GSY REVIEW | X360, PS3, PC Saturday, February 26, 2011 | 5:50 PM

GSY Review: Bulletstorm

GSY Review: Bulletstorm

Being the second big FPS to be released in this year, Bulletstorm also signs the return of People Can Fly, the makers of the famous Painkiller. Not scared of measuring itself to Killzone 3, the game has hit the shelves this week and Gamersyde could not lose such an opportunity to give you a full review.





Boys don't cry

To those who thought that Bulletstorm would only be an arcade kind of game where the sole goal would be to reach the highest possible score, you are sadly mistaken. Though scoring is obviously at the core of gameplay (as we'll see in a bit), People Can Fly designed a whole story mode and a plot to go with it.

Careful though, it does not mean they wanted to compete with the likes of Bioshock in that area, as the characters of Bulletstorm are closer to caricatures (like Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago for example) than to the tortured protagonists of 2K's title. Hardasses and swearing are then to be expected here, along with testosterone and dialog to be remembered:

"Go fuck yourself! You shit piles give chase, I will kill your dick!"
"What? What does that even mean? You're gonna to kill my dick? I'll kill your dick! How about that?"


After a very scripted prologue whose main goal is to introduce the player to the backstory, he finds himself thrown into a very hostile world where he can fully express his imagination and inventiveness to get rid of his enemies. The scenario is clearly not Oscar winning but it is well-paced enough to make it interesting during the 6 to 8 hours the campaign requires (on normal mode, and depending on whether or not you try to master all the skillshots and find all the collectibles).

It is only once on the home planet of the Creeps that the scoring system really kicks in, the beginning of the game being in fact quite similar to what the other games of the genre offer. This typical introduction is still useful and effective as it helps understand the personality of Grayson Hunt, a loudmouth keen on alcohol. I will now let you discover the first 10 minutes of the game (well the first 12 to be fair), and then we can talk business.



Massacreate is your motto

As proven by the numerous promotional videos released in the past few months, Bulletstorm's main identity comes from the phenomenal number of ways given to kill one's enemies. The player is then free to experience different types of combos and create a kind of meat and flesh ballet. Not only are the gunfights incredibly violent, but they are also a lot of fun with a scoring system that makes it very rewarding for the player. Indeed, it is not long before you try to vary your kills as much as possible.

One could think that such stylish executions are only for showing off but there is a lot more to it than that. As a matter of fact, for each kill you make, the points you gain can be traded to acquire new weapons, upgrades or ammo. People Can Fly even found a way to work the scoring system into the plot, and it is rather clever. The better you use your whip, your pair of boots, your arsenal or the environmental traps around you, the more skillpoints you get and the better your equipment. It is also a very good training ground for the addictive Echo mode (that was featured in the demo of the game).

Because Bulletstorm is first and foremost an epic (no pun intended) game, prepare yourselves for some impressive sequences, like for instance this passage where a giant grindwheel is actually chasing Grayson and Ishi. It is basically nothing more than a kind of rail shooting sequence but it manages to be more over the top than what you can see in, say, Killzone or Call of Duty. At some point, you also get to control a sort of remote controlled robotic rancor to clean the area of enemies or just clear the way. I won't say more so as not to spoil too much but suffice to say that it is one hell of a show.



Unreal engined

Technically, you won't be surprised to see that Unreal Engine 3 is at work here. What is more surprising though is how colorful the game's world is. Indeed, today, it's almost like we'd all given up to the idea that every game should be grayish and monochromatic. Moreover, the environments are extremely varied, with indoor and outdoor areas : you will go through an abandoned city, creepy caves, an amusement park and much more.

The overall design is very good, unless you have a problem with big muscular guys with guns. The world People Can Fly created is absolutely beautiful and even though not everything looks perfect, you can't help but be speechless when discovering some of the views. That's why we will turn a blind eye to a few rough edges, the aliasing and the rare framerate drops we have witnessed.

Nothing to complain about in the sound department either. The voice over work is top notch, with really funny dialog that make the game even more entertaining. The AI could have beens sharper of course, but the enemies are playing the role of cannon fodder, so it does not really stand out as a major issue in the end.



Verdict


Just like Gears of War, Bulletstorm is a game that is brutally enjoyable from beginning to end. It may be a bit of a shame that People Can Fly decided that playing the story mode with a friend would not work but if cooperation is your thing, then you can try the multiplayer that is similar to Gears' horde mode. Some might consider that the 6 to 8 hours to complete the game are not much, but trying the harder difficulty settings to meet more challenge is definitely worth it, even more if you're the completionist type (with all the skillshots to master, the collectibles to find). If you are addicted to high scores, you will also spend a lot of time playing the Echo mode, so again, the time you spend on the game is entirely up to you. In a way, Bulletstorm is to First Person Shooters what Vanquish was to Third Person Shooters when it was released. The main difference is that People Can Fly came back to the roots of the genre to make an explosive come back. One of the first good surprises of 2011, definitely.

The First 10 Minutes
Gameplay
Environments

All comments

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Commented on 2011-02-26 18:07:39
In Italian we say: CLAMOROSO!
Commented on 2011-02-26 18:25:49
Awesome review Drift!!

And an awesome game that will be mine!
Commented on 2011-02-26 18:31:36
uhm... GRANDIOSO, STUPENDO, MAGNIFICO...
Commented on 2011-02-26 19:02:07
I like points, so I'll get this game when I get the time. Great clips. Kind of a short review, but maybe cause don't want to spoil all the surprises?
Commented on 2011-02-26 19:13:44
I LOVE this game. It's so much fun. A breath of fresh air. It kills my dick.

