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Blues and Bullets Episode 2: Shaking the Hive
Score: 72%
Publisher: A Crowd of Monsters
Developer: A Crowd of Monsters
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)/Themed/Miscellaneous

Previously on Blues and Bullets:

During the first episode of A Crowd of Monstersí Blues and Bullets, we took control of Untouchables star Eliot Ness, a real-life detective that spent his life mission on bringing down crime syndicate gangster, Al Capone. Just like in many "true" films today, this is where we insert a VERY broad "Based on Real Life Events" statement here, because any similarity ended upon firing up the game. That doesnít mean the series is bad, but people need to be aware that this is not exactly (or even closely) historically accurate, and we will see that this spills over tenfold in Episode 2: Shaking the Hive.

Now that that is out of the way, Episode 1 is where a familiar, but unknown, stranger shows up at the "Blues and Bullets" diner owned by Ness. After some convincing, this stranger named Milton eventually brings Eliot face to face with his long-time arch nemesis, Al Capone. It is here where we gain a bit of back story, but also where the story in Blues and Bullets truly begins. It seems that Caponeís granddaughter, Sofia, was kidnapped along with many other children in Santa Esperanza.

Crime of Passion:

From the beginning of Blues and Bullets Episode 2: Shaking the Hive, we get a bit more of a glimpse of the love triangle that surrounds Ness, his friend and fellow Untouchable, Jim Dockers, and Jimís wife, Delphine. It seems that the affair between Eliot and Delphine is now in question, as she begins to rip into him about being in the middle of her two love interests. It seems that Eliotís own wife, Martha, is leaving for good, so without anybody now standing in his way, he has time to focus on the task at hand.

When chaos breaks out up the street, we learn that Jim was sent to investigate and may have met his demise now because of Eliot, which sends Delphine running in panic that Jim is gone. Because of this love triangle, one man is dead and the fate of Delphine is in question.

This all leads into a completely new scene where Eliot and Milton find themselves under water in the submarine that seemingly lacks connection to the above-mentioned scene, but does tie back into the end of Episode 1.

Frenemies United:

Within this underwater sardine can (which is remarkably huge inside!), Ivankov leads Ness and Milton in the continuation of the story. It seems that Ivankov fears Capone is after him, and there are subtle hints that Ivankov knows something about the missing Sofia. But in the blink of an eye, Ivankov turns the tables and itís up to Ness and Milton to capture him.

As the story progresses, however, things get even stranger. Ness and Milton are joined by Capone in an escape attempt that has them all working together to stay alive. In fact, during a shooting sequence, you can actually shift control to Al Capone, which quite frankly, takes the player out of the story in some way. These shooting sequences are really nothing more than an "on-rails shooter," but it at least adds a little excitement in an otherwise very slow-moving game.

Next Time on Blues and Bullets:

The question remains, while Capone and Ness have become slightly friendly and more than just enemies, where will this lead? At some point, we can expect Eliot Ness getting back to his main agenda of putting Capone away for life. Until then, however, it seems that the series has taken a VERY stray turn from history in the spirit of entertainment.

While we arenít really graced with an entire epilogue cut scene, after the credits roll, we do get a glimpse into the next episode via a brief video series and eventually just a soundtrack. It seems that a divide has occurred between the kidnapped children, and that clearly sets up expectations for their well being in the upcoming Episode 3. The finale actually has talk of voodoo and freakish rituals, so it will be interesting to see just how far from reality Blues and Bullets actually goes.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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