitled to their own opinions? Well, as long as it's not someone disagreeing with the Gameloid sheepling crowd xD.

Maybe Gameloid should rebrand and switch to being a political tabloid? Where they can openly announce their agenda on the main page. At least nobody would be fooled into believing that it's still a serious gaming publication.

You guys are so silly I can't stop laughing reading your comments. Oh and btw, which America are you referring to? xD

I don't need to play this game, all I need to read this review and I can clearly see what kind of a person the author is. And I can tell you for sure, pro or not, I wouldn't take his advice on humour.

PS@Dig You have sth white and gooey dripping off your chin ;) say hello to Kev from me xD

digi_matrix
digi_matrix

@shenhua1337 @Kevin-V @jacquelineferre Using the excuse of real things is lame, because how do you know mobsters and sociopaths act exactly like this unless if you're part of a mob or an investigative journalist? It's just boring fat jokes, check the videos of the game. It's not funny. Fat jokes can be funny, if they're done by professional comedians who are creative about it. If being morbidly obese is more offensive to you, then I hope you're not living in America where 1/3rd of people are obese, or you might actually faint from the offence.

tabttu
tabttu

@Kevin-V @shenhua1337 @digi_matrix We as gamers read reviews from "trusted" video game news outlets because we like to make informed decisions about our game purchases. We have to put our full faith into the various outlets because we don't want to waste our hard earned money buying something that doesn't fit our taste.  HOWEVER - We need clear, decisive and most importantly, objective reviews.  NOT single sided, overbearing, overtly negative, personal, and opinionated reviews.  We need a review that is based on technicality, performance, mechanics, and overall game play.  Allow us to make the decision if the game is too racist or sexist.  Making mention of the racism and sexism in the review is fine, but basing the entire review on those two points is not fair to the gamer or the game.  Saying that a game, any game, has too much racism and sexism is your personal opinion.  Sharing political views of a video game is not the job of the reviewer, but of the gamer.  I apologize for ranting and I'm not trying to offend, but I truly feel that you only gave us your personal political opinion of the game and not an actual game review. 

Blue Estate More Info

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  • Coming Dec 31, 2015
    • PC
    • PS4
    • Xbox One
    Blue Estate is a game from HeSaw coming exclusively to Leap Motion.
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    Blue Estate has not been released yet!
    Developed by:
    HeSaw
    Published by:
    HeSaw, Focus Home Interactive
    Genres:
    Action, 3D, Shooter, On-Rails
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood, Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence