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PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: First Person Shooter Players: 1 to 0 (2 to 8 Online)
Developer: People Can Fly Official Site:
Publisher: Electronic Arts Classification: MA15+
Release Date:
24th February 2011
Bulletstorm Review
Review By @ 12:08pm 07/03/11
Welcome to the 26th century. It’s a glorious time to be alive, where manly bromance exists between special ops soldiers, dick and fart jokes abound, the brown colour palate has cast aside and cranked up to rainbow powered proportions and revenge is the only dish on the menu. As part of the elite Dead Echo unit, you play Grayson Hunt, a government-sanctioned killer with no qualms in doing whatever it takes to get the job done for his self-serving commanding officer, General Sarrano, and the Confederation of Planets. That includes women and children and a whole mess of causalities making their way to dead place.

But something smells rotten in space Denmark, and after casually slaughtering innocents by the dozen, a small thing called a conscience begins to rear its ugly head. The entire team goes rogue, leaving their black ops lifestyle for one of piracy, and after a decade or so, seek out Sarrano for a little bit of payback. The stage is now set for our intergalactic tragedy, with Grayson for some unconscionable reason taking it personally; putting his whole team in jeopardy by attacking the general’s monolithic battleship head on.

As luck would have it, he somehow manages to incapacitate the ship, and makes it through more or less intact. The team’s conscience and moral centre, Ishi, is not so lucky, neither are two other members of Strike Team Awesome (may not be their real code name) who shuffle their digital coil. With their ship going to pieces and Ishi a barely alive half cyborg, Grayson and his buddy crash land on an armpit of a planet called Stygia and thus the revelry begins.

The once lush and beautiful resort planet has seen better days, now populated by all manner of mutated maniacs that would like nothing better than to hack your face off. After locating a signal and searching for a way off this stinking cesspool, two major events take place to kick the plot on its merry way. Grayson locates a beacon with an outlawed energy leash, which attaches itself to his left hand, and he learns that the General and some of his crew actually survived. Now all that stands between him, revenge and getting off this accursed rock is a planet filled with snarling psychopathic sociopaths. In the words of Charlie Sheen, “Bring it!”

Bulletstorm isn’t your regular first-person shooter. There’s no real cover mechanic and all weapons have a distinctly unconventional twist and charged fire. Your objective is to survive, but mere killing is so 2010. You’ve got to do it with style and flair, or as People Can Fly put it, “kill with skill”. To that end you use your energy whip to grab, pull and fling enemies into all sorts of nasty living and environmental hazards to net yourself “skillshots”, that award you points to use for upgrades, new weapons and charged attacks. In theory it all sounds wonderful and it almost makes it over the line.

Each time you pull off a skillshot for the first time, you’ll get a points bonus, plus players are encouraged to go for multiple kills. Using the leash you can pull guys towards you and then kick or bulletslide sending them into all manner of wickedness before their appointment in Hell; be it into a cactus to unlock Pricked, a live wire for Shocker or a bed of spikes for Voodoo Doll. These are the stock standard basic kills and you’ll do them time and time again. It’s when you unlock the Thumper attachment to your leash and a few more weapons that things get interesting.

Let the Thumper bring the hammer down and all the crazed kooky little bastards will head skywards. This is particularly brutal if you pop it in doors as the Flyswatter skillshot comes into effect, turning them into itty-bitty pieces you scrape off the ceiling. Some of my personal faves were Mercy, where you shoot a guy in the nuts and as he’s crying like a little bitch you kick his head off putting him out of his misery. Fire in the Hole is for taking down a mini-boss by kicking them from behind and shooting them in the butt, Gang Bang, when using the remote control explosive Flail Gun to detonate a charge around several bad dudes, Juggler for keeping a mutant airborne with your shotgun Boneduster, and Acid Rain for a post Thump charged Boneduster round that vaporises anything in the fight.

Some of the skillshots are truly magnificent and there are some brilliant set-pieces to compliment them. You outrun a gigantic wheel on a train line that is ever-so-close to bowling you over. You’ll control a robot Godzilla and lay waste to a bunch of banditos; you fight an enormous Hekaton dinosaur that makes King Kong look like a play toy and a Venus fly trap that wants to nom your insides. The bosses are inventive and diverse and the weapons all have interesting slants, like the Bouncer firing cannonballs of doom, the Penetrator shooting off massive impaling drill bits and the sniper rifle, Head Hunter, with bullets you can guide for the last seconds and even make go boom with a charged attack. These are all really cool concepts.

The main problem is the way the game handles. It constantly penalizes you for doing what it is you’re supposed to. It constantly throws Gatling gun gyrocopters at you with little or no cover and then almost laughs as you die. I felt like the level designers at times were taking the piss and it really did start to annoy. You also don’t get many of the choicest charged fire options until very late in the game, and while I appreciate they’re encouraging replayability, it just ends up annoying the crap out of you. It’s like someone setting a generous buffet in front of you and only letting you eat as its getting cleared away.

