Hands-on – Bulletstorm

Hey there guys and welcome to my hands-on review of Bulletstorm. Only a little while ago Bulletstorm received a truckload of criticism for being too violent or that the dialogues are written by a drunken sailor picking a bar fight with a trucker. And they seem like they are, and that’s what I really love about this game. The hard, uncensored language in this game is absolutely refreshing after all those ‘seal of approval’ FPS games. Before I start, I did have really high hopes for Bulletstorm since the creators, People Can Fly, also brought us the utterly awesome shooter Painkiller.

Bulletstorm offers a really thin storyline, but a storyline nonetheless, that is used as a guideline throughout the game. Suffice to say though that the story won’t win any prizes, but that’s ok considered the truckload of near-unending fun the game gives during its 10-12 hours of single player gameplay. The main character, Grayson Hunt, is basically out for revenge after he was betrayed by his so-called friends. That’s basically the story, but as I said plenty of fun in the game to disregard the story altogether. What bothered me a little bit more are the 1D characters, there’s no real story or background provided for them which gets pretty shallow at points.
During the game you’ll visit some fantastic scenery. The world you end up crashing your ship on is called Stygia, which is basically a thug infested harbor of crime. During the game you’ll travel from wreckage-filled mountains, through desert wastes, and finally to (and under) the ruined resort, Elysium, it’s a surprisingly vibrant setting, especially after all you murdered all the thugs that are out to shoot a whole the size of a fist in your stomach.
You might’ve noticed it; the highlight of the entire game is the shooting. And what a highlight it is. The game provides you with countless way to get rid of your enemies by shooting them with a fairly impressive range of guns or by using your lasso-thingy to either pull enemies towards you so you can kick them into whatever the environment offers (cacti, loose electric cables, a spinning cogwheel, …) or to toss them up in the air.
As in a lot of shooters you start out with a smaller handgun and a SMG, weapons are upgraded by using the care packages that have been dropped around the world. The currency to buy these weapon upgrades comes from, you guessed it, killing enemies in a variety of ways. For instance, there are extra points for kicking an enemy into a cactus or shooting him in the nuts. These so-called ‘skillshots’ are in large supply, although some can be tricky to get as you don’t get to see how a kill needs to be executed until you actually complete it. The game also suffers a little from performing skillshots, but without actually getting the credit for them. Either way, these skillshots alone are worth playing the game over and over until you catch ‘em all (see what I did there?).
Another fun feature is the slide technique, where you quickly slide to wherever you want to go. This provides a nifty little extra to the game. Another fun feature is the ability to steer a sniper bullet after it has been shot right through a thug’s skull. That really never gets old.
Now, as far as I know there isn’t an online feature to Bulletstorm, but there is a game mode to play as co-op. This game mode has all new ways to send thugs to their grave and includes round challenges that require teamwork to complete them successfully.
Conclusion, the game feels very arcade like and borrows a lot from Gears of War and even reminded me of Duke Nukem. The various ways to finish off enemies give the game that extra jolt of fun even though there is no multiplayer mode, except for co-op, and a lack of a good back story. Bulletstorm is currently available on Xbox 360, PC and PS3. Below you’ll find Bulletstorm trailer. Enjoy.

/Niels

Author: Niels Van Hellemont

Hi, my name is Niels and I'm a long time fan of movies, anime, comics, games and whatnot. Could say that I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the above mentioned things. I'm currently studying for a Bachelor After Bachelor in Advanced Business Management - Human Resources Management.

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