Bite the Bullet is set in a futuristic, dystopic setting where mankind suffered a food crisis that resulted in the creation of bionodes; implants that enabled humans to consume inorganic matter but which can also result in mutations where humans become ghouls. This caused the Great Exodus where the rest of humanity left for greener pastures and left the ghouls on Earth. It’s up to Chewie and Chewella, mercenaries, to collect the ghouls’ DNA by eating them and create a database with all organic and genetic information in the Galaxy.
Bite The Bullet is a 2D rogue lite RPG run n’ gun game where eating plays a vital part. You have to shoot enemies to stun them in order to eat them. The Eating mechanic not only allows you to regain some lost health, but also allows players to amass SP in order to unlock various skills and gear in the skill, or in this case, a human’s inside tree. You can increase your health, tolerance to damage and unlock special classes.
Some special eatable enemies will allow players to upgrade their weapons; although this requires nutrients in order to be able to afford new weapons or upgrades. But as you kill enemies, you’ll be able to grab additional firepower such as flame throwers or shotguns alongside your trusty unlimited default machinegun. Weapons that are picked up have a bit more power behind their shots but obviously the ammo is limited.
Along with their trusty machinegun, our mercenaries can walk, jump, double jump, wall jump and dash to move around the levels in order to survive the onslaught of enemies. But this is where the problems begin. First off, you can’t use the d-pad to move your character; only the joystick. Just with that, controls aren’t as precise as most run n’ gun games and also character movement feels floaty. Wall jumping feels cumbersome and more complex than it should (just look at Ninja Gaiden II on NES for a perfect reference to wall jumping in a 2D environment). Also navigation is frustrating and confusing; amidst the procedurally generated levels, it also feels a bit Metroidvania-like as while levels feels straight forward, they’re everything but.
So rogue-lite mechanics means that levels are procedurally generated. Once you are game over or just quit and restart, the levels won’t have the same layout as your first go-round. Nowadays it feels like rogue-lite is to the indie genre what open-world is to AAA games. It’s a fun mechanic, but the other problem is that levels feel never ending. You have 2 lives and unlimited continues; with a surprisingly fair checkpoint system. But deaths aside, levels can take upwards to 30 minutes or more and it becomes exhausting trying to suffer through the gameplay. Sometimes the game throws so many enemies at you that it feels like a creepy Metal Slug game. It’s the first run n’ gun game I was actively trying to avoid as much combat as possible.
Bite The Bullet is a 2D pixelated 16-bit game with various dark color palettes. Given the game’s dark “eat your enemies” premise, most enviroments are pretty dark and borderline creepy. There’s some issues with the visuals as sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s an obstacle or part of the background. Navigation is also confusing and the mini-map is useless. The heavy metal inspired soundtrack can be reminiscent of the DOOM and DOOM Eternal soundtracks; it’s great overall and fits the game’s intensity pretty well.
Bite The Bullet is one of the most clunky run n’ gun games I’ve ever played. While the idea behind the eating mechanic is a unique and interesting approach to the genre, the execution falls flat thanks to floaty controls and levels that drag on forever. There’s a decent variety of weapons to keep the gameplay fresh, but it’s not enough from saving this rotting leftovers.
- Decent weapon variety
- Interesting eating mechanic
- Levels drag on forever
- Loose controls
- Another rogue-lite game