Bulletstorm Review – A whole lot smarter than it looks?
Bulletstorm is a new action-packed first person shooter brought to you by People Can Fly, the same developers responsible for brining you Painkiller a good couple of years ago.
Bulletstorm instantly caused a lot of discussion on whether or not the game is actually as awesome as it claims to be or if it’s nothing more than money wasted on a couple of hours worth of repetitive action, foul language and immature jokes.
Find out if Bulletstorm is your kind of game in this full review.
Bulletstorm’s story isn’t a specifically deep one, so I’m just going to give it to you in a nutshell. A bunch of military guys led by your character Greyson Hunt get screwed over by their commanding officer and in a later attempt to get revenge, Greyson ends up killing most of his crew and getting a bunch of folk stranded on a planet that is as dangerous as it is beautiful. His journey for revenge continues as our journey through Bulletstorm begins.
Now, just because the story isn’t very intricate or smart, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s not entertaining. The majority of the campaign is filled with a bunch of foul-mouthed sons o’ bitches shouting penis-related insults at each other but rather than border on brain-cell-killing stupidity, it’s becomes quite apparent that some very smart writers spent a lot of time getting the dialogue just right.
The writing combined with great jobs by the voice actors as well as some immaculate comedic-timing meant that I caught myself laughing out loud on a plethora of occasions as the characters just magically seemed to shout out some incredibly perfect and funny lines at the right times.
Now we have to put the campaign aside for a moment to talk about the much-hyped gameplay mechanic but we will get back to it in a short while. After playing the Bulletstorm demo, many gamers (myself included) expressed concern about the gameplay and if it would be able to stay fresh over the course of an entire campaign.
Bulletstorm takes a fresh approach to the FPS genre with its “Kill with skill” gameplay and essentially converts a brainless shooter scenario into something that constantly oozes potential. Rather than merely kill your opponents, you are challenged to kill them using a myriad of different methods, weapons and environmental hazards.
The bread and butter of the “Skillshot” system is an energized leash that you obtain as well as the boot attached to your very capable right foot. You are slowly introduced to the system by pulling off basic combinations such as whipping an enemy towards you, then kicking them away so that you can finish them off with a headshot. Before you know it you will be using sliding all over the place, kicking guys into sharp objects, exploding barrels and removing some bad dude’s reproductive organs with finesse.
So again it still brings us back to the original question of whether or not this system could possibly stay interesting for the duration of the game. The very short answer is, Hell’s yes but it’s not by mistake. When you play through the game, you are given lists of Skillshots that you can perform that are split up into different weapons, their charge modes, general ones and ones that are only possible in certain parts of the game.
As you unlock some very fresh and violently creative weapons, you also unlock the Skillshots for that weapon. Your reward for performing Skillshots is currency and currency can be used to upgrade your weapons, unlock its charge mode and/or even buy new weapons over the course of the game. You are therefore constantly feeding your own mini-quest to complete Skillshots throughout the game, by unlocking more Skillshots with new weapons that you buy by earning currency… by completing Skillshots… and so on and so no.
Attempting to perform every Skillshot in the game can become highly addictive and it truly forms an integral part of the game and you will find yourself constantly hitting the menu button to go over which ones still need to be completed and what you need to do to get them.
This finally brings me back to the campaign. Now as I’ve already explained, the campaign can be a pretty fun place to be, thanks to the characters and dialogue. I’ve also explained that the gameplay mechanic in Bulletstorm is fueled by constant progression with Skillshots and new things to do and try out with your new weapons, so what other ingredients are in the soup?
Bulletstorm was reviewed by Nick de Bruyne