For the purpose of transparency, this review was completed using a review code provided by the game’s developer/publisher. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of this product.
Black & White Bushido is a 1-4 player stealth-em-up arena brawl from developer Good Catch. Choose between the light and the shadow in three challenging game modes. Hide with camouflage, throw shurikens and drop smoke bombs to beat your friends locally or online. It’s a party game where you can sneak up on your friends and cleave them in half. No friends? No worries! You can play against three bots and pretend they’re people you hate like the lazy member in the office who does nothing but look at memes all day. Or the guy at school who used to fill your bags with rocks. Or that creepy Uncle who used to make you play ‘Turn The Turtle’ when he babysat you and you later find out that it’s a made up game and he didn’t really move to Brazil. Anyway what I’m saying is it’s versatile.
It’s a fairly simple game; you cut about the screen and stab someone before they stab you. You can hide in the shadows or in plain site depending on if you choose a Black or a White people stabber. You can double jump and wall jump and all that jazz and everything is very fluid, you can traverse the arenas with relative ease pretty much instantly. Give it five minutes and you’ll be flying around the screen laying waste to fake Tony from accounts without thinking about it. If you haven’t guessed by now everything is in black and white. Being either black or white yourself you can hold a button to go into full stealth mode, so stealthy in fact that you can’t even see yourself.
There are a few different maps and a few different game modes but this is where the game falls a bit flat for me. There’s some variety but not loads, it gets repetitive. Now repetition can be good, it can keep you up at night, it can give you blisters. But there needs to be something to make you want to give yourself blisters until two in the morning. There is a hook to this game, that being the black and white, stealthy sneaky stab, and at first that was interesting to me. It didn’t keep me hooked though. This is a game to play with mates with some drinks not a game to sit down on your own and waste some time with. There’s no reward for it. If I’m putting some gaming time aside for a game I need to feel like I’m getting something back for my time. Whether that’s an advancement in my characters development or a scrap of story that’ll leave me pushing onto the next or a barrel full of belly laughs over game chat with my friends. I need something to make me put another 20 minutes into a game and I didn’t really get that from Black & White Bushido.
Graphically it’s pleasant enough and there are some really nice touches. Like if you’re sneaking around undetected and happen to step on some caltrops. You won’t die but you will start painting the floor crimson thus alerting any nearby enemies of your location. The little dust clouds you leave while wall jumping are another. The levels are nicely designed with some destructible scenery ranging from barrels to hanging sharks.
The soundtrack is another blip for me. Shut your eyes. Think about feudal Japan, can you picture it? The grassy fields swaying in the breeze, the rising mountains tower up on the horizon, the rows of soldiers cutting lines through the countryside. Now think about what music might be playing. That’s the music that IS playing in Black & White Bushido.
Another thing I like is how capture the flag work. There’s no set time or capture rate. You keep going until the whole screen is your colour. Every time you get a capture a little bit more of the screen changes in your favour and makes it a tiny bit easier for to get it next time. After every capture the flag moves to a different location and when your killed you spawn in a random location so it can make for some frantic dashes across the map in an effort push your advantage further or claw back a bit of lost ground.
So in summary this isn’t a bad game but it’s not an instant classic either. There is fun to be had here but you won’t lose hours of your life to ‘just one more match’. If you’re looking for a game that isn’t too pricey, you can play with 3 mates in local multiplayer, and will kill a bit of time without demanding too much back off of you then give it a look. Black & White Bushido is available on Steam for £9.99, Xbox One for £10.39, and PS4 for £7.99.