Bulletstorm is a crass, crude, over the top first-person-shooter that seemingly goes out of its way to be offensive, but it is also one of the best playing and most fun FPS games to come along in quite some time. The humor and overall immature tone is both Bulletstorm's greatest asset as well as a definite liability, though, and some folks just won't like it. If you can check your brain at the door and embrace the filthy jokes and over the top violence, you'll be in for a real treat. Bulletstorm is fun as hell. Find out all of the details here in our full review.
- Publisher: EA
- Developer: People Can Fly / Epic
- ESRB Rating: “M” for Mature
- Genre: First-Person-Shooter
- Pros: Great gameplay; nice visuals; good voice work; plenty of modes; awesome campaign
- Cons: A bit too crude and crass; so-so multiplayer
Bulletstorm is the story of Grayson Hunt, a soldier who discovers that his crew has been killing innocent people at the orders of their commander, General Sarrano of the Confederation of Planets. Years later, Grayson has a chance at revenge on Sarrano and leads his crew on a suicide mission that pits his tiny ship against Sarrano's huge military warship. Both ships end up crashing into the planet Stygia. Gray as well as his crewmate Ishi (now a cyborg as he was seriously injured in the crash) survive the crash and set out to make sure Sarrano ends up dead as well as try to make their way off of the planet. The planet of Stygia looks like a sunny and tropical tourist resort, but they quickly find out that the inhabitants of the planet are anything but friendly.
The story in Bulletstorm is actually surprisingly well done. Ishi has to constantly fight against the CPU A.I. that is trying to take over his mind now that he is a cyborg. Gray feels extremely guilty about both the innocent people he was ordered to kill before, and now feels even more guilty that his quest for revenge got everyone on his crew other than Ishi killed. The characters actually really grow and change over the course of the 8-hour campaign and are quite likeable by the end.
What holds the story and characters back, however, is the over the top dialogue. It is crude and foul. I'm not saying it isn't funny (yeah, I'm one of "those" people that laugh at stuff like this), and sometimes the swear-ridden tirades are pretty clever, but it does wear thin after a while.
The crude humor will definitely turn some people away and they won't give the game a chance, and that is understandable. They'll be missing out on one of the better FPS games to come out in a long time, though. The gameplay is truly the shining star in a sea of dirty jokes and blood and guts.
The controls are pretty typical for console FPS. They are very precise and smooth, and the game rockets along at a super fast pace. The key to Bulletstorm, and what sets it apart from everything else, is the skillshot system. Using an electric leash to catch enemies or objects and drag them towards you, a wealth of great weapons, environmental hazards and explosives, and a good ol' kick from your boot, you have a near limitless number of ways to dispatch your enemies. Killing enemies with style earns you points that you can use to upgrade your weapons or buy more ammo. Why shoot an enemy when you can simply kick them into a cactus or electrical wires? Use the "thumper" ability of your electric leash to bounce a room full of enemies into the air, and then pick them off at your leisure. Wrap an explosive around an enemy, then kick him towards his buddies, and detonate the explosive when he's surrounded by his friends. There are tons of ways to dispatch your enemies, and they are all fun to perform.
The gameplay is just really exceptionally well done. Yeah, there is a lot of blood and guts and sick humor, but the controls are so perfect and the game moves along at such a brisk pace that it is hard not to have fun. There are some great set pieces as well that give the campaign some solid replay value. One memorable early sequence has you taking control of a giant monster. Gray's commentary (and ... song) as you tear through enemies with your new friend is hilarious. The game is filled with fantastic moments like this all the way through. Toss in the huge boss fights, and you have a pretty great game.