I'm enjoying this game more than KZ3 SP. It's just much more fun. I think the Duke has a real competitor with this game in terms of pure fun.
Commented on 2011-02-26 19:37:07 In reply to digi_matrix
Yes indeed. Saying too much is never a good thing. :)
Commented on 2011-02-26 19:40:44
I was sceptic, but .....I was wrong.

This game is ...I dunno, I don't have the right words.

It's the same feeling I got when I first played Bayonetta.

Just amazing.
Commented on 2011-02-26 20:04:40 In reply to IIGrayFoxII
Posted by IIGrayFoxII
I was sceptic, but .....I was wrong.

This game is ...I dunno, I don't have the right words.

It's the same feeling I got when I first played Bayonetta.

Just amazing.
Basically this, and going just by the demo, gameplay is just magnificient!1!
Commented on 2011-02-26 20:17:42
I personally love that you get more points when you're poisoned, drunk, or under fire. Very clever developers.
Commented on 2011-02-26 21:10:52
Finished it today, heck of a ride, few annoyances here and there but otherwise a solid solid experience. Sooo short but worth it
Commented on 2011-02-26 21:28:42
this is the most fun FPS i have ever played. the campaign is superb and varied (not in story though lol)

when it was finished i just wanted to play more, and i have restarted the campaign.
Commented on 2011-02-27 00:09:15
I just want to get this out to anyone with a PC that can play this game: first of all, BE WARNED, the visuals are probably going to be totally fucked up for you. The unfinished, broken BETA version of Crysis 2 was less glitchy than Bulletstorm. On the other hand, it plays WAY better on PC. Mouse makes this game even more of a joy to play. I highly recommend the PC game, but you might want to make sure it works on your computer.

Also, thank you for half realizing that the AI is SUPPOSED to be bad. The point of this game isn't to be challenged by a single enemy, it's knowing how far you can push yourself trying to set up crazy skill shots before you take too many bullets. I was kind of worried you'd complain more about the AI.
Commented on 2011-02-27 02:29:15
hear the ps3 version struggles with some of the effects.. the much boasted "god lighting" being absent for one. Should probably be noted for those that have both consoles and want to get the most from seeing that "absolutely beautiful" world
Commented on 2011-02-27 03:34:42
I love this game. The many ways of taking out the enemy is a huge draw to me. Campaign mode is dope. The jokes threw out no matter the situation. Stuff like the constant mood swings Ishi has threw out(tho its do to his situation).

Ishi: I'll kill you
*two minutes later*
Ishi: Im sorry-_-, lets go kill that Serrano bastard:)
*two minutes later in a almost no win situation*
Ishi:Their is no hope for us, we die here-_-.

Highly enjoyable game.
Commented on 2011-02-27 03:39:33
It is very colorful game and gfx reminds me little bit of POP 2008
Commented on 2011-02-27 11:55:30
Yeah, some of the vistas are breathtaking...
Commented on 2011-02-27 13:10:45
I found the game to be quite underwhelming.... visually it's looks very dated, unimpressive geometry, simulation of water and up-close scrutiny of the enemies looks downright awful but more importantly the gameplay gets very repetitive sooner than I expected.
Commented on 2011-02-28 00:00:15
The game has some very well designed visual layouts and is easily one of the most fun FPS experiences in quite some time. Easily better than the last CoD and Killzone 3.
Commented on 2011-02-28 01:19:41
This game is trying to be serious sam or what I do not know as it is fun FPS game but this is just lame. I think this will be worst shooter of the year.
Commented on 2011-02-28 02:08:09
Got the game and played it. The gameplay is very solid and fun. The story, as you'd expect, isn't that good. But the only thing that really turned me off was the screenwriting, it is horrid.

Bayo was genius, it offered brilliant gameplay in a totally fresh world. Bulletstorm on the other hand is overplaying its lack of originality with lots of profanity. I had a good laugh, though.
Commented on 2011-02-28 02:57:34 In reply to Viginti_Tres
Posted by Viginti_Tres
Got the game and played it. The gameplay is very solid and fun. The story, as you'd expect, isn't that good. But the only thing that really turned me off was the screenwriting, it is horrid.

Bayo was genius, it offered brilliant gameplay in a totally fresh world. Bulletstorm on the other hand is overplaying its lack of originality with lots of profanity. I had a good laugh, though.
i'm gonna play it tommorow after i beat K3. i felt the gameplay and purile "humour" outstayed it's welcome in the demo, so i'm hoping there is more to it when it comes to the full game?
Commented on 2011-02-28 05:57:54
No the story itself isn't strong and the humor is almost as bad as Rico's lines in a KZ game. But the gameplay itself is quite fun and refreshingly different than the typical modern shooter or dark sci-fi shooter themes we keep getting over and over as of late.
Commented on 2011-02-28 15:17:04
I have to say that BUllestorm "is" the Bayonetta of FPS as of today IMO.

It encourages you to be creative and crazy lols, its just pure raw fun, I had more fun with the demo than with some full games.
Commented on 2011-02-28 16:55:26 In reply to Nietzsche
Posted by Nietzsche
No the story itself isn't strong and the humor is almost as bad as Rico's lines in a KZ game. But the gameplay itself is quite fun and refreshingly different than the typical modern shooter or dark sci-fi shooter themes we keep getting over and over as of late.
so it doesnt get repetative? the demo did and that was all of 20 minutes long? does the full game mix things up enough to stop it going stale?
Commented on 2011-02-28 18:11:18
This is the best thing from the game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9aVxm_7aFo
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