It’s A Kick to the Face
Bulletstorm caters to a unique audience. Unlike most modern shooters who take themselves far too seriously, this game targets people who laugh at dick and fart jokes, enjoy unloading a clip’s worth of lead into another man’s naughty bits, and like playing through the same level multiple times to beat their high score. You might be going into the game expecting an experience filled with juvenile jokes, guns designed to do cool things, and over-the-top boss fights. And if you are, you’ll be rewarded with all of the above. Some things you might not necessarily expect include some surprisingly well-written (and incredibly funny) dialogue, polished gameplay, a great multiplayer mode, and some truly spectacular set pieces.
The most prevalent of these is the dialogue, which is filled with a myriad of hilarious expletive concoctions that mix together words never before seen side by side. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard the term ‘dicktits,’ though now I fully expect it to become a part of many gamers’ vocabularies right alongside ‘frak’ and ‘strategic dismemberment.’ When the game’s not showing off its miraculous ability for immature wordsmithery, it’s tossing out some occasionally laugh-out-loud funny dialogue between the game’s main characters. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if this is what makes you laugh, there’s plenty to be had here.
Like all shooters, the gameplay and controls are one of the most important elements in the game. I’m happy to report that not only is this an area where Bulletstorm shines, it gets a gold star for trying something new. If you know anything of the game, you’re familiar with the Leash, a device that lets you grab an opponent from afar and yank them toward you so you can get personal with whatever gun you have equipped. Or if you find yourself in the opposite scenario with a desperate need to get some bad guys out of your personal bubble, you can kick opponents away in satisfying slow motion giving you ample time to unleash a can of you-know-what on them before they go flying away. Sure, Bulletstorm isn’t realistic – it’s even stepped over the line into comical, mindless action – but it all makes sense when you include the skill shots.
Skill shots are a measure of how creatively you dispose of your enemies. If you simply shoot an enemy to death, you’ll get a paltry handful of points because any noob can do that. Bulletstorm rewards you for taking out waves of baddies with the most creative combinations of your weapons and the environment. On top of this you’ll have a wide arsenal of weapons, each with a unique secondary fire. Some examples include the magnum’s flare shot that can set enemies on fire, the machine gun’s charged shot that obliterates almost anything unfortunate enough to get in its way, and the rifle’s explosive bullets that can take out groups of opponents from so far away that they won’t even see it coming.
Once you find the weapon set that really satisfies you is when you’ll need to invest all the skill points you’ve accumulated to make these already capable weapons even more insanely powerful. Outside of upgrading each gun’s clip size, buying ammo, and unlocking and upgrading the secondary fire, you can also unlock your Leash’s Thumper move that can toss a handful of bad guys into the air for a little target practice. I feel this part of the game could’ve used a little more thought since you’re limited to a few things that can be bought instead of purchasing several different abilities and special weapon secondary fires, but that could always make its way into a possible sequel.
Outside of bulky space marines and gruff dialogue, Epic Games is known for being adept at throwing amazing set pieces and even more amazing boss encounters at you. It’s in this regard that Bulletstorm doesn’t disappoint. For every forgettable arena fight or hallway encounter, there’s a far more memorable train chase, fall down a collapsing dam, or a nonchalant walk down the side of a building, high above a believable futuristic metropolis. It might not have Gears of War’s deep budget or high level of polish, but it more than makes up for it by giving you a bunch of locations and missions you haven’t yet experienced and won’t soon forget.
There’s a lot to love about Bulletstorm; it’s funny and clever, doesn’t take its implausible plot too seriously, and has some of the best weapons you’ll ever have the pleasure of using. If you’re a fan of shooters, enjoy showing off your mad skills to all your friends or are simply looking for a different type of shooter game in a genre filled with an excess of ‘modern warfare’ clones than Bulletstorm is waiting for you to give it a try.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
There are a few graphical issues like texture popping and noticeable seams, but over the course of the game you’ll find yourself in the midst of some spectacular set pieces as well as a few massive boss encounters that more than make up for it. 4.6 Control
This is where the game shines; sliding into a group of enemies so you can throw down with the leash/kick combo never gets old, but some sort of cover system would have been a welcome addition. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
There’s much of what we’ve come to expect from games of its ilk including loud explosions, monstrous roars, and squishy body parts, but it’s in the often hilarious dialogue where the game’s excellent personality comes out. 4.5 Play Value
When the campaign grows stale, you can try to set a high score in the Echoes mode or jump online to kick some bad guy butt with up to three friends (or strangers). 4.3 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best