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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

People Can Fly / Epic Games

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

February 22, 2011

 

 

- Reminiscent of Duke Nukem 3D for tone and style
- Leash effects and zany kill-styles

 

 

Particularly funneled game-area
Multiplayer mode is soooo duuuullllllll

 

 

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Bulletstorm

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

bulletstorm          bulletstorm

 

Bulletstorm is one of the more entertaining throwback first-person shooter games that I can recall playing in the last few years. Having more similarity to the cartoony antics of Duke Nukem 3D than the polished style of the Crysis franchise, many casual gamers will be drawn into the quick escapism of the game. While this would suggest that the game is without a story, which is not the case. Citizen Kane this is not. Realistically though, that’s a big plus.

Taking control of the main character Grayson Hunt – affectionately yelled at by teammates and allies as Gray - you must work your way off the planet Stygia, a planet that was once a beautiful resort but has quickly devolved into a Lord of the

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Flies style orgy of guns and grotesque. Gray is equal parts suave and slob… ok… 98% slob and 2% suave and he talks pretty much like any member of the Marines that I’ve ever been around which is to say unfiltered and damn hilarious. Gray’s one goal in life is to even the score against his former boss, the reprehensible General Sarrano – and considering how Sarrano was one of the people behind screwing up Stygia, Gray’s anger seems appropriately

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directed. A former leader of Sarrano’s Echoes team – he wants him dead for his misuse and abuse of his men and will go through the new Echoes team to do it, by appropriating their new leash technology. Think personal tractor beam, now imagine the carnage that one could bring to the battlefield.

Unlike most FPS games, the number of weapons has been severely curtailed and the amount of ammunition has been limited almost to the point of being prohibitive. Most of us have become pretty familiar with the concept of using the environment to our advantage to whittle the enemy forces down to a more manageable level. But in Bulletstorm it’s a necessity – you will only unlock new weapons and be able to rearm them by successfully using “skillshots” to defeat enemies. Some skillshots can be as simple as pushing a guy off a ledge or as convoluted as perforating them on the bounce from being airborne violently in an explosion. Either way, Gray will have something clever to say.

Main story took me under 8 hours to complete, even at the easier difficulty levels, I still managed to die with surprising regularity. My greatest difficulty was in adapting to the new fighting style that I was forced to fight in – my normal method is 2 parts heavy gunfire with one part bull-rush. To maximize my skillshots I now had to resort into picking apart groups of enemies – pull one away, kill spectacularly, choose new target, pray that my health holds out long enough for me to do it. The available area to work with is quite small – the game is designed to keep you pretty close to the one designed path through the carnage. There are some larger areas to work with, but that usually just means that there is a higher concentration of baddies there. Even so, the game tends to make you feel that you’re being led through these amazing environments by the nose.

 

bulletstorm          bulletstorm

 

Once through the single player campaign, now on to the multiplayer mode for some co-operative mayhem. To progress through the different waves of baddies, your team must achieve a pre-set point score to advance. It is possible to get 4 people going in co-operative mode and you can just imagine the carnage that 4 separate leashes can do to a group of baddies. Early waves pass quite easily, but later levels can get downright frustrating with people trying to steal kills and ruining your setups. Running 20 waves in the exact same environment loses its appeal quite rapidly.

Graphics? Great actually. The work done on the environments definitely shows, the world looks amazing and the level designs are quite clever even when we are tearing them apart. Over the console versions, the game looked much sharper and actually allowed for resolutions of 1080p unlike the ported versions. Plus little effects such as the detail on the enemies ragdoll physics shows much more polish. Sound? Decent. No real soundtrack or score, but the dialogue is sharp and I was impressed with how the dialogue would muffle based on how you oriented your character in relation to the speaker – neat!

All in all, Bulletstorm was a super pick up for me and I enjoyed playing it more than most FPS games in the last few years. Definitely looking forward to a sequel if it comes out.

- Tazman
(April 4, 2011)

 

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