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Bulletstorm [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

While lacking a few features, the game campaign alone makes this game worth everything it costs.

The Pros: 

+ Skillshot system is awesome

+ great dialogue between characters

+ solid voice acting

+engaging story.

The Cons: 

-lack of multiplayer options

-game froze briefly on the PC

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

I've never played a game that so encouraged shooting people in the balls. Bulletstorm not only encourages it, but rewards it. In fact, some of the hardest shots in the game require some serious punishment to the 'funzone.' A good thirty minutes of my time was spent with the sniper rifle, guiding bullets into testicles. The AI made sure it was hard too, because nutshots were more protected against than having their head blown off. Despite all that, Bulletstorm happens to be one of the highest quality FPS games to come out in the recent set of releases.

This game got a lot of flak in the non-gaming press recently, mostly due to the extreme amounts of violence and language used by the characters. To get it out of the way now, the game is extremely violent and has a lot of bad language. That tends to come with the 'M' rating on the box. What Bulletstorm does though is go for over-the-top content. Instead of making it a 'war is hell' kind of thing, it makes a "popcorn flick" out of it. Even though that might get some people annoyed, I tend to think that it does nothing but good things for the game. If people want a game that takes itself overly seriously, they could play any other FPS on the market.  

My experience on the multiplayer is that it is similar to most other multiplayer set-ups for FPS games; which is not a bad thing. In the case of this genre it's much smarter to make something that people can get into easier, rather than to make something that requires a serious learning curve. There are enough interesting things added to it to make it feel unique, but that is the extent.

Where Bulletstorm really beats out a lot of others is in the single player content. FPS games are somewhat notorious for having short campaigns, around 6 to 8 hours, with the story itself being hit or miss. While the campaign is still fairly short, clocking in at around 7 hours for me, the story itself really makes it shine. The large majority of the characters in the game are not only well voiced but also really well fleshed out, which is huge for this type of game. The only character I would say does not have the greatest acting was the villain voiced by R. Lee Ermey, who came across to me as very whiney and just generally annoying; though he does get some very funny lines close to the end of the game.

The rest of the cast also have some really great dialogue. The banter between the characters actually made me laugh a number of times. The voice actor for the main character did an astounding job on delivering his lines, especially the insults. The entire time I was playing I was silently laughing, with the recognition that the same guy calling people some really obscene things also voiced Oghren in DA:O, and even was using a similar voice form. It made everything a whole extra level of epic.

Bulletstorm impresses graphically. It seems that they decided to go with a style that is somewhat photo-realistic, but has a slight bit of cartoonish-ness to it (which Epic Games has been known to do) and it actually made the game look a lot better than some of the more straight photo-realistic ones. Epic also did a great job of using the engine and graphics to their advantage, creating some really impressively cinematic moments of gameplay. Not to spoil too much, but the both points involving giant spinning wheels were really stunning.

With everything I really enjoy about this game, there were a few things that did bug me slightly. I played the game on PC, and with high settings that I knew without a doubt my computer can handle. With that established, the game froze up at a few points for what seems to be no particular reason. It was never for long and once I got out of the area it happened it did not happen again, but it still happened. The worst moment of all though was the ending of the game. Not to spoil the story, but everything leads up to a big confrontation with a bad guy and then it ends with a lead-in for a sequel. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's a real tease to get through all that to get a completely unsatisfactory end.

The gameplay, while incredibly fun, can get somewhat repetitive. There really are only so many ways that you can blow off another man's testicles before it becomes somewhat routine. Never thought I would write that one down. I mentioned the voice acting of the one character earlier, but it is so little of a complaint that it barely seems to matter.

Even with the few little issues Bulletstorm is a great FPS, considering the competition it has on the market. I think that the game could end up with a great sequel, if the developer follows through with it. It would be better if they put more focus on the single player, like FPS games used to do. As it is right now, the game does stand on its own as a good single player game; with a fairly basic multiplayer. It's definitely worth checking out, not only for those who like FPS games but also for people who enjoy a good story (with a bit of witty swearing) in their games. If you can go buy this game it's worth the $59.99.