Ever wanted to play a co-op game but all of your friends were too busy? Fear not, for Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is here to fill the void that you can’t fill by yourself. Produced by Lionsgate and developed by Big Star Games, this game allows you to play as all six of the deadly gangsters from Reservoir Dogs in a turn based strategy game with a new style of game play.
Set in the early 90’s of Los Angeles, the game follows the legendary mobster crew as they do various robberies for “Nice Guy” Joe Cabot. Each level is very action packed, with only a brief cutscene to show the general layout of the nearby areas before trouble starts. From there, you take control of a single dog, but as you play the game keeps track of how long you controlled that one character. Why does the game track how long you play? A simple mechanic that the game calls rewind.
Get into a rough firefight where you wish you had someone to cover your flank? Just hit the space bar, time will rewind all the way back to when you started control of that character and let you control a second dog for the same amount of time. Using this you can set up fire angles for choke points or as I said before, a nasty flank to surprise the enemy. The only downside, is that whatever you did during your turn will happen, if you fire a shot at someone to kill in your last turn, you still shoot during the rewind. I’m not a big fan of this feature, mostly because there’s no AI that makes your character stop shooting if you manage to drop someone before you would have fired.
Apart from the main feature, each of the dogs has stats: steal, speed and vitality. Steal is the ability to rob people, as indicated by the money bag over their heads. The higher their ability is the more you can steal from the civilian (roughly $100 for each point). Speed is how quickly your character can walk and run and is pretty self explanatory, higher score makes go fast. Finally, vitality is your character’s overall health broken into segments depending on how many points are in the stat. As a rule of thumb, three shots from a pistol are enough to deplete a full segment if not more.
While the game boasts 18 unique stages, they all are basically the same. Go in, kill security, steal from a vault, deal with swarms of cops, escape. In addition, each level has a point based system depending on combos, how much health was lost and the amount of time you spend clearing the level. Gain enough points and you unlock better weapons to spend your ill-gotten lucre on to improve you chances later. But since each level requires you to pay a fee to unlock, it will take some time to earn the cash for better weapons. Turning what should be a face paced action game-flick into what felt like a grind.
Overall, I’m in between on this game. While the action and the strategy are appealing to me, the rewind mechanic seemed like a new way to dress a turn based strategy game. So if you’re interested in giving new mechanics a try, maybe this game will appeal to you. For me though, I think I’ll stick with the classic formula that works out.