Narrative justification spares Bedlam the seemingly obvious fate of being called out on most of its visual shortcomings. This is not a next-generation gaming experience, and it doesnít really advertise itself as one. Itís an unapologetically retro romp that takes its cues primarily from the golden age of PC shooters like Quake II and the original Half-Life. By that, I mean you can expect plenty of flat, blocky surfaces; the game is literally made of them. But its intentions in this regard are pure instead of lazy, and as a result, it comes across as charming instead of ugly.
However, itís less easy to forgive Bedlam for its technical shortcomings. For a game that purposely goes for the aged aesthetic, it doesnít perform very well. Its frame rate drops well below acceptable levels when things start heating up, and since most of the enemies are clones of each other and the draw distance is as limited as it is, one starts to wonder exactly why.
Bedlamís sound design is much more well-rounded than its visuals. Voice acting is quite good, and Iím not just saying that because we donít get to hear that classic Scottish brogue in video games very often. Some of the delivery is botched; the main characterís reaction to a particularly horrifying revelation is rather unbelievable, in particular. Other elements of the sound design fit in well with the retro aesthetic, and to divulge any more would be to spoil the gameís best moments.