Heavy Bullets is the only first-person shooter I've ever liked from the first minute of play. It's also the only shooter where I've — again, in the first minute of play — died.
Created by indie developer Terri Vellmann, Heavy Bullets looks like Tron on acid and feels like anything but typical to the genre. The game mashes roguelike gameplay with gunplay and features randomized levels and items to pick up. Although Vellmann originally started working on the title as practice for a first-person shooter game jam, it eventually spun off into a full title.
Each level is filled with dark, polygonal monsters that bounce around with the intent of ripping you to shreds. Armed with a six-shooter, I could blast them away with one shot. As the levels grew in difficulty, however, they seemed to move more quickly. I found myself scrambling to manually reload my weapon just in time to pop off another foe. More often than not, they'd murder me before I got the chance.
"But around the corner, you never know."
Death in Heavy Bullets is permanent, but you don't have to lose everything. Money you collect throughout the game can be stored in bank tellers to be found in each level, while Life Insurance and a Last Will can save your money or items for the next playthrough.
"I'm not going to say every experience is different, because that's bullshit," Vellmann said. "But around the corner, you never know. It could be anything."
He's right, and moments later a snake shoots out from the bushes gives me a poisonous nip. It's not enough to kill me, but it lowers my health. I'm an easy target for the prowling monsters.