Hands up when you saw the trailer for the next Epic studio game who else thought “What the hell is this?”
Bulletstorm is from People Can Fly and Epic Games (Published by EA) and see you play as Gray an ex-mercenary now turned drunken pirate who’s hell bent on revenge against the general that double crossed him. The game takes place on a planet where you’ve crashed not only your own ship but the General’s ship. Now that’s it for plot for the game – there’s development and curveballs through the seven chapters but really that’s the bones.
If you’ve played the demo, the game starts off at a snail’s pace compared to the fast pumping action that you did in the demo. You slowly wind into the mechanics and the story and it’s only in about chapter two when you’re let loose with your leash (that cool whip looking thing) that you really kick up the pace.
The game rewards you for killing in unique and varied ways. For example the sniper rifle has some of the best kills as you take control of the bullet (eventually times slows down into bullet-time – I couldn’t resist!) and move in for the kill. The thing is the enemy realise this could be his last breath so he dodges, turning his back on me – my thoughts “You cheeky S.O.B I’m going to stick this bullet where the sun doesn’t shine bucko!” So I aim the bullet down and the up into his arse and what do you know I get Hotshot +100, Rear Entry +100 all for doing that.
While this may feel good after a while you start to look at the guide and almost see how can I kill someone to earn more points? This is where the challenge and uniqueness of the game comes into its own ... for a while. Towards the end of the game you find that the enemies up in difficulty (as they tend to do) and the skills shots just don’t feel as rewarding as they first did – this may have something to do with beginning to think with more strategy on pulling them off as you face a horde of un-knock-down-able enemies who have specific kill spots?
The single player can be completed in a single day with a good sitting and has enough challenges to keep you there for 8 – 10 hours. However this game tag’s you bag in with Echo mode which is like a time + skill-kill mode which seems you replaying small portions of the game in timed modes for as many points as possible, which creates leader boards and competition amongst your friends list – that is if you have friends on there who are playing this mode
As for multiplayer Epic games bolted in a sort of horde mode called Anarchy mode with wave, after wave, after wave of ever increasing enemies. Now I’ve not tried this yet but I can imagine its fun with a close group of friends over live as you try to stay alive as a unit of four. When being interviewed about the game’s lack of real multiplayer Cliff Bleszinski told The Telegraph
“It was in there at one point and it actually worked, but we found that the game shifted from being this kind of puzzle-shooter into essentially this downhill skiing simulator, where people were seeing how fast they could get to the bottom of the mountain,”
Having played the game I can see his point but then again I really wouldn’t mind perhaps a Left for Dead style 4 vs. 4 multiplayer which would make for an interesting game as you could see people trying some real interesting scenarios with some of these enemies.
All in all this is a good quality game which is truly a child of its predecessors. It takes the intensity and looks of Gears of War and then throws into the mix the speed of Unreal Tournament. My only gripes about the game is that it’s really too short, it’s a bit too over simplified and the ending feels kind of cheap. I mean clearly there is going to be a squeal to this game from the ending, but having the whole final fight devolve into a Quick-Time event? That’s just wrong and belongs in a class of lower game.
This game is a good solid attempt at something new and fresh in a genera that is running low on ideas. But, and this is a big BUT I think many people will only be buying this game for access to the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta – which if you ask me feels like you’re short changing this game. It has a great sense of humour (even if the language is over the top at times but well suited), it looks good, plays well, and is something that would suit well as maybe a two week loaner and you’re done.
Give it a whirl and go kill with some skill!