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Boiling Bolt (Xbox)

Developed by Persistant Studios, Boiling Bolt is available now on PC (Steam) for £9.29 (currently on sale until 12th December for £7.43), PS4 for £9.49 (currently £7.59 for PS Plus members) and Xbox One for £9.59.

Boiling Bolt is a 2.5D twin-stick shooter game where you will play as “June” as you attempt to defend your world from an evil threat...

Boiling Bolt has beautiful backgrounds but is slightly let down by the plain looking enemies and the bosses aren’t exactly thrilling to look at or fight. The path which you must travel on is sometimes hard to see and with the ever-changing camera angle, has made me feel a little nauseous at times, it's not so bad once you get used to the level but when it first shifts it was odd, to say the least.

The soundtrack is really catchy and is definitely one of the better features of Boiling Bolt, along with the sound effects of the gunfire and different abilities, all adding to the immersion of the combat experience which is something I am always appreciative of.

As with many twin-stick shooters the controls are simple, LS to move and RS to shoot and with Boiling Bolt it’s the same but with the addition of special weapons using the A, B, X, Y buttons (with RT). Don't worry, there is a tutorial for you to replay as many times as you need to! Unfortunately, when using the standard gunfire, you can only shoot left or right in straight lines so in order to kill the enemies you have to manoeuvre yourself using the LS rather than being able to be precise with RS which was a bit of a letdown.

With a total of 5 levels, there isn’t a lot of variety in the sense of gameplay but there are 4 modes to play including 30 challenges which certainly adds a little more to keep you busy!
  • Arcade
  • Free Run
  • One Shot One Kill
  • Challenges

As you play through the story in “Arcade” mode as June against different sections of enemies (some more chaotic and frustrating than others) and bosses, you will collect crystal shards that are dropped in order to purchase upgrades for your ship in the shop.

I feel that some people who may not be overly skilled at twin-stick shooters may end up missing out on the overall story because they are simply just not good enough to progress far enough, it is a real shame that there isn’t a difficulty setting available to make the game easier or indeed, harder. The upgrades in the shop do provide a decent amount of improvement and so it is definitely worthwhile grinding the levels as much as you can to get enough crystal shards but if I’m being honest, it does get a little tiresome when doing that by yourself.

Thankfully, there is the option of playing co-op although it is local co-op only, unfortunately. Luckily for me, I was able to convince my partner to help me out and it really made a huge difference in how far through the levels I managed to get! One thing that was made abudantly clear though is that if you happen to play with someone a lot more skilled at twin stick shooter games than you are, you will find yourself dying quicker than them and then having to wait until the other person succeeds in completing the level (and boss) without you until you are allowed to respawn which can take a very long time on some of the levels! I think there should be something more co-op friendly implemented so that no one is ever left out for too long, perhaps a countdown or a revive option?

One frustration I have is that no matter how many levels you get through if you end up dying so many times that you run out of lives, you’ll have to start all over again from the very beginning of level 1. You get 3 lives and depending on the level of your defence, you will be able to take a few (at one point I was able to withstand 6) hits before you end up losing a life. Each time you do lose a life, you will get the option of continuing or exiting back to the menu but if you continue you’ll lose a huge amount of points from your total so will ultimately get a poorer grade so, to be honest, I think if you are still in the first couple of levels, you’re probably better off just starting again. There were far too many times when playing, especially on co-op that enemies would quite literally spawn on top of you and cause you to lose lives unnecessarily which only added to my already present frustrations. 

Overall, Boiling Bolt is an enjoyable game however, I feel like there is something missing in a few areas and hopefully they will be addressed at some point in the near future. If I had to give it a score it would be 6/10. A pretty decent game for the price but if it’s a twin stick shooter you’re after, there are others which could possibly provide a little more entertainment.

Boiling Bolt has 13 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. For the most part, the achievements in Boiling Bolt are all progression based and will unlock through completing the levels and all of the challenges. If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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