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Title. Bulletstorm Developer. EA: People Can Fly &Epic games Platform(s). PC, PS3, 360 UK Release date: Out now RATED: 18
Throwback preamble: when I first released this review many people thought I was being overly generous, that is until they actually played the game. It really is a must play game, its not trying to be GOW or Halo it's being its own thing, unashamedly crazy and fun. Best thing is you can probably buy the game for the price of a Big Mac meal, (I wont make a habit of using fast food as a measurement of cost... though you get the idea) Bulletstorm is cheap and awesome!
With ‘Kill with skill’ as the tag line, there’s no prize for what guessing what we can expect from EAs latest killfest. I must say in an era of sequels it is nice to see something new. Understandably many gamers have learnt to be cautious of the unknown, Thankfully Bulletstorm stands out. There is something different about it and after being voted one of the top titles at E3 it’s making an impact. So what’s it all about?
Bulletstorm is the tale of a group of soldiers lead by Grayson Hunt that have been responsible for many military assassinations, however it transpires that this elite unit have actually been murdering civilians. Someone has to answer for this outrage; it comes in the form of stereotypical (American drill sergeant style) General Serrano. They of course feel betrayed by the General and seek revenge on the armies that made them do such terrible things… Pretty straight forward set-up, but everything takes a swift turn to the insane when Grayson takes the decision to attack Serranos huge battle ship with his small space craft, needless to say it doesn’t end well and both ships end up plummeting into the nearest planet.
We awaken on a war torn planet with just us (Grayson) and the now half cyborg highly temperamental Ishi left alive, we set out on trying to get off a planet where everything we see is out to kill us. Local gangs the Skulls and Creeps, as well as mutants, killer plants and other more epic creatures this world is full of danger. So much so you only meet one friendly character along the way Trishka who fits into the story nicely and like everyone else in the game can’t stop swearing. With the story taking such an obvious route of revenge, its up to the rest of the game to offer something different, thankfully Bulletstorom isn’t trying to be a narrative masterpiece. Combat is the focus of the game and as well as the hordes of easily dispatched foes there are also a number of epic boss fights along the way, that are challenging but not frustrating. Bulletsorm balances the scale of its combat very well, always offering a challenge but always reminding you that you are hard as a coffin nail.
It does this through the lack of a health bar, quite simply duck behind cover and your health recovers very quickly. On top of this it offers a variety of ways to kill your enemy. ‘Kick’ is your bread and butter keeping melee attackers away launching them into the air As well as kick you can also baseball style ‘Slide’ your foes legs out from under them, sending them tumbling into the air. The ‘Leash’ is where you can begin to get really inventive, allowing you to grip your enemies from a distance then pull them hurtling through the air towards you.
So what’s the point of all this creative combat, besides just being a laugh. As the tag line suggests ‘Kill with Skill’ it is actually the whole point of the game, to reward its players for getting creative. ‘SKILL SHOTS’ are awarded for combining the combat aspects I mention, as well as environmental bonuses. Such as kicking your foe into a cacti impaling them, electrocuting, exploding, drowning and throwing them off a building all reward bonus Skill Points SP. This can be spent to upgrade and re-supply weapons allowing you to fuel yet more murder.This element of the game is implemented seamlessly, explaining that is was designed as a DROPKIT that was designed to evolve the modern solider, dropped into combat zones the idea was that soldiers that excelled got re-supplied others well… you know, as Grayson says ‘Darwin would’ve been proud’
The sound of Bulletstorm is great and does the job of creating a hectic war torn environment. However I would be lying if I said the dialogue didn’t overpower any atmosphere created, with lines like ‘Fungal rimjob’ and ‘I’ll kill your dicks’ it does at times leave you thinking did the developers just want all aspects of this game to be insane. Visually it is nothing ground breaking, it has awesome textures but I wasn’t impressed with facial movement at all.
After finishing the average length 8 hour campaign mode, the game is very thin on the ground for re-playability thankfully the good people at People Can Fly, have seen the opportunity to create a highscore leader board though the ‘alternative Echoes mode. So you can show the world just how insane! I mean inventive you are.
It is unashamedly ridiculous, sure it has a few flaws, characters are shallow and the story lacks any real depth. However lets be honest, does a game where you get to remote control a giant robot monster and get rewarded for shooting people up the bum! need much of a story? the answer is no. An awesome experience that does exactly what it aimed to do, completely experiMENTAL, a game so stupid it’s brilliant.
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