I’ve been playing a lot if Bulletstorm lately. It was one of the few games we didn’t get review code for, purely because we had to attend a two-day review ‘event’, whereby we could play the game as much as possible over that period, and write the review based on that. In principle I’m firmly against events like these – they’re too controlled, and they make the reviewing process that much harder because we can’t go back to the code to check anything.
Still, that being said, that particular session wasn’t the worst I’d done, and was actually kind of fun. We were put up in the same hotel the event was hosted at for the intervening night, and I got a bit too drunk. But anyway – Bulletstorm was good. Technically a bit dodgy in some areas… I think the Unreal 3 Engine really shows its age with this title, but I enjoyed it so much (giving it a 9.5 in my review) that I went out and bought it anyway. As someone who gets games for free most of the time, that says something.
There’s something very refreshing about it though. Considering we’re pretty much surrounded by military shooters these days (not that there’s anything wrong with those), it’s nice to see a game that just tries to embody ‘fun’ in its raw form – and what could be more fun than kicking people into spikes and shooting a supercharged piece of lead into somebody’s ass.
Considering most of the pre-release hype was focused on this creative killing and the fact that there was a lot of swearing, the singleplayer story is actually pretty well made. It’s a got a good pacing to it, there’s a mystery that compels you to find out more… even the over the top cussing is well placed and not too forced… apart from maybe in one character.
And the echoes mode…. oh the echoes mode. I’ve never been much of an achievement whore – grinding them out to get as high a score as possible, but Bulletstorm finally made me understand why people do hunt “teh cheevos”. It’s like I’ll be lying in bed trying to get to sleep, and I’ll suddenly think of a way to crank out a slightly higher score. “Oh I should light him on fire then shoot him in the ass”. The depravity this brings out, and the way to single-mindedly drives you to get a high score is frightening. As one colleague put it “what’s the most offensive things I can do to this person right now”. It’s oddly compelling.
So yeah… erm… buy Bulletstorm? I guess? You could do worse.
Until next time.