A fast paced FPS with an engrossing storyline written by cult Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre. You play Heather Quinn aka “Athena” trapped in a world of video games, desperate to find a way back home. Will you make it? Or will you be trapped here forever? Here's where you find out..
User reviews:
Very Positive (245 reviews) - 80% of the 245 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 13, 2015

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November 4, 2015



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About This Game


Bedlam is a unique FPS game based on a novel of the same name by cult Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre.

Pitched as a shooter for those who survived online gaming in the 80s and 90s, Bedlam takes a look through an iconic time in online gaming and serves up some authentic gaming nostalgia with up-to-date graphics and gaming features. Bedlam is set entirely in the first-person but will explore other game genres from a first-person perspective.

In the game you play Heather Quinn (aka Athena) a colleague of Ross Baker (aka Bedlam). Heather is an overworked and underpaid scientist developing medical technology for corporate giant Neurosphere. One rainy Monday morning Heather volunteers as a test candidate for the new Neurosphere brain scanning tech - anything to get out of the office for a few hours.

But when she gets out of the scanner she discovers she's not only escaped the office, but possibly escaped real life for good! Heather finds herself trapped in Starfire - the violent sci-fi game she spent her teenage years playing - with no explanation, no backup and, most terrifyingly, no way out!

Join us in Early Access and get ready to unleash BEDLAM.

The description below was written by Christopher Brookmyre for the release of the novel in 2013

Heaven is a prison. Hell is a playground.

Would it be your ultimate fantasy to enter the world of a video game?

A realm where you don’t have to go to work or worry about your health; where you can look like a hero or a goddess; where you can fly space-ships, slay dragons, visit any period in history, any realm in fiction, yet all of it feels completely real. A realm where there are no consequences and no responsibilities, to the extent that even if you die, you can just respawn and start again.

Or would it be your worst nightmare?

Trapped in a place where every demon ever conjured by the human mind can be made flesh. Cut off from the real world, unable to see your family or friends ever again. Stuck in an endless state of war and chaos where the pain and fear feels real and from which not even death can offer an escape.

Prison or playground. Heaven or hell.

This is where you find out

Check out the first hands on preview of Bedlam by Rock, Paper, Shotgun: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/07/25/bedlam-game/

One of the first Bedlam play thru's by Jim Sterling of The Escapist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jutpej9ZcyM
And coverage about our female lead character Heather Quinn by BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-27695235

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: Dual Core 2Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX 9 level (shader model 2.0) capable card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any DirectX Compatible
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: Quad Core 3.5Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX10 capable card.
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any DirectX Compatible
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Dual Core 2Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX 9 level (shader model 2.0) capable card
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Quad Core 3.5Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX10 capable card.
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
Helpful customer reviews
73 of 95 people (77%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2015
Bedlam should be an incredibly cool game that takes players through a thrilling ride of landmark shooters like Quake, or Medal of Honor while exploring the evolution of video game design. Instead Bedlam mostly just shows us what other great games look like while feeling like a fairly bland shooter itself.

The journey begins when some gamer, known for technical prowess in shooters, realizes that she is in a game. From there, stuff happens and she has to shuffle around to other games. Bedlam tries to explore various video game genre/subgenres but doesn't ever quite commit. The horror game give you some tighter corridors and zombie enemies, but that's similar to the annoying catwalks that fill out the sci-fi inspired shooter levels, and then pretty much every other level just has wide open spaces but with different fillers (tanks in the World War 2 shooter setting, cottages in the fantasy one). Playing through this game is less like actively exploring different games and more like playing a single game with lots of costume changes, which just comes off as weak. Why does a fantasy game feel like Quake-lite, Medal of Honor have no setpieces, and the futuristic shooter have no interesting weapons? Imagine how something as simple as adding a directional damage indicator when jumping into the Medal of Honor section would have been to communicate growth, or adding a regenerating shield in the future settings, mana and light RPG elements in the fantasy setting, and so on, until the player actually feels the difference in settings and genres. Really, the feeling of movement and how resources are managed would have been an easy way to the chart the growth of shooters. It's these little missing details that really would have made the game shine.

