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Bulletstorm (Xbox 360)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  CKeen The Great (145)
Written on  :  Jun 07, 2011
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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Summary

This is exactly what a modern FPS should be like.

The Good

Story: So apparently not many people liked the story but I didn't find anything wrong with it, in fact it is quite good although it only has very few characters. It would have been much better if there were more... But anyway here's the main deal: You're Grayson Hunt, member of the Dead Echo, a band of criminals that used to work for the Confederation, which is what appears to be a galactic empire (huh, StarCraft much?). Dead Echo used to be the assassins of the confederation, but once they found out General Sarrano was using them to kill innocent people by making them believe they were criminals or terrorists, Hunt and the others turned their backs on Sarrano and decided to get revenge on him, and they became criminals. The game starts off with Grayson and his friends (Ishi, Rell, and Doc) deciding to attack the Ulysses, the main starship of the confederation. But the Ulysses gains the upper hand in the conflict, heavily damaging the Dead Echo shuttle, so in a last attempt Hunt decides to crash the shuttle right into the Ulysses itself, causing both to fall on a nearby planet. Hunt survives however, but some of his friends aren't so lucky. They're now stuck in this planet which is filled up with mutants, savage gangs, monsters of all kinds and even survivors of the Ulysses who want a little payback. That's all I'll say, you'll find out about the rest of the story, as well as why the planet became like this yourself. It may just be me, but I found this plot to be very similar to that of starcraft and starcraft 2 in a way. Grayson Hunt looks like a more hot-headed Jim Raynor, and Sarrano is basically an even worse version of Arcturus Mengsk.

Graphics: For 360 standards, and I guess for Unreal Engine standards, the game looks really good. And I'm happy to see that for once the game isn't ALL brown and gray like all other games since Quake started this trend (although it is a bit too dependant on yellow but whatever). I liked all of the enemies design, as well as the weapons and the textures, nothing to complain here. The developers did a good job for this field.

Sounds: Unlike what you've seen in games like Singularity, your player character isn't the silent type of guy, instead he talks quite often with his mates. As the main review says, there's a lot of toilet humor going on here, and while A LOT of people seem to have been annoyed by it, I didn't find anything wrong in the voice acting and the dialogues, in fact I even found them to be quite funny (and appropriate) at times. Although, I did play the italian version, not the english one. Aside for this, Bulletstorm sounds well, although I guess a little more music wouldn't have been out of place.

Gameplay: And this is where the real fun starts, but before that, here's a little premise: If you've heard of People can Fly before, you'll know that they're the same guys who developed the Painkiller franchise. Painkiller at the time was notorious for being old school, and Painkiller literally said f**k off to the Half life clones that were so popular during that time, instead taking most of its gameplay elements from Doom and Quake, which is an excellent thing since in my opinion oldschool shooters are A LOT better than anything Valve ever made and will ever make. So anyway, kind of like Painkiller, Bulletstorm takes many elements from more oldschool titles. Although it may not be noticeable, the player is much stronger than any of the retarded call of duty characters: He never gets tired while running, he can perform awesome slides and he has a pretty consistent arsenal of weapons that are actually meant to blow up everything rather than being realistic. Yeah, this game is nothing like call of duty, it is 100 times better.

Therefore, Bulletstorm takes the doom formula and makes it "modern", this way the game can appeal to both fans of the old school genre, and fans of the modern genre. One of the most interesting features of Bulletstorm is the "kill with skill" feature. As Gamespot put it, "In Bulletstorm, you earn points by kicking your enemies into cacti, shooting them in the rear end, and flinging them into the air with your electric leash, among many other variations and combinations of bullets, boots, and exploding barrels. You spend these points on ammo, weapon upgrades, and more, giving you reason to perform these moves beyond the initial gratification they provide." I personally think this is very well implemented, as there are A LOT of different ways to kill enemies, with different types of weapons and ammo.

One of the trademark weapons is your energy leash, some sort of device that allows you to "manipulate time" for some enemies. For example, you can use it to literally throw an enemy into the air, causing it to become very slow so in the meantime you can fill his skull with bullets. This also applies to your kicks, which in most cases cause enemies to "slow down" allowing you to do precise hits, however some enemies are good at dodging kicks. Every weapon has a primary fire mode and a secondary fire that is extremely powerful and is mostly able to kill an enemy in one hit. There are many ways of killing enemies, you can execute a slide-kick by sliding, kicking the enemy and then shooting him to death, or you can kick him into some exposed electric wires and watch as he gets completely electrocuted, or you can throw explosive bombs at them and completely blow them away while they're still under the effect of the heat, of you can even drink some bottles of liquor, becoming drunk, and if you kill enemies while in this state you can gain even more points. The main enemies you'll encounter are the Skull, the Creep and the Burnout, which are various types of humans, some of which are more humanoid than others, but all of them are fun to fight in their own right.

The Bad

Bulletstorm however is not perfect. First off, I think it's way too short, and I was able to finish it in one day in Normal mode. Although there wasn't a single level I disliked, I think they should've made it a little longer, especially considering the oldschool games it takes influence from are usually way longer than any of the call of duty stuff that gets released today. I haven't had the chance to play the multiplayer, I heard it isn't really great but I enjoyed the single player and that does it for me. Also, the game just has one "typical" boss, that is a huge monster with a health bar. There are other big enemies but they aren't proper bosses and can be defeated very quickly if you know the strategy and if you're good at shooters. I kinda expected more bosses from a game like this.

The Bottom Line

Anyway, to sum this up, this game is good, mindless, violent fun, and I can hardly imagine someone not enjoying because that's literally what it is: pure fun, as opposed to games like call of duty that focus on realism instead. There is nothing like that here. This game is really great and it's something I've been waiting to see for a very long time. Sure, it's short and sometimes it's easy and not that unpredictable, but it never really ran out of ideas for me, and remained interesting from beginning to end for me. I will most likely try Gun Sonata as well, and I look forward to seeing a sequel for this. Please don't disappoint me, People can Fly!