From out of Nowhere : Bulletstorm!

14 03 2011

Bulletstorm is absolutely, insanenly, out-of-the-park amazing. It’s everything I could want in a shooter.

I got the game on Thursday of last week, and finished it 3 days later. Which is a credit to the game in itself, because I usually give up on games within a matter of hours. Inevitably with FPS shooters, I’ll play for a bit and sooner or later, my interest will wane. The reasons can vary. Uninteresting premise, dialogue, plot, setup. Boring graphics. Dreary gameplay. Dragging development.

Bulletstorm has none of these things.

more after the break…

It isn’t a terribly long game, probably because it moves at blazing pace. Type of game you can’t put down until it’s finished. I’d estimate no more than a dozen hours. But man, what an amazing 12 hours.

I really have to comment on the polish and quality put into this thing. I was expecting Serious Sam 2011, but it’s so much more, like Duke Nukem on a rollercoaster that’s had the brakes cut.

One caveat – it’s terribly linear, the epitome of corridor-shooter, but those corridors are oh so pretty and, really, the point of this game isn’t navigating maps, it’s blowing seventeen thousands types of crap out of everything that’s gets in the way on route from point A to B. Often using the most ridiculous and innovating ways one could possibly think doing so. (like, srsly, pulling a guy to you with the ‘leash’, setting him on fire, then kicking him in the air, shooting him in the groin and finally impaling him on a handy nearby cactus. Why? Just because you can.) The game fuses shooter gameplay and melee expertly, rewarding you for inventively kicking, throwing and tripping enemies into the air while shooting them in a vareity of different ways and with an arsenal of brilliant weapons. Even the way the game implements sniping is genuinely awesome – you can steer the bullet as it approaches it’s target! Charge up your sniper rifle, and you can shoot an enemy,  steer his carcass around to some nearby bad guys, and then blow him – and them – all to hell. In slow mo! It’s ridiculous. It’s bad ass. And it’ll make every shooter you’ve played before seem tame in terms of innovative, gory, absolutely mad fun.

Factor in some incredibly designed bosses, battles with hordes of enemies that can feel absolutely overwhelming, and beatifully rendered maps and crazy setpieces that have you regularly sitting back and going ‘whoa!’. Just when you think you’ve seen the most amazing thing ever, Buleltstorm goes and ups the ante again.

Surprisingly, the storyline is pretty cool too. Lots of dialogue layered throughout in-game cutscenes – thankfully each one brief enough and to the point – really kept me interested without dragging things on unnecesarily. Grayson’s one-liners and repartee with his half-robot buddy Ishi, and other periodic companions, really adds to the atmosphere. Some of it’s a little cheesy, but who really cares when you have a dinosaur the size of a skyscraper chasing you.

It’s worth commenting on the spoken dialogue -which there’s a lot of – specifically for a second. You’ll notice it pretty early on, and it only gets more brazen. Everyone swears a blue streak that would shame a grizzled sailor – and I loved it. The insults that the characters sling around constantly are inventive and funny, but wear headphones if you have sensitive folks in the house.

Everything seems so well designed and put together. I was really surprised, because I’d read and heard virtually zilch about this game prior to it’s release. It really came out of left field.

Honestly, this is probably best shooter I’ve played in years – or at least it feels like it, with the market being so saturated with dreary ‘move and cover’ military-shooter clones.  Bulletstorm has no cover system, though you can crouch to avoid some fire and recover health. Instead, it’s about pure balls out carnage, and reminded me what I enjoyed about the genre in the first place – more Doom 1 and 2 and Duke Nukem, more alien/mutant/robot hordes and epic set pieces, and less ‘ololz im sneaking around in the dark and sniping Nazis/Al Quaeda woo’.

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14 03 2011
Bulletstorm out.

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