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There hasn’t been a game this immature since Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the Nintendo 64. Bulletstorm is a balls to the wall first-person shooter that’s a mixture of Duke Nukem 3D and Gears of War.
It doesn’t shoot for a story that you’re going to golf clap afterwards,
and it doesn’t try to revolutionize the genre. What it does bring to
the shooter genre is something the genre long forgot this generation:
how to just have fun. It encourages brutal violence through a “kill with
skill” system that gives you objectives to slaughter foes in certain
ways. Bulletstorm will take you to the simpler times of the
first-person shooter in a sci-fi atmosphere that is not only fun to look
at, but fun to kill in.
Sarrano, apart of the Confederation of Planets, is the antagonist here
and apart of the secret army, Dead Echo. He leads groups of soldiers
into missions that slaughter innocent victims. Years ago our hero,
Grayson Hunt, discovers he’s been lied to so he decides to take revenge
on Sarrano. Years after the event, alcoholic Grayson decides to fight a
battle with hired mercenaries to battle Sarrano, only to end up crash
landing (with Sarrano) on the planet Stygia. So now Grayson isn’t only
looking for revenge, but he’s also trying to get off of this planet,
which is filled with savages. Luckily, he’ll have help with a
Strogg-looking cyborg colleague, Ishi.
As far as the story, it’s pretty simple
for the most part and is probably only there to keep the “story crowd”
entertained. The story and dialog never take itself too seriously.
During the story, you’ll hear profanity spew out of their mouth, and a
lot of sexually charged profanity. Don’t worry; if you dislike strong
language, you can mute most mature language in the options (along with
turning the gore off). The innuendo isn’t only limited to dialog. During
your killings, you’ll probably notice a few of them pop up on the
screen after getting a skill kill, such as the “Shocker” or “Gang Bang”.
Aside from all of the silliness, the game’s serious side actually could
have been done without. The more goofy the game’s dialog was, the more
it fit with the actual game. But the seriousness and emotion they tried
to put into the game every once in a while turned part of the game into
what it was trying hard to parody.
Despite all of the story, for better or
worst, the game brings to the table what it promises: over-the-top
gratuitous violence. The linear campaign will last about 6 hours, which
seems to be the new average for shooters. It’s also a very easy
playthough, even on Very Hard. It’s ultimately a cake walk that never
feels too punishing. Through each act, you’ll unlock new weapons and
skill objectives after you’ve discovered the energy leash. The energy
leash is your alternative attack that lashes out at an enemy and pulls
them towards you, or with a power-up, will slam energy down to the earth
and knock them high into the air for slow-motion killing. The
slow-motion is really amazing and fun to play with. When you pull
someone towards you, or kick them in the air, they’re temporarily slowed
down so you can get an easy kill with a headshot or something of that
sort. Everything else will move in normal motion. But while an enemy if
flying to him doom, you really get to pick how you kill your victim. You
can kick them off the map, into spiked cacti or electricity, or just
shoot them with your arsenal.
The skill shots system is one of the key elements to the game. As
mentioned above, a lot of the names for these are filled with innuendo,
but all of them will make sense while you discover them. For example,
the “Rear Entry” skill is performed by shooting an enemy in the butt
until he dies. The list is incredible for the amount of damage you can
inflict on enemies. The more weapons and upgrades you purchase from
strategically placed drop shops (stores), the more skills you’ll unlock.
These skills are viewable by pressing select on your controller, so
it’s always there to check what skill you need to try next. Each time
you discover a skill kill, you’ll enjoy it each time. Not only will it
increase your score drastically, you’ll find it funny how you’ve
discovered them. As stated, you’ll buy new weapons to play around with,
outside of the basic assault rifle, kick, and slide. Weapons range from
explosive cannon balls to your base shotgun. Each of them have their own
alternative attack, or charge attack. Each of these charge attacks
unlock even more skills to shoot for (no pun intended).
During my play through, I did run into a
few glitches that really put a damper on the game’s pace. During Act 4, I
was rushing through the level to get to the boss quickly. When I
arrived at the area I was lead to, I noticed the boss never spawned. I
restarted the checkpoint, still nothing. I had to restart the chapter to
actually get the game to load the boss correctly. There was also a few
other glitches I ran into. My friendly AI team crowding me in a doorway
and causing me to stick for a few moments in the door. However, for the
most part, the game runs fine and doesn’t really have any issues.
game is something to look at. It’s vivid and colorful. Usually in a
game like this, you’d expect the tone to be rustic, but the game is full
of plant life, colorful destroyed cities, and that crimson spray from
enemies. The game isn’t a 1080p title, but it still looks great still.
It might just be all the chaos or the sheer environments that is the
true eye candy. You’ll never experience a frame rate dip that causes you
to miss a shot or anything. Bulletstorm runs smooth, and for
this type of title, that’s better than the visuals alone. Accompanied
with great visuals is a great sounding game. The music is adrenaline
pumping and the voice acting is key on. It’s a complete package with
it’s eye and ear candy, not to disappoint the reasonable.
When you’re done with the campaign, you’ll get to enjoy two different modes. Echoes is a time-trial run of Bulletstorm.
You’ll be challenged to try and pull off as many skill kills as
possible, while rushing through a level. Each level (and then some) from
the campaign is available to run through and try your shot at the
leaderboards. If you happened to have played the demo, you’ll understand
how this mode is. The other mode you’ll play through is Anarchy.
Anarchy is much like the Horde play of Gears of War. It’s wave
after wave of enemies, each wave increasing the difficulty and amount of
mini-bosses on the playing field. This mode can be played with a few
friends, and the game encourages so by introducing enemies to “Double
Team”. When you “Double Team” an enemy, it requires you and a friend to
perform certain skills to get more points. You can play Anarchy solo,
but the key to this mode is playing it online.
Bulletstorm is going to satisfy those awaiting Duke Nukem Forever
(another title which is bringing old school shooters back), or just
those who want a break from the modern warfare titles that are being
milked right now. It’s a lot of fun if you’re not expecting game of the
year material. It’s a throwback to the past, a kick to the future, and
it takes a shot at taking your gaming too seriously. If you play games
for the fun of it, you’ll find much pleasure in this title.