I checked out the Devolver BBQ at E3 with the primary intention of seeing Hotline Miami 2, but there was much more on tap aside from beer and thumping 80s synth music.
I also had the chance to play the indie title Heavy Bullets and talk to its creator, Terri Vellman. Vellman is part of a small but growing community of game developers based out of Brazil, and Heavy Bullets is his first creation, built in the increasingly popular Unity engine.
Heavy Bullets is a first person shooter meant to carve off all the fat of the modern shooter. It felt to me like the antithesis of games like Serious Sam. You’re given a revolver – a six-shooter – and six bullets to fill it up. At the beginning, most enemies take just one round to put down. Shooting feels fast and responsive. Here’s the twist, though. Ammo is incredibly rare in Heavy Bullets. We’re talking rare enough to surprise old school survival horror fans. Instead, you have to pick up the rounds you use and reload them one at a time.
This mechanic introduces a need for accuracy and care when pulling the trigger, and requires that you pay attention to where you’re shooting to make sure you can get those rounds back.
While Devolver Digital’s many games aren’t created by the same people, they all seem to have a similar retro aesthetic. Heavy Bullets, like Hotline Miami, is a world of deep blacks and fluorescent colors. The appropriately thin story that supports Heavy Bullets has you trying to reset a security mainframe, and the visual style feels like a neon-soaked sunset version of something like Tron.
Heavy Bullets is already available on Steam Early Access, with a final release planned in the next six months. Vellman says he plans to keep the game simple, but he wants to add achievements and leaderboards to make the game appealing to speed runners. Look for a Let’s Play with Heavy Bullets sometime soon.