Bodycam Early Access Review

Bodycam is a multiplayer FPS with a unique perspective, making your fights feel like real-found footage.
Bodycam Featured

Bodycam is a multiplayer FPS that recently entered Early Access. With its incredible graphics as its main selling point, Bodycam is undoubtedly an eye-catching title and is remarkable for its small development team. However, after my time with the game, I am not without my criticisms, and there is quite a bit of work I’d like to see done before Bodycam enters its full release.

The first thing that needs to be said is that Bodycam was, remarkably, created by two brothers, aged 20 and 19, as the game proudly explains at the start. Creating any game with two people is a herculean task, and doing so at such a young age is certainly impressive. I applaud you, Reissad Studio, and I hope it’s clear that while I do have constructive criticisms about the game, you should still be proud of what you accomplished together.

Bodycam is a matchmade FPS game that makes use of the impressive Unreal Engine 5’s graphic engine to make a game that looks close to real. It’s meant to give the impression that the gameplay from your perspective is actually found footage from a bodycam (hence, the name), the likes of which you might find in the deeper parts of YouTube or other video-sharing platforms.

Bodycam Rig
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

I’ve seen quite a few people be confused, so I want to point out that Bodycam is not Unrecorded, which is (I believe) the first game concept to use visual effects and popularize the idea of a found-footage FPS game. While Bodycam may not have invented the concept, the developers saw the desire for a game like Unrecorded and capitalized on the market with their own twist on the concept, turning the idea of a (yet-to-be-released) single-player detective game into a multiplayer shooter.

As impressive as the visuals may be, I must say that Bodycam’s realistic effect is not perfectly executed. There were plenty of times when I felt very much aware that I was in a video game, despite how much the post-processing effect wanted me to believe otherwise.

The biggest reason for this is due to the fact that Bodycam seems to be made almost entirely of recycled Unreal Engine 5 assets. This isn’t something that I frown upon personally. I think it’s a great tool to allow developers like Reissad Studio to make their game ideas. In the case of Bodycam, however, a lot of these assets clash hard with each other and create scenes with an uncanny feeling of trying to look realistic but failing. I felt a lot like I was watching a Backrooms video in many sections of the game.

This isn’t something you’re going to pick up on in screenshots or by watching other people play. Bodycam is a game that translates incredibly well to shared media. However, playing in fullscreen on your own monitor changes things a bit, and some of the flaws in the game’s visuals become more noticeable when you’re walking up to them yourself.

The game’s presentation works best in dimly lit, heavily shadowed areas, in which Bodycam can deliver some truly stunning visuals.

Bodycam Shadows
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Unfortunately, Bodycam doesn’t have much to offer beyond the gimmick of its presentation—at least not in its current state.

Bodycam’s multiplayer gameplay consists of three game modes across a handful of maps: Bomb Rush, Team Death Match, and a free-for-all that resembles your traditional FPS/CoD-type lobby. The first two game modes play very similar to a game of Rainbow Six: Siege or Counter-Strike, requiring slow and careful movements and fast reflexes.

I’m not good at these games, but I see the appeal in them. There are a few areas where Bodycam really needs to improve to match its inspirations.

First of all, the gunplay simply felt very awkward; with a lot of input lag and a crazy sensitivity, I couldn’t manage to get to a point I enjoyed. You’re also fighting against the angle, and aiming down sights with the bodycam camera position seemed unnatural. I’m willing to admit that the gun-feel may have just been an issue of preference, as plenty of other people clearly had it managed.

I had the most fun blasting people with shotguns, which are usually my least favorite weapons in these games.

Bodycam Shotgun
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

I would like to see some firearm realism features, like penetrating cover, added to really push the vibe the game has going for it. Also, maybe adopt more Counter-Strike style aiming instead of how ADS is currently implemented.

A lack of progression can make the game feel hollow. You are not unlocking new guns or attachments or anything of that sort by playing the game. However, in this game that bills itself on its unique first-person perspective, you can earn credits to buy skins from a rotating shop. You can also purchase these credits for real dollars to support the developers. I was a little disappointed to find out that the game had microtransactions before it had a basic progression system.

You aren’t unlocking new weapons or attachments, and you can’t modify your guns either. This is because the game uses a randomized loadout system, wherein, each round, you spawn with a random weapon from the game’s arsenal. This is a feature you’ll either love or hate, and personally, I find half the fun in these kinds of games is building your own custom loadout.

I can ignore the game’s bugs (it is in early access), forgive the unimpressive yet highly realistic gunplay, and say that even with the game’s minimal game modes, many players will still spend a lot of time with Bodycam. However, the game’s current lobby system definitely needs to go.

When you join a lobby, it is entirely up to the host to matchmake a game. This means that if your host is AFK or not paying attention, you are stuck waiting until they come back. What’s worse is that I couldn’t find a way to leave a lobby once I joined it (this may have just been me, but there were no obvious disconnect buttons from what I could find.) I feel like I don’t need to expand on this part too much for the reader to understand why this might be a problem.

Bodycam Killhouse
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The roadmap for Bodycam promises bug fixes, more maps, and a zombie mode, of which I’m personally the most excited. Though I feel like the gun play could be improved and the game should allow for weapon progression and selection, I can safely say that even in Early Access, Bodycam will certainly have a dedicated player base, though $30 may be a bit too steep for what the game is offering.

Also, if the devs are reading this, get rid of the Discord server launch prompt when you open the game. It feels invasive and will definitely put off potential players.

Pros:

  • Unique and realistic perspective and graphics
  • Reflex-heavy, tactical gunplay
  • A zombie mode (to come in the future) that may serve as an incredible horror experience

Cons:

  • Repetitive, simple gameplay that would feel underwhelming without the gimmicky presentation
  • Level design that incentivizes spawn killing (in one game mode)
  • A lack of progression or customization
  • Bugs and performance issues are planned to be worked out
Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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