None of the mechanics or level designs ever grow, which is a real shame. All the different weapons you get feel pretty much the same and seem to have no qualities attached to them: the crossbow shoots a bit lower and sometimes one of the shotguns feels like it actually hurts enemies more up close, but enemies aren't too picky on what you kill them with so there is hardly any strategy or risk involved. Bedlam doesn't exclusively stick to shooters: there are some levels inspired by Pacman, fantasy RPGs, Warcraft, classic and horizontal shooters.

What probably feels most out of place is the fact that your character is an absolute bullet magnet. Enemies you can hardly see gun you down with pinpoint accuracy so you sometimes just don't have a chance to even see what killed you before you have to reload and hope that you sprint behind cover fast enough to avoid whatever magic bullets are finding you. Due to level design shifting from bland with dull color designs to a nightmarish mess of ramps and platforms full of holes, the AI gets very annoying. However, towards the end of the game, the quasi-platforming steals the show as the most frustrating aspect.

I feel the ending of the game dragged on for a few hours too long. But it probably only felt like that because I was constantly having to reload due to me missing a jump when I just missed it by, who even knows how much, because I cannot see my feet. Platforming without being able to see your feet is like having to race in reverse, or shoot a gun that always fires off-screen. The jump button was also hit or miss on a controller at times. On top of the inaccurate jumping, the game's platforming sections are all designed like a maze with jump pads that are hard to gauge, alternate routes that lead you backwards, platforms full of holes that will drop you sometimes. This is absolutely one of the most annoying combinations I can even imagine. If anything, this should have been the psychological horror section of the game.

The concept is certainly interesting, but the mechanics house little creativity at best and are near-broken at worst. You are better off just popping in the games that Bedlam seeks to emulate. The concept and ambition are there, but too much of what should make Bedlam unique is left at surface level.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
41.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
The player assumes the role of Athena, a normal everyday woman who has somehow woken up inside a virtual world of a video game. She makes plenty of self-aware quips throughout Bedlam, ranging from obvious and cringy to downright hysterical. She quickly realizes she's in a shooter from the '90s, and it's not long until she manages to escape through a glitch in the game to be transporting to various other worlds.

Bedlam will take players through different time periods and genres of video games, but does eventually become too formulaic. Players will enter a world, complete its objectives, enter an "in between" glitch world, and then move on to the next section. While not predictable in the sense that the new world will be a surprise, the concept becomes rigid and boring.

There is an underlying story besides "look at the funny parody worlds," and unfolds through in-game radio chatter and hidden sections within each world. It's all based on the book by the same name, which I haven't read, but seems to deal with essentially the same thing. In a way, Bedlam felt like a long winded way of saying "hey, you should read the book." The story is somewhat engaging and certainly well written, but the lack of closure at the end of the game was a huge letdown.

Bedlam handles like a first-person shooter, with one or two exceptions, and does a great job of nailing down the shooting mechanics. Each world has a unique set of weapons to acquire, but ammo for each gun is limited to its respective world. This sounds like an interesting mechanic on paper, but in reality the player gets so many guns that ammo is never an issue due to the wide breadth of options.

In fact, and I didn't think I'd ever say this, but there are likely too many weapons. They all have their small quirks and differences, but all of the shotguns, machine guns, and pistols might as well be identical. The large number of options also makes it a pain to switch between weapons, especially when using the mousewheel. Every number on the keyboard is assigned to a weapon, and it never really felt worth it to memorize what was where.

There are also platforming sections that take place during the in between glitch worlds. I'm hesitant to even call them platforming sections since the player is literally jumping over small distances from one long rectangle to the next. They are in no way challenging, but I did die a few times, usually because I had no idea that there was no ground in between certain sections. Most of these sections are only there to keep the player busy while radio chatter occurs to thicken the plot.

