Although Bullet Witch has not had great reviews, the idea of it appealed to me so I picked a copy up. After playing the game extensively, I can't rate it more than two stars - while it has some enjoyable moments it's really dragged down by a large number of serious flaws.
You control Alicia, a 'witch' who is clearing out the demons from a world set slightly in the future. Her 'broom' is a large weapon which can function as a machine gun, shotgun, cannon or gattling cannon. You increase the gunrod abilities over time, unlocking all four forms and then increasing their strength. Alicia also has a range of magic spells from basic incantations which allow you to throw objects like cars or summon a wall to defend yourself to truly impressive spells such as tornadoes and meteors.
The most immediate problem for me is the physics and collision system, it's a very impressive scale as tornados can actually tear up buildings and meteors send concrete flying everywhere. However, most objects have a collision box which is far too large - items which you've clearly dodged can still easily hit you when they shouldn't have done. What makes this really annoying is that it's completely unforgiving, if any object at any speed enters Alicia's over large collision box she is killed regardless of health. For example I was killed when taking cover behind a car, it was being shot by standard weapons which pushed it back slightly and that killed Alicia. Even worse, when Alicia uses magic to push items away (such as wallop a car at an enemy), for some bizarre reason it can kill her?! This can be immensely frustrating when Alicia is killed when she shouldn't have been as there are often long gaps between checkpoints if there's a lot of enemies.
Compounding this is the fact that it's very easy to be killed instantly having done nothing wrong - one of the enemies can throw around items which with the physics problems above is a complete pain in the neck. There are times I've walked round a corner only to be walloped in the face by a flaming petrol tanker....which means it's back to the checkpoint. Even a car slowly sliding along as an enemy tries to pick it up can kill Alicia. The standard 'Geist' solidier seem inconsistent, I've faced off with 20 at the time and killed the lot without taking much damage then turned a corner after my health has regenerated and a standard soldier has killed me in a couple of shots. It doesn't help that there's no graphic effect to show when you're taking a beating, you have to keep an eye on the small health bar to know when to retreat.
There's not much to the game either, just six levels which feature very few different enemies - combat is very repetitive as you're mainly fighting against the same soldier from start to finish. There are 'remix' levels to extend the gameplay but Atari have decided these are an extra you have to buy off Live - unacceptable to me given the game is so brief.
At times I have to say I really enjoy Bullet Witch - enchanting my ammo to set it alight then throwing a couple of cars/vans at a troop of soldiers then picking off the rest with my gunrod. On the hard difficulty the system works well as it forces you to use your magic and gunrod effectively together, you can get away with just the gunrod on lower difficulty levels. However, my enjoyment is quickly cut short because I've been killed when using my own magic spell or out of the blue I've been killed. Once it's happened a few times, especially after spending half an hour shooting a boss I feel like shredding the disc.
Competing against a strong games library I can't recommend Bullet Witch sadly.