Home » Bears In Space PC review – Bear with me

Bears In Space PC review – Bear with me

Bears in Space review PC via Steam

Bears in Space got on my radar due to occasional mentions popping up in Boomer Shooter spaces. It is not a Boomer Shooter, of course, but it does share some attributes in common, as it’s closer to one than it is to a modern hallway shooter. I’d describe it as similar to Doom Eternal in terms of general level flow, but it’s a very different beast that stands on its own feet. It’s honestly very impressive considering it was made by three people, but it’s also not as consistently funny as one might hope, plus the nature of the gameplay can start to grate after a few hours.

There’s a lot of dialogue, some of which is fairly funny. It’s not as much of a highlight as, say, the writing in High on Life, but the gameplay here is clearly better. Bears in Space plays like a typical modern FPS. You run, jump, and shoot enemies as you make your way through the levels. The movement and shooting all feels quite good. Much like Doom Eternal, levels are broken up between platforming sections with occasional enemy encounters and arena shootouts against groups of enemies. But the game is happy to ferry you to sections that are more akin to comedy sketches than anything else.

One level has you stop and investigate a robot murder, another sees you take part in a cube-shaped basketball game. It’s all very silly and the voice acting is energetic. The basic premise appears to be that you’re playing as a man who is fused to a bear via some strange occurrence. Or a man carried around by a bear. Whatever. The man doesn’t talk and the bear talks constantly. It doesn’t help that the bear’s voice is fairly annoying, even if the actor’s delivery is very good. The whole experience occasionally had me laughing out loud, but I feel like the game is long enough to the point where keeping the humour level consistent was practically impossible.

Bears in Space review combat

Shoot first

Bears in Space is broken up into episodes with multiple levels each, similar to Boomer Shooters. Each level has its own secrets to track down which are tied to challenges that grant currency upon completion. Currency is used to purchase new weapons or upgrade their ammo capacity. Some usual suspects are in attendance. You’ve got a pistol with infinite ammo, a shotgun, an SMG, a gatling gun, a rocket launcher, a weapon that launches basketball cubes, a little thing that flings tiny anvils. Yes, some of them are a little out there. Weapons get upgraded as you use them, although not as quickly as in a Ratchet & Clank game.

The shooting is tight and there’s a good sense of momentum to the movement. You can double jump and dash in whichever direction, which is also used frequently while platforming. Between the weapons and the movement options, one could describe Bears in Space as robust. But the game is still a little too fond of going, “fetch quests really suck! Here, go on a ridiculous one for no reason!” Levels can feel like they go on too long to the point of being padded. Just a few hours in, I started getting more than a little sick of the combat. It’s just really repetitive and the enemies, while decently varied, can feel stale.

The bullet hell aspect also doesn’t work that well in first-person. One enemy comes to mind, a robot that shoots many green projectiles. Dodging its shots is aggravating and I often feel that avoiding damage is a bit of a crapshoot. Some of the encounters can simply be frustrating, too.

Bears in Space is a remarkably well-made game in a lot of ways, but I do feel it would have benefited from a smaller scope and tighter pacing. As it is, it’s very easy to become bored with the platforming, encounters, and lengthy levels. It’s still a worthwhile shooter with a lot more content than one might be expecting, as well as some funny surprises waiting around the bend.

Bears in Space review levels

Bears In Space: Bears in Space looks and plays very well, even if it can grow somewhat monotonous at times. Andrew Farrell

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