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    Blue Estate: Review

    Lightgun games on-rails shooting galleries where you point a plastic gun at the screen to shoot are pretty much a dead genre these days. That’s not because they’re shallow and gimmicky (although they are), but because the technique used to detect where the player was aiming can’t be replicated on flat-screen Tvs.

    The Wii saw the genre make a mini-comeback, but dragging a reticule across the screen just isn’t as instantaneous as pointing and firing. Blue Estate points its fingers at your fingers and says, ‘Hey, why can’t Kinect bridge that gap?’

    Your dominant hand serves as your gun, leaving the other free for gestures, used to open doors, melee baddies or, in the game’s sillier moments, to shake an amorous chihuahua from your ever-suffering leg, or to brush away co-protagonist Tony Luciano’s wild fringe, which constantly threatens to encroach on your viewing area.

    Back to the gun hand. You still have to drag a reticule, but it’s responsive enough to feel natural, and thumbstick controls are sluggish in comparison. The lack of buttons, however, is a design obstacle that troubles Blue Estate to its core. Its first Concession is that guns fire automatically all you need to do is point to the target. In other words, it rips the most satisfying part of the process from your hands. enemies also wait a generously long time before shooting (and the most immediate threat is identified by a marker) stripping away the genre’s trademark tension.

    Blue Estate is short, and although it tries to inject longevity through leaderboards, its scoring system isn’t tight enough to be worth unpacking. The experience is light and breezy, but tonally it’s all over the shop pop culture references are mixed with quasi-bigoted quips that belong to another era. A luxury purchase for dusty Kinects only.

    Fun, in a mindless sort of way, but lacks the big set-pieces and the frenetic action that made lightgun games so compelling. At around three hours long, you’d get better value sticking that gun hand up your nostril.

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