BPM released back in September 2020 on PC from developers Awe Interactive and Playtonic Games. It released on the PlayStation and Xbox consoles in 2021 and was generally well received. Now it’s time for the Nintendo Switch to feel the beat as the game released on the handheld console on September 8, 2022, and we at Roundtable Co-Op have been lucky enough to receive a copy to try out.
BPM puts you in the boots of one of ten Norse mythologies Valkyries. Each Valkyrie has their own unique abilities, which makes for interesting gameplay. The story is a pretty simple one; fight through the levels and kill the bad guys. The game isn’t just a ‘running around blasting the bad guys with a big gun’ dungeon crawler. The unique element the developers have entwined into the gameplay is doing all that to the rhythm of a beat of some awesome metal music.
Players need to time every shot, reload, ability and jump to the beat of the music playing. The more successful you are at keeping to the beat with your actions, the higher your score. However, missing the beat will cause weapons to misfire and slow you down for example. It can be frustrating when you first start BPM to get your head around upbeats, downbeats and rhythms but once you do get it, the game play is fantastic.
The levels are generated randomly and there are a range of goodies to collect from weapons, powerups and coins to buy items. However, as with roguelike games, if you die you have to restart from the beginning and you lose all your progress. For people that just love a straight challenge game to get as far as they can, then BPM is for you. Those that prefer the character development and progress system are going to be disappointed. I think BPM is a game that you either really like or really hate. It isn’t an easy game. I am not a fan of FPS shooters using a controller, so I found it difficult to play; trying to match my shots, reloads and jumps with the beat and rhythm whilst trying to be on target. Other players that I have watched play BPM with a controller, look like they are conducting a symphony and its awesome to watch.
The game does run very smoothly on the Switch. However, the biggest drawback to the smoothness is the drop in visuals. The graphics I feel have been dropped so they can enable a smoother frame rate gameplay for the Switch. On the flip side of that coin, it makes the gameplay a little harder as I found it annoying to try and pick out the enemies as it all appeared to be blended into one another. Considering the brutal nature of the gameplay, this can be an issue for a lot of players playing BPM on the Switch.
Overall, though, if you are a fan of roguelike games and are a Switch only gamer, then give BPM a go. The concept is unique and worth challenging yourself but ultimately, I think this is a game better suited for the PC or a high-end console to absorb the most fun out of BPM.