Bulletstorm takes the first-person-shooter genre to the extreme, and leaves any signs of subtly at the front door. The developers of Bulletstorm, People Can Fly, embrace the “balls to the wall” action from other mediums. Along with that, People Can Fly add some toilet humor into the mix, a dozen lines of profane dialogue, and teeth grinding action. That’s basically what Bulletstorm is all about, and as it turns out it’s not a bad recipe for success. Bulletstorm is a damn good time that ends way too soon with not much to fall back on after it’s all said and done.
Space pirates looking for revenge, and explicit words in just about every sentence spoken is what you can expect to find in Bulletstorm’s campaign. You play as ‘Dead Echo’ leader, Grayson Hunt, who is looking for revenge against his former commander, Commander Serrano. A missed opportunity for revenge leaves Grayson’s ‘Dead Echo’ squad dead and stranded on the planet of Stygia. Grayson’s objective then changes to not only taking out his revenge on his former commander but getting the hell out of Stygia before the planets living beings get wiped off the planet. In terms of narrative Bulletstorm is good enough, but the ride the game takes you on throughout the campaign is marvelous. There are plenty of fun memorable action set pieces that will leave your jaw on the floor.
It’s a shame that Bulletstorm’s great campaign doesn’t have great multiplayer modes to keep it in your system. Bulletstorm offers two other modes apart from the campaign, the first is Echoes mode. Echoes mode is single player score attack mode in which you are placed in a certain level, taken from the campaign, and must run through it in a timely fashion, all while killing with skill. I thought this mode was a throwaway, it wasn’t remotely interesting of fun to play. The second modes is a four player multiplayer mode called Anarchy. Anarchy is basically horde mode – kill a certain number of enemies to move on to the next wave. The exciting part of this mode is that you get to combine your skillshots with a friend, creating a bigger combo. Those are the two other modes, it would have been cool to get a competitive mode in the game but I imagine we’ll see that in a sequel, maybe.
The main focus of Bulletstorm is to decimate your enemies in the coolest, most creative way possible – Kill With Skill. To do this, The game allows you kick your enemies away from you or power slide into them, both enable somewhat of a bullet time effect on your enemies. Along with your two melee moves you have the leash which can pull object and enemies towards you or you can use the Thumper ability which will throw all enemies in the air. You are encouraged to use these moves and combine them with any of the insane weaponry at your disposal and create awesome kills in order to earn skill points to buy ammo and weapon power ups. The only downside I had with the overall combat was that the game never trains you to pull off any of the amazing kills you see in the trailers. Near the end of the game I was mostly sticking to doing one type of skillshot so either I suck at the game or Bulletstorm’s gameplay isn’t as crazy as the trailers depicted.
Bulletstorm is the best looking FPS (first person shooter) built using the Unreal Engine. I am almost positive that Epic Games might have helped a bit during this process. Bulletstorm doesn’t have the typical dark, gloomy look to it that other FPS games built on Unreal Engine have. The planet of Stygia is in full color and it looks beautiful. Bulletstorm’s graphical achievement is one of the games highest points.
People Can Fly have built a solid foundation for a sequel and more with Bulletstorm. It’s fun, bloody, new, and a change. A change from the normal and typical first person shooter of today. Bulletstorm provides an alternative option to not only the way we play a shooter but the tone and genre within that shooter. The nature of us as gamers is to find something new and stick with it until it has run its course. Bulletstorm is that new game we should attach ourselves to.