The Calm Before the Storm: Bullet Storm Preview

Posted: February 20, 2011 in Action, Gaming Previews
Tags: , , ,

There are shooting games that are for the serious gamer; every shot must be perfect, and anything less is failure. There are those that take you on an experience with a gripping story and deep characters. And then there’s Bulletstorm; a game that puts the ‘laughter’ in slaughter.

Before I go on, I would like to point out that I am aware the game is not even released yet, so I am writing this review purely on what I gather from the demo on the Xbox 360.  So be calm my reader (readers, even?).

Bulletstorm Cover Art for PS and X-Box 360

Bulletstorm is due for release on PS3 and X-Box 360 in the UK on 25/2/2011

Upon starting the demo, you’re treated to a video giving you a brief description of the game’s premise… and I really mean brief. The games main character, Grayson Hunt, talks about how his ‘pirate crew’ crash landed on a different planet, and must somehow escape. That’s pretty much it for plot. Hunt (who I should add looks like he went to the Wolverine School of style and etiquette) then goes into vivid detail about what the game was really made for; “Kill with Skill”.  Whenever you kill an enemy you receive points, depending on how skilful you took the guy down. A simple flurry of bullets is worth very little, so running around running around going, “Bang, bang, bang, you dead” is not the recommended approach.  You need to be clever with your kills; give the enemy a kick to the chest, stick a grenade to them in mid air, shoot them in the head, and let his corpse blow up, taking out his comrades… That will get you a whole heap of points.  And that is the essence of Bulletstorm.

From watching the video, it’s immediately apparent the game is focused more on the game play and the points system, than any actual story; it’s basically, “Blah, blah, blah pirates.  Blah, blah, blah new planet.  Blah, blah, blah… Now shoot that guy in the face and send him flying”.  The video comes across as no nonsense and over the top; and I have to say I always smile when I see the video, just for this crudeness.  It makes a nice change to all the serious First Person Shooters, like Call of Duty.

Now after the video you get to play the Collapsed Building level; a nice little playground to test out the controls and game play.  The detail in the scenery is amazing; vibrant, crisp, and rather atmospheric.  Clearly, there’s been some real effort has been put into this game.  Once you’ve taken in the view, you come across some enemies, and the game play really shines.

You can blast away with as many guns as you like, but your two best tools are the leash, and your boot.  The leash can be used to drag enemies towards you, Scorpion style, and leave them dangling in mid air for a few seconds.  This gives you ample time to have your fun with the helpless goon. Head shot? Go ahead. Bullet to the baby makers? Be my guest. Boot them into spikes with a grenade tied to them? Nothing stopping you. It’s very easy to be creative with your killings, which is what makes this game enjoyable.  While most games make you think about tactics, like how to flank an enemy and avoid snipers, Bulletstorm makes you think how a giant man eating plant can be used to your advantage (yes, there’s a man eating plant. Watch the video at the end of the level).

Bulletstorm makes no bones about what it is; it’s crazy, crude, doesn’t take itself seriously, and ultimately, a lot of fun.  Even when Grayson insults you at the end of the demo (“Hey Dick-tits, This Game isn’t going to pre order itself) you get a taste of how blunt he is. The kind of guy that’ll use fists before words… then more fists.

If you need to have your shooters to be always realistic and humourless, then look for another game (which I’m sure Grayson would say, plus extra coarse language), but if you want something that’s the equivalent to kicking a giant glowing ragdoll around, I highly recommend this game when it comes out.

Score: 9/10

Review hastily written on a napkin by: Satchel

Buy Bulletstorm (PS3) from Amazon.co.uk

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