Perhaps the best part of Bedlam is the "tour" through various styles of first-person shooter tropes. I won't spoil them all here, but all of the classic FPS environments are present, and some that will definitely take players by surprise and have them laughing. Of course, going back in time does have its design downfalls, as some worlds are more barren than anything else, and there's a few instances of poor mission design that will leave players frustrated and anxious to jump into the next section.

The last level in particular is especially drab. It falls into the classic pitfall of "throw everything possible at the player and see how they do." Honestly, I used the explosive weapons to rocket-jump through just about all of it. Perhaps that was intended, but considering how wonky rocket-jumping physics are in Bedlam, I highly doubt it.

Each world ends with a boss, and they're all impressively mediocre. The big thing shows up, player shoots it a lot. The last boss in particular is tedious, and offers up just about zero challenge to the player. Despite the poor boss fights, the game has enough brilliant small moments to really stand out. After I had completed the game, the things that stuck with me were the tiny segments that used its plot device to its strength and didn't adhere to the obvious formula that it was playing with. I'm confident in saying that there are enough of these to keep the player interested throughout most of the game.

To accompany the decade-hopping mechanics, the game's aesthetic varies from place to place as well. Most noticeably, the models get progressively better as the meta-titles get more modern. However, things like the health and body armor pickups remain the same throughout every world. It would have been interesting to see the developer also explore how health system evolved as the genre itself did, but instead we get floating health packs that are way out of place in most of the worlds.

The voice acting, at least, is top notch. The radio chatter is entertaining and very well done, it's just a shame that a handful of times I was forced to read the subtitles because the surrounding noises, like being in a firefight, drowned out the actual voice acting.

Bedlam will take players on a jaunt through various first-person shooter worlds, but the problem is that none of them are particularly great. There are some absolutely wonderful and memorable moments strewn throughout the experience, but they are brought down by some poor design in both the missions and boss fights, and essentially the entire last chapter. I genuinely did have some great laughs, and there are worse ways to kill an afternoon, but ironically Bedlam falls prey to many of the same issues of the games it apes.
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30 of 48 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2015
I haven't been this down on a game in a while. The fast pace is alright, but everything after the first stage just blows. The level design and firefights just get progressively worse, and it all culminates in one of crappiest end stages I've played in a FPS. The game is also really buggy, and I can't tell if it's intentional or not due to its "ironic" nature. The music is just plain sterile. The genre-jumping story is about as original as the games it satirizes, and the writing is wretched. Seriously, The game is just inundated in this sterile "haha us gamers huh?" humor that makes me wanna hang myself more than I already do.

I really don't like this game. Don't buy it, not even during a sale. You'll just play it for five hours and never look at it again. That's five hours you can put into a ♥♥♥♥ing actually good game like Doom or something.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
Bedlam was a blast to play. In a time and age where most FPS are designed to appeal to the masses, few titles evoke the sense I had when I first played DOOM or Quake, unless we’re talking about the recent Wolfenstein game. That said, I’m not saying this is comparable with those games in terms of quality and overall production values, but I do strongly believe that this is an underrated gem and so I’d like to express how this game deserves to be played.

In Bedlam you play as Heather Quinn, or Athena (her nickname). You’ve recently got a new job and soon enough you find yourself trapped inside some sort of videogame. Soon enough you realize the sort of mess you’ve put yourself into and uncover a conspiracy that is placing your digital life in danger. This is what I really enjoy about Bedlam. The game takes place inside various game worlds and is brimming with tons of references that trigger so many memories and filled me with nostalgia so many times.

Throughout the game you’ll play on various different settings, from alien worlds that reminded me of Quake, to medieval villages and a war torn Europe. Each of these sections will give you access to a whole new range of weapons that fit this timeline. This is also one of old school aspects of Bedlam that I really appreciate. The fact that you can have up TONS of weapons and switch between them as you see fit, instead of being restricted to 2 or 3 weapons like in most FPS these days. Weapons range from blasters, a crossbow, a minigun, a railgun, a sniper rifle, you name it, there is something for everyone. Of course, each of these settings will also present you to a new aesthetic and new types of enemies. Therefore, the game manages to keep the levels interesting and fresh by not only changing the graphical style but also the way the levels themselves are designed.

