Black & White Bushido PS4 Review

Publisher: Endemol UK  Developer: Good Catch Games  Genre: Fighting/Stealth

Players: 1-4  Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One

Black & White Bushido is a good example of a game’s minimalistic style working in its favour. Its central mechanic is based around colour, and while the colours used aren’t particularly vibrant, the game itself certainly stands out in the fighting game genre as one that is strikingly different.

As the name suggests, the game is played in black and white, with both its characters and environments making use of the two colours. You’ll also find yourself making use of the colours as you play the game, which is its most unique feature. Controlling either a black or white character, the game is actually a fighting game with a stealth mechanic.

For some reason, it seems impossible to have an AI team-mate at this point in time. The focus is definitely on the multiplayer.

You may be wondering how such a stealth mechanic works in a 2D fighting game, and it’s all thanks to the contrasting colours. If you choose to play as a white character, then you can make use of the white sections of the stages to hide from your enemies, and if you play as a black character, then you can make use of the black areas to hide yourself in. There’s a stealth button that allows you to stay hidden while moving, and staying still will also allow you to blend into the background.

Black & White Bushido is definitely a game that could be described as a tactical fighting game, and sometimes it feels like a game of chess, as you and your opponent attempt to mastermind the next move. With points being awarded for single blows as well as the sheer speed of the game, it’s an often tense and exciting game, and one that requires you to keep a close eye on anything that might give your hiding opponent/s away.

In a nice touch, the environments also dynamically alter different sections to their opposing colour during battles, which means that there’s always the opportunity to alter your tactics along with the level. Different things give you and your opponent away, such as quick movements, and also blood.

The game also includes pick-ups such as throwing stars, traps that can cause characters to bleed, giving their location away with a rare splash of bright red, and smoke bombs which allow you to quickly jump from one area of a stage to another for a surprise attack. All of these pick-ups can certainly alter the tide of battle considerably.

Black & White Bushido features two modes for both local and online multiplayer. The first mode is a deathmatch mode, which has you and up to three other players aiming to reach the kill limit (between 5 and 40 kills) in order to win the match, and there’s also a Capture the Flag mode. In Capture the Flag, flags appear around the stage, and the objective is to get there first and then hold a button down to capture the flag. The entire objective is to turn the entire stage your colour, winning you the match. It’s a fun and interesting spin on the ancient mode.

It’s as simple to play as it looks, but Black & White Bushido is definitely a lot of fun.

If you are a gamer who prefers to play alone, then you may find that Black & White Bushido feels a little lacking. There’s a single player challenge mode and you can play all other modes in single player as well, but I do feel that the game would have benefited from a more expansive story mode, or something of the like. The game doesn’t even feature any difficulty modes for the AI, not that I could find in any case.

There’s a shortage of modes perhaps, and the game might have benefited from a few more stages, but the primary mechanic of light vs. shadow works very well indeed, and I always felt satisfied whenever I outfoxed my opponents.

Black & White Bushido is a fast and exciting game that is as unusual as it is tense, and while with its simple fighting mechanics, it doesn’t have the most depth in the world as a fighting game, but with the emphasis on colour the game still makes you think. There’s a feeling that it could have been fleshed out a bit more in terms of options, but what is there is executed to a mostly satisfying degree.