If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve all overindulged in food at some point in our lives (heck, 2020 has done a number on this writer’s belly alone). But could you imagine being able to consume literally anything and everything? You could argue that Pac-Man got there first, but Bite the Bullet is a run-and-gun action game that grants you the ability to munch on your fallen foes for energy and abilities. Set in the distant future where most of humanity has sauntered off to other planets, you’re left to fight off ghouls as one of two hungry heroes: Chewie or Chewella (and no, they’re not friends with scruffy looking nerf herders).
Taking inspiration from Metal Slug, and more recently Mercenary Kings, Bite the Bullet is a display of pure over-the-top action that looks like it was ripped right out the ‘80s. Visually, it’s a colourful, visceral blend of retro, pixel art sprites and modernised lighting effects, with neon signs and blood red moons really bringing the world to life. The action can admittedly become quite cluttered on occasions, with the game’s HUD exacerbating this issue with obnoxious notifications down the right-hand side of the screen. Performance takes a hit as a result, and the game struggles with its frame rate during more heated battles.
Primarily, the gameplay sees you mowing down enemies left, right, and centre, utilising various weapons and sub-weapons along the way. There are plenty of items to experiment with, each of which bringing various stat boosts and advantages to your chosen character. Gobbling up food, however, is undoubtedly the game’s most unique feature; staying full is vital to keeping your health bar at max, and depending on what you eat - whether it’s vegetables, robots, or fallen corpses - you’ll be granted with different abilities, along with DNA to spend on permanent upgrades.
Eating whatever you happen to come across - while a fun and unique premise - is ultimately a bit time consuming (heh, ‘consuming’…), and breaks up the flow of the overall combat a bit too much for our liking. Cutting down the animation, or speeding it up probably would’ve gone a long way in solving this, but we actually found ourselves avoiding it where possible and purely focusing on the gunplay itself. Sad to say, though, that even this has room for improvement; the movement controls never quite feel responsive enough, and you never really feel like you’re aiming your weapon in the correct direction.
Despite its flaws, Bite the Bullet is a fun experience that we’d recommend if you’re a fan of franchises like Metal Slug. The game looks gorgeous, and while we do take issue with the controls and gameplay, there’s just enough here to keep you entertained throughout the campaign. Just don’t blame us if you start feeling a bit hungry…