The Perfect ‘Storm?
We bag some more happy time with the brand new genre: the fun-person shooter.
Hey other first-person shooters – learn to smile why don’t you? Honestly, with few exceptions (Serious Sam on XBLA for example), you’re all a miserable bunch so obsessed with shocking players, being ‘edgy’ and worrying the tabloids that you forget that you’re meant to be fun. Fun, remember that? People Can Fly certainly does and has most definitely managed to turn our FPS frown upside down.
Playing Bulletstorm is like being reminded why, deep down, we all started to play action games in the first place and it’s obvious that the developer is in line to provide a much needed antidote to the Call of Duties of this world. This is not to be a realistic game. Far from it; it’s hyper daft in all directions, a genuine shooter of the old school that has been married to cutting edge effects and injected with so much adrenaline that it’s looking to be a non-stop rush of a title where rarely a second goes by without something spectacular and often hilarious happening.
Bulletstorm’s main hook is that it works on a point system where the more imaginative the way in which you destroy your opponents, the more points you’ll get and the more upgrades, weapons and moves you’ll unlock. As you kill enemies so the points that are awarded explode on to the screen along with amusing names given to certain methods of dismemberment. Every over-the-top death we perpetrated was met with some form of recognition, spray someone into some plants and you’ll get a ‘Fertilizer’ kill, and it’s easy to think of a time when the development team sat down with a note book and some beer and came up with an immense lexicon of carnage, followed by high-fives all round.
Because of the sheer number of ways you can go about killing it’s clear that each level of the single-player campaign can be replayed time and time again as you perfect and discover fresh methods of fleshy destruction. It’s also not a game about being shy either. Players aren’t encouraged to hide away only emerging to make headshots and then ducking back behind cover but are instead ushered to stand proud even amidst a storm of bullets, and have enough time to play with their victims like a cat with a wounded mouse. Bosses can literally be kicked in the ass as you showboat around them. You can even fire a grenade into their posterior for mega points in a move that flashes up with ‘Fire in the Hole’. Okay, so your grandmother certainly wouldn’t approve, but come on.
Bulletstorm’s frantic delights were always going to be special but quite how special only becomes apparent when you see it in action, preferably with a pad in your hand – but even without it the game puts on one spectacular show. Oh exaggerated shooty fun, how we’ve missed you.
Will Johnston – PlayGamer Magazine
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