Bulletstorm

People Can Fly and Epic Games has brought us one of the most over the top, foul mouthed shooters to come out this gaming generation.  I realize the game will not be for everyone, due to the fact that it will give some the urge to kill and rape people in real life according to Fox News.  O k maybe not, but regardless it is still a extremely violent game with a dialogue that would make a sailor blush.  But with all that said, I still had a blast playing it.

You play as space pirate Grayson Hunt who is followed by his best bud Ishi Sato.  After finding out they were tricked into killing innocent civilians by their commanding officer General Sarrano, in which Hunt and his crew believed they were killing murderers and other scum of the world.  So it is no surprise that Hunt and Sato want their commanding officer dead.  Years later Hunt and Sato’s plane crashes on a planet called Stygia. Which is run by ruthless disgusting mutants that look like something out of the Hills Have Eyes movies.  After the crash, Sato is injured pretty bad and Hunt must track down a energy cell from an escape pod to put into Sato’s brain to save his life.  I’ll let you experience the rest to find out what happens, but the story is not whats going to make you keep coming back to Bulletstorm.  It’s the ridiculous extreme gameplay that awaits you after you arrive on Stygia.

Size does matter

One of the first things you’ll notice right away is how beautiful the game looks.  The environments and lighting truly looks stunning, and I was quite surprised.  Bulletstorm also does a good job of changing up each section of the game, so that you never get tired of seeing the same scenery over and over.  Aside from the eye candy, Bulletstorm is a very fast paced game.  You will constantly be blowing stuff up and kicking your way to the next area of mutants.  The variety of blood thirsty enemies you face will also change up quite a bit as you make your way through Stygia.  Some guys you can take down with a couple blows, while others will make you think in more creative ways to take down.  But the combat in Bulletstorm is the games bread and butter.  The game feeds on collecting Skillshots.  Skillshots are points that you collect by killing enemies in gruesome and unthinkable ways.  For example using your surrounding environments is a good way to collect points.  Some areas of the game will have things like cactus’s or flesh eating plants that you can kick those ugly buzzards into to gain some serious skillshot points, and not too mention saving some ammo.  Fairly early on in the game you come across a device that slips on your hand called a Leash.   Its basically just like it sounds, if you point that at a enemy it will shoot them towards you in slow motion and will allow you to do whatever you want with them.  You can simply shoot them and move on, but it is much more fun and recommended to think of creative ways to take them out.  This is some of the most fun the game has to offer.

In a game where brutal gun firing combat is what you’ll be spending much of your time on, the weapons would be a pretty important part in a game like Bulletstorm. You will be allowed to carry up to 3 weapons at a time.  Your always equipped with your basic assault rifle that really resembles a Lancer from Gears of War minus the chainsaw. One of my favorite weapons in the game was the Flail gun.  It’s a chain that shoots out thats equipped with two bombs at each end that wraps around your enemy then with a single press of the RT, it rips most bodies in half.  I found this to be extremely useful during some of the tougher enemies in the game like some of the bigger bosses.  The drill bit weapon was also a blast to use, that will instantly implode your enemy into the nearest wall, killing them with one hit.  But the shotgun is the weapon I had in my arsenal throughout the entire game.  It was great for close quarter shootouts and it was equipped with 4 barrels instead of 2 and as you would imagine it literally tore people in half and made for a nice rack up in Skillshot points.  There are a total of around 8 different weapons you can use in the game, and you upgrade each weapon with the points you collect with Skillshots.  Each time you come up on Dropkits, you can buy ammo for your guns, add a secondary fire onto them or swap out one of your guns for something new.  But whatever your weapon of choice may be, Bulletstorm is sure to have everything your sick little mind desires.

Let the plant do all the work

But Bulletstorm has more than just a campaign mode.  If you played the demo, then you got a little taste of the Echoes mode.  These are levels pulled from the single player that last anywhere from 4-6 minutes, and basically all your trying to do is get through each section not so much quickly, but how many Skillpoints you can accumulate.  At the end of each level you are graded on how well you performed.  It also has a leaderboard attached so you can see how well your friends did during their run.  Echoes mode isn’t the highlight to Bulletstorm, but it does make for some fun if you just want to hop on for 20 minutes or so, and anytime you can compete against your friends, it always adds for some replayability.  Anarchy is the cooperative multiplayer mode in Bulletstorm.  It pits you and three of your buddies against 20 waves of enemies, and as you would guess each wave increases in difficulty.  To complete each wave you have to rack up enough skillpoints to advance.  Anarchy will have the most lasting appeal because it’s the mode that you can play with your friends.  If you can get 3 of your buddies together, you will no doubt have an absolute blast.

By no means is Bulletstorm a “perfect” game.  One example is the games controls.  I am not saying they are bad, in fact after a little while you will pick up on them fairly quickly because of how much they resemble Gears of War.  But if your like me who’s brain is wired to the Call of Duty controls, it will take some time before you are running, sliding, and pulverizing your enemies in a smooth manner.  I also had instances of getting stuck onto objects which is very annoying when your under heavy gunfire.  At one point it happened during a pretty intense boss battle and I nearly almost died because of this.  I would say it only happened maybe two or three times but it always seemed like it came at the worst of times.  The game’s story and characters is also not much to write home about.  You will really care less about both as you make your way through the 6-8 hour campaign, depending on what difficulty you play on and how many times you die.

At the end of the campaign I was satisfied with my time with Bulletstorm.  The single player is a decent length and with the Echoes and Anarchy mode on top of that I would justify this game being a 60$ purchase, not too mention having a chance to jump in the Gears of War 3 Beta early.  But if the single player is the only thing that interests you, I would say give it a weekend rental.  But definitely give it the time of day, Bulletstorm puts some of the fun back into the FPS genre.

This review was based on the Xbox 360 version.

[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]

 

 

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