IndieTrials
Bulkhead
Developed by Raoghard
Released on March 1st 2013
Sold on XBLIG for 80 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on May 4th 2013 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for the game is pretty cool with a futuristic looking soldier and nice clean game title.

The loading and menu screens in the game are pretty basic but use a nice large font and simple colour scheme which look pretty good.
Trial experience
On starting a new game you're dropped in to an airlock aboard some ship or facility and are told to find the artefact. This is a clearly a first person shooter game as I'm holding what looks like a futuristic weapon seen from the classic first person perspective.

Walking around the level, the graphics are pretty good for an XBLIG but I can't help but feel a little more detail could have been added to the level. Some of the areas seem a little flat and would've looked better with some extra detailing.

After walking round the level for a few minutes and picking up things from crates I have to admit I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn't until I died once or twice that I finally realised I had picked up the artefact from one of the crates and was being told to find a certain airlock to escape.

This is clearly the type of game that would be great playing with a whole bunch of other people in multiplayer but I barely even saw the other AI players when playing which made it a little boring.

One of my main concerns with the game was how dark it was. It was so dark I could barely see what I was doing half the time. That's not a problem in most games as you get the option to increase the brightness to suit your playing style or sometimes you might just want it brighter when playing in a well lit room. I couldn't find an option to increase the brightness however and I can only imagine more people would be put off with the overly dark image in the game.

The HUD in the game is also very confusing, there's so much information on the screen and it's not very sharp. I never even really bothered to look at it since there's such a sense of urgency in the game with sirens going off and warning lights all over the level.

After finally managing to escape with the artefact and beginning another game my trial time is up.
Overall thoughts
Bulkhead is very easily one of the best FPS games on XBLIG. I can imagine it being very fun to play with friends in multiplayer mode but as a single player experience with just two enemy AI players it didn't really offer the same experience (it should also be noted that games on XBLIG can not use networking in their trial mode, hence games with a multiplayer focus can only demo singleplayer in their trial).

I think if the game included a brightness setting (or increased the general brightness), simplified the HUD (and made it clear where your target airlock was), and increased the number of AI players in the trial then this would have been a much improved experience.
Rating