It also doesn’t know if it wants to be a B-Grade action spectacular or a redeeming tale of brotherhood. I was far more comfortable with Grayson being a brash, brazen douche bag out for revenge at any cost than a troubled warrior atoning for past discretions. Stick to your guns and make him a dislikeable rogue and I’ll back your play. It felt like someone from marketing got a hand in and said, we need to make him more appealing so change it up, and in doing so wrecked him entirely, as they did with the bi-polar Ishi. Perhaps the most interesting character in the game; his internal conflict between Grayson’s duty-bound wingman and the cold calculating CPU loyal to his senior officer Sarrano, was one of the game’s highlights, left partially unresolved and reeked of sequelitis, and I can’t stand it when they make a play for a franchise that blatantly obvious.

It was really hard to score this bad boy. There were parts that I absolutely loved and parts I bitterly despised at the same time and that’s the crux of Bulletstorm. It has a bunch of really neat ideas, but they just don’t seem fully fleshed out. Grayson doesn’t move nearly as fluidly as you’d expect and a lot of the sexiest charged attacks aren’t available until very late in the piece, while the over-the-top friendship between bromigos Grayson and Ishi gets all touchy-feely, taking with it a generous portion of the B-Grade shine.

It makes it so close, yet so far in so many categories, which is surprising for a title that supposedly revels in its balls-to-the-wall attitude. I feel the best way to score it, is to embrace its “three quarters of the way there” mentality and mark it accordingly. Bulletstorm is by no means a bad game, but somehow still leaves you disappointed by the time you reach the final act.
What we liked
  • Thumping the Thumper
  • Fire in the Hole
  • B-Grade badasses
  • Wicked Boneduster
What we didn't like
  • Late charged unlocks
  • Cheap tactics
  • Touchy-feely parts
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 02:51pm 07/3/11
Honestly, this is the finest FPS single player game ive played in years. It has a serious sam feel about it but not as repetitive. I finished and i am playing single player again.
Posted 02:51pm 07/3/11
I just finished the game and i loved it. It defiantly aint your traditional shooter and the the story line is crusty as hell but thats what made it awesome.The action hero dosnt hide behind cover he runs in head first and takes s*** out with a excessive fire power and amazing skill. Realistic .. hell no. Fun ohh yeah! Only gripe i had was with climbing over barriers always had to stop and find the sweet spot. And lack of splitscreen and systemlink on 360 sucks. Hopefully they will fix this if they make a sequel.
Posted 02:54pm 07/3/11
cold calculating CPU loyal to his senior officer Sarrano
Huh? He only wanted Sarrano alive so he could leave the planet.
Posted 02:55pm 07/3/11
Yeah, this is awesome fun, was playing some multiplayer with my brother last weekend and that was awesome fun too. I just wish you could co-op through the single player campaign :(
Posted 02:55pm 07/3/11
The only thing I didn't like about Bulletstorm was that it carried through the art style of Egyptian ancient relic / Eastern influenced iconography that can be seen more clearly exampled in the various UDK demos and examples. Probably because a lot of this art is made by artists that are from that part of the world and that's just how their art style is. But the sand weathered shininess does lend itself well to the griminess of the UE3 engine
Posted 09:31am 08/3/11
Finished it, loved it but there were two things that bothered me slightly:

1) No jump, I mean seriously, why can't you jump?

2) it's just so damn linear, I really didn't get a sense of free will as I did with something like say Red Faction or something like that.

Other than those small points though it was an assload of fun and I never got bored of the voodoo skill shot :p
Posted 07:54pm 10/3/11
Good fun but doubt its worth a second play through bit repetitive.

I wouldn't care about ports if they made the pc version feel like a pc version, in my opinion jump and quicksave for one are simple must have they could add.

I tend to agree with most the review at gamerdood
Posted 08:03pm 10/3/11
1) No jump, I mean seriously, why can't you jump?

Omfgwtf. Goddam console retards...
Posted 08:04pm 10/3/11
1) No jump, I mean seriously, why can't you jump?

Omfgwtf. Goddam console retards...

Its like removing lean from COD.
Posted 06:17pm 18/3/11
Just played through.

That was f*****g AWESOME.
Big huge levels, zany guns, powerups, destroying piles of enemies.

Stupid text like;
"Suck the tears off my d**k you ugly motherf***er!"
"Hold your d**k for a second you fungal d**kwad!"
"Got myself a scotch and violently fiddlin' with my balls in anticipation of your arrival."

And even a Charles Darwin reference, and the closing like of the game is "God is DEAD"

Full of win.
Posted 06:33pm 18/3/11
Played it. Enjoyed it. Laughed at some of the skill shots. Shoot a guy in the head with a drill after kicking him towards a wall and stuck him there spinning around. Shot a guy in the arse with an explosive sniper round then blow him and three of his mates up. Tried some of the anarchy mode solo and easily got far more points then they wanted. Just ridiculous over the top action.

I want a sequel.
Posted 06:52pm 18/3/11
The end was setup for a sequel. :D
Posted 06:59pm 18/3/11
I know but I want it now ... hmm Maybe DLC that shows off stuff before the start of the game and maybe DLC that shows different troops doing other stuff on the planet during all the crap Greyson is up too.
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