Bulletstorm… listen up dick-tits! You like over the top violence? Check! Irreverent dialog? Check! Gore and more Gore? Check and Check! Then get ready for Bulletstorm!
I wanted to do a quick review of what people are calling the "spiritual" successor to the Painkiller series. People Can Fly, the original Painkiller developer produced Bulletstorm under Epic Mega Games, who originally acquired the company for work on the Gears of War series.
I'll get to the point. While the game is about dicks, lets talk a bit about game play first shall we?
The game is a ton of fun but it never approaches Painkiller in raw gameplay mechanics. The combat segments are relatively short sequences, chained together, frequently with scripted segments which is the polar opposite of the extended, open area arena mayhem you will find in Painkiller. Bulletstorm really isn't about the gun play either, it is about the lash and kick mechanism, which is so ridiculously forgiving on hit detection and aiming that is an obvious mechanic to aid gamepads and consoles. In fact if you try to play with weapons only you'll quickly discover you are sinking 10 rounds in a head to get a single kill. It is still quite fun though, I'd describe it as Dark Messiah meets FEAR with the over the top attitude of Painkiller.
What I did find odd was the story. It is there, it is interesting, but it is severely under utilized. No spoilers here… but as an example there is a key point roughly midway through the game that reveals WHY you are getting these sadistic and entertaining skill points awarded to spend at drop kits. I thought it was a pretty facinating revelation that gets back to the political system you are fighting against but…. that was it! They did nothing else with that critical plot point. Had they revealed it earlier, it would have given the sadistic scoring gameplay mechanic some credibility as woven into the storyline. A big fat missed opportunity if you ask me.
The humor is another interesting miss. The game is laden with banter and crude jokes that largely fall flat, not because they are crude but because they lack originality. Mostly, you can anticipate the bad joke. Trishka, the gun loving hard ass babe in the game is the primary focus of the banter. There are some notables:
Trishka: "I'll kill your dick!"
Gray: "What? What does that even mean? You'll kill my dick? Well, I'll kill YOUR dick!"
Then there is General Serrano. His constant ridicule towards the end of the game is simply hilarious. His unending references to the Confederate dead (at your hands) had me in stitches.
"…aaaannnndddd that torched corpse right there was probably a school teacher Gray!"
….and who couldn't simply adore:
"I've got myself a scotch and I'm VIOLENTLY fiddling with my balls in anticipations of your arrival."
Anyway it gets far worse than that, especially with the dick jokes so the easily offended should simply move on.
Last comment, the game is pretty darn short. I ran through it in about 10 hours taking my time, but I could have done it in 8. Make no mistake it is a AAA quality title. The environment, design and effects are just stunning. I'd rank it up there in memorable gameplay and put it along side the likes of the completely unappreciated but very well done Blacksite: Area 51. That's all dick-tits!
"Son of a dick!" :)
I liked Bulletstorm for what it was, but it was definitely a one-time playthrough for me. I didn't like the skill-point system in general and found it more annoying than anything else. It also felt weird to me that you couldn't jump.
The game did have some nice scenes from a visual standpoint. (I loved that level on the train where you're being chased by that giant wheel thingy.)
You're right though, it's definitely more about dicks than anything else.
I was really really disappointed with Bulletstorm. I was expecting (from what I read) a game similar to Borderlands, and it pales in comparison. It had its moments of humor, but it's a poor Painkiller clone on rails. Really didn't care for the gameplay, lack of weapons, various mechanics etc. It was more like playing a ride at disney land than a computer game. Very forgettable title.
Borderlands has 10X more to offer.
Edit: The remote control dinosaur was a neat idea
Borderlands is 10x the game no doubt. Far better than Rage for that matter (graphics not withstanding). But for a dumb, fast, fun game Bulletstorm delivers. A lesser followup to Painkiller though, I agree with you.
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