It’s a rather momentous day for the Scots, apparently. Not only have they chosen to stick with their English brethren, but Bedlam, a genre-bending shooter based on Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre’s novel of the same name that features a Scottish female protagonist has received a boat-load of new content.
Aside from the usual bug fixes and localization (in this case, German subtitles), this content patches beefs up the first two existing gameworlds, namely Starfire and Death or Glory, so that they present a denser and presumably lengthier gameplay experience. It also adds a new zombie sewer level and two new arcade-style levels, Chili Chomper and Guano Attack, the two being the game’s unusual take on Pac Man and Space Invaders, respectively.
All in all, Bedlam, which is currently on sale via Steam Early Access for $20, now boasts fifteen levels and approximately three hours of gameplay time, a fairly impressive achievement for a game still in its nascent stages.
Bedlam is a sort of hodgepodge of everything gamers from the 80’s and 90’s loved during the early days of the First Person Shooter. The game is framed around an unusually sophisticated plot in which the player, a medical scientist named Heather Quinn, decides to volunteer herself to be a test subject for an experimental brain scanning machine. In a terrifying twist of events, she awakens from the experiment to find herself in a science fiction videogame world highly reminiscent of early-to-mid 90’s shooters like Doom and Quake.
As the below gameplay video from Jim Sterling shows, Bedlam‘s combination of old-school shooter tropes with a foul-mouth Scottish heroine, along with its distinctly British writing, make it an unusually entrancing and hilarious shooter, more capable of holding one’s attention, or at least mine, than many other shooters out on the market today with a million times the budget (*coughdestinycough*).
There’s more to Bedlam than just the science fiction world the game begins in, of course. Throughout the game, and presumably once its completed, players will find themselves hopping between time periods and entire genres. The afore-mentioned Chili Chomper level added by the content patch, for instance, has players roaming the Tron-like corridors of the Pac Man world, an experience that developer RedBedlam remarked as being “pretty scary.”
Rockpapershotgun has a detailed writeup on their experience with the Alpha demo that’s worth reading if you’re on the fence on committing money to the Bedlam, and if you’re interested in the book that the game is based on, it can be found on Amazon.