Whilst the disk drive motor in my 360 is cooling down, I can’t help but look back along the entire campaign with a massive smile on my face. In a saturated first person shooter market, a new way to try and innovate seemingly is to make something that should have been made in the last generation of consoles, when FPSs were still trying to find their feet (on consoles).
Bulletstorm is moronic in the best way possible. At points when you think the story is actually trying to explain something to you, don’t bother getting too involved with it, because the lead characters don’t care – they spin anything off with one liners that will make you literally laugh out loud. In fact I’d go so far as to say this is one of the funniest games I’ve played, ever.
Some of my favourite quotes from the game:
“Trishka: Yeah? Go fuck yourself! You shit piles give chase, I will kill your dicks!
Gray: What? What does thet even mean? Your gonna kill my dick? I’ll kill your dick! How bout that, huh?”
“I named him Waggleton P. Tallylicker, but I never got the chance to tell him. He will be remembered.”
“He’s my favorite robot pal! Ishi was okay but he wasn’t fifty feet tall! It’s a pretty cool party, come and see! You can get a robot and come killin’ with me.”
Bulletstorm give you some of the coolest weapons – one of my favourites that I played the last part of the game with was the flailgun. This shoots two active grenades attached to each other with a chain. Just think about that for a second – not only can you blow up your enemies, but if you shoot it at close enough enemies you can slice them in two. Another absolutely awesome tool given to you is the leash – a left handed augmentation to your arm (and LB on the controller) gives you the chance to “leash” an enemy and launch them towards you in slow motion. That is, just the enemy is in slow motion, leaving you to do what you will with their bodies. Usually this might involve simply shooting them in the face, but it could also mean you kick them into a man-eating plant earning the “Feeder” skill shot.
You could then kick a hot-dog stand into a bunch of enemies, blow it up and earn the “Sausage Fest” skill shot. Skill shots are everything that defines Bulletstorms’ gameplay – every kill and every action you can perform is worth points which can be traded in for more ammo or extra augmentations to your weapons, and you get rewarded for exploring different ways to see off your enemies. It’s a beautiful mix of hiding the skill shot names and giving you completely new environments and items for you to experiment with – on successfully ending an enemy’s life, the skill shot you earned will be displayed gloriously on your screen. Most of the time they’re funny enough to make you laugh.
Bulletstorm is full on from beginning to end. The first level has you basically trying to get away from a giagantic wheel that is rolling behind you down the valley. That’s right – a GIANT WHEEL. It doesn’t make much sense in the storyline, and it really doesn’t make sense in general, but who the hell cares when the set pieces rival even Gears of War 3 in their scope and graphics. There is one particular boss about half way though that is quite simply stunning.
The one place I think I have been let down by the game though is the use of loading screens (haven’t seen one of those in a few years) at the beginning of every level – and then again when you die. It’s only a small gripe, but if you do happen to get stuck in a particular spot it can be a little irritating. For a game that tries not to take itself seriously, the size of the ammo clips seems a little inadequate. Finding ammo pods seems like a waste of time. I’d also say that I was let down by the demo – it was a crap introduction to all the different things in the game, whereas the intro to the actual game was done incredibly well.
What Bulletstorm has done is made a tiring genre pure and simply fun again. It is probably the strongest reason not to buy another Call of Duty or Battlefield, because let’s be honest, it’s just another £40 for the same game.