As you could expect, this is an homage and a love letter to the times when the FPS genre was at its height. In that sense, the game is extremely fast paced, there is no walking, you’re constantly on the move, and you need to be so, in order to not be hit by enemies. The fact that you move so fast and have access to such a huge arsenal made the game a lot of fun for me to play, since different weapons would be more suitable to defeat certain enemies.

There is only two complaints that I’d like to mention, the fact that sometimes the enemies would get stuck behind walls and other times they’d shoot behind those walls (still hitting me), and the other complaint is related to the hitboxes of props, sometimes I’d shoot over an object while having my crosshair directly on the enemy but the shot would hit the object in front of me. Besides that, it’s worth mentioning that the game is also somewhat short. It can easily be beaten in 5-6 hours (atleast on medium difficulty).

To finalize, Bedlam was an extremely pleasant surprise. I had it sitting on my library for ages and I’m very glad I went ahead and gave it a go. The soundtrack is mindblowing good and I’m actually sad I can’t find it outside the game. If you’re a fan of first person shooters, especially if you’re a fan of games like DOOM, Quake and Wolfenstein, Bedlam might be worth check out. It is fun, varied, charming, challenging, nostalgic, filled with gaming and geeky references and features a rather interesting and unique storyline. Please give this one a chance!
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Would you like to enter the world of your favourite video game? Take the mantle of the Doom Guy, Commander Shepard or whoever you want? Then, jump between worlds and get to use arsenal from one game in the other?

Well, that's exactly what happens Bedlam!
...sort of.

Allowing players to enter games like Unreal, World of Warcraft, World of Tanks, Call of Duty or Halo would be a licensing nightmare for developers. Therefore everything had to be replaced by obvious knock-offs, with real video game titles only mentioned in conversations or overheard messages. This is understandable, albeit a bit disappointing. A cool premise just had to be ruined by copyright.
Still, we can make our own crossovers for free through mods.

The idea of game jumping seems to be the main schtick of Bedlam. The game is full of winks towards people experienced in gaming, especially those who know a thing or two about history of games (mainly FPS games, to be exact). As mentioned before, the idea already took one blow because of lack of licensed titles but there is more. The entire game screams "wasted opportunities", as the only thing that really grows is the arsenal from different worlds. Aside from three short segments the gameplay does not change significantly. Even though the environment changes, there is no variety to game mechanics to follow this. Such a shame, this would bring in so much nostalgia!

The one area in which the player might experience sufficient variety is bugs. The most irritating example include the scenery elements and walls which serve to stop you... but none of the enemies or their bullets - this is especially promonent in the last level, in which the game throws hordes of enemies at you. Another annoying problem can be spotted especially when using sniper rifles. You might see the enemy through the scope and aim perfectly, but apparently the game does not always register the hit. This might have something to do with the weapon range or enemy spawn points - who knows.

Ok, that's enough of the negativeness. Time to point out the positives.

The game still can be quite fun if you want some simple run & gun action, especially if you are a sucker for somewhat nostalgic experiences. Aside from that, the story can be interesting (apparently it is tied in with a book under the same name) and then there is the protagonist...
She is really great. At first I had a problem with understanding her (really strong accent + my hearing impediment, not a good combination) but that's what subtitles are for. The more time I spend with her the more fond I grew of her, she's a really nice character. Unfortunately, aside from two NPC whom you never get to meet face to face (or rather avatar to avatar) and rarely get to talk with over the comlink, she's the only interesting character in Bedlam.

The game does not take itself terribly seriously and likes to make fun of the peculiarities of game communities (like annoying, squealing children in online matches!) and games in general. Once you go in, expect some memes as well.

It's at times like this when I wonder: should there be a "meh" button aside from "recommend" and "don't recommend"?
Let it sink in. Ponder on it in your subconscious mind. Answer it in your dreams, then promptly forget once you wake up.

TL;DR The game is alright but it has some problems. Go in if you want some game humour and nostalgia. Do not expect incredible variety and exciting surprises.
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