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Opinion

Has Bulletstorm Revived The FPS?

Kill with Skill.

Bulletstorm’s marketing might well be engulfed in the garrulous mouth of Cliff Bleszinski, but he’s trying to get a message across: this isn’t your regular first person shooter.  And it’s not – this isn’t just hyperbole or marketing (not solely, at least, as there’s certainly something marketable in a USP) because People Can Fly, resting comfortably in the lap of Epic Games, have come up with something fresh and exciting that we simply haven’t seen in a shooter for some time.

Indeed, this garishly hued, vapidly inhabited gun-em-up wouldn’t be half the game it is if it wasn’t for the mechanics, which, despite the viewpoint, make the game feel more like a next-gen mashup of Renegade and a Boys Own version of a rather more raucous, brash James Bond.  So what sets Bulletstorm apart from the rest?  It’s the wickedly entertaining use of weaponry and environment and the way the game’s Echo mode (essentially a stripped down, cut-scene free high score mode) brings out the devil in the player.

Anyone can unload half a magazine into an oncoming adversary, but if you do this in Bulletstorm you’re a) wasting ammo, and b) missing the point.  In actuality, the game’s designed to soak up such attempts to play by now old fashioned rules, the enemies absorbing your pitiful attempts to take them down.  No, instead you’re supposed to mix things up, throw in a boot and switch out your weapons to maximise your score and inflict considerably more simultaneous damage.

Here’s an example: slow down a rushing bad guy with a few bursts of the assault rifle, throw him up into the air with the Leash, wrap a sticky bomb around his chest and – when he lands – give him a swift kick to the chest to send that ticking human timebomb into the next crowd of opponents.  It’s a viciously thrilling experience, your imagination being the only real limitation and whilst slow motion is a tired old practice, here it’s essential, giving you just enough time to change arsenal on the fly.

Of course, there’s an element of rote and repetition as you learn the layout of each level’s score attack mode, but that’s the point – the more you play the more you get out of it, and the better and more inventive you become at using the weapons (all of which have alternative fire modes) – the end of level leaderboards will no doubt prove as addictive for some as the likes of stablemate Need For Speed’s Autolog did as you try to best your mates at each level.  Only through skill and adroitness will you do this.

I’m impressed.  Bulletstorm has shown the world that a nice little hook is more than enough to ensure your game stands out, and although our man Cliffy’s keen to shout about the game until the cows come home, this is one game that kinda shouts for itself.

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63 Comments
  1. BIGAL-1992
    Member
    Since: Jan 2009

    Sounds like fun. When can we expect a review?

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:02.
  2. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Looks good, but going head to head with Killzone 3 is brave/stupid.

    Personally, I reckon Bulletstorm will be down to £20 within the month.

    Will hold out and pick it up then.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:04.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Bulletstorm serves a completely different market than KZ3. Just because they are both FPS games doesn’t mean you can compare them. I pre ordered Bulletstorm and probably won’t pick up KZ3 for a good while and I’m sure there are other people out there that will pick up BS instead of KZ3.
      As for the price: It’s already 25 Pounds (PC Version) at Amazon.co.uk so you might be right with your prediction. ;)

      Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:19.
      • topshot09
        Member
        Since: Nov 2010

        Yeah you mean xbox only players.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:22.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        No, I really don’t.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:56.
      • Kronik76
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        I’m with KeRaSh on this one. This looks like great fun. KZ3 didn’t grab me.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 16:22.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        In Dead Space 2 you can flambe the Necromorphs with a Flamethrower or pin them to a wall with the Javelin Gun. Or you can slow them down (like you can in Bulletsorm) chop their legs off with the plasma cutter then launch a grenade in their chops.

        Or you could slow them down them (Like you can in Bulletstorm), Kinesis a barell in the air smash it in to them. Like you can do in Bulletsotrm.

        Or you could simply kick them. Like you can do in Bulletstorm.

        The difference is Dead Space doesnt splash “Necromophic Carpet Muncher!!” on the screen when you do it. Is ‘amusing’ kill names is worth £40? For me, no.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 18:21.
      • tactical20
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        Completely different market?

        If you say so!

        As you can see from a lot of replies, people are chosing one or the other, and Killzone 3 seems to be winning.

        And that’s on a games site where people are willing to try something different. The general public will be all over KZ3 and Bulletstorm won’t even get a look in.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 19:00.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        This site has PS3 roots. Why would I be surprised that most of the people here go for the established sequel to a famous PS3 exclusive franchise? Why would I care if KZ3 sells more than BS? Sales numbers don’t determine the amount of fun I can have while playing a game.
        I simply stated that I’ll pick BS up because I’m not a fan of the KZ franchise and that there are others out there that feel the same way. I never said it would be the majority.
        As for the Dead Space comparison… lame? Stop trying to put down the game, TC. We get it. You don’t like the game. The small number that represents your score bothers you. Fine. Nobody is forcing you to play it.
        Dead Space is slower paced and has that scary “alone in space” atmosphere going on while BS is a rollercoaster of an FPS. Did you play People Can Fly’s game Painkiller? It’s similar to BS in the way that you had to fight your way through hordes of enemies. Often brutally with a lot of blood and dismemberment underlined with metal music. Mindless killing en masse but it was hell of a fun game to play. I really can’t tell you what it was. I certainly don’t get off from playing gory games but the gameplay just felt right combined with the setting.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 21:49.
    • kivi95
      Member
      Since: Oct 2009

      I think this game will sell most of it sells just because of the GOW3 beta.

      Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:47.
      • Kronik76
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Huh?

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 16:24.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        Gears Of War, not God :)

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 18:21.
      • Kronik76
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Thanks TC :-) I clearly don’t have my thinking brain in today!

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 19:27.
  3. 3shirts
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Annoyingly I just can’t afford more than one FPS right now and it has to be Killzone 3

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:05.
  4. DJ Judas
    Epic
    Since: Aug 2008

    It’s going for the pure fun factor, Bulletstorm is to the modern FPS what Quake 3 and unreal tournament were to FPS’ in ’99.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:08.
  5. Paranoimia
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Tried the demo and hated it. Will stick with Killzone 3, and Homefront if reviews are favourable.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:14.
    • BioEye
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      I was wondering if I was alone in thinking just that. I didn’t find the demo exciting at all, and the whole thing seems a little tedious and boring after half way through the level. I remember seeing this revealed live last year and being really excited for it, but now it just feels a little bright coloured, headache-encouraging and repetitive.

      Comment posted on 24/02/2011 at 00:31.
  6. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Nope, not convinced, just reinforced the idea it’s all about chasing high scores, not my thing.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:15.
    • Erroneus
      Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
      Since: May 2009

      Same here, so not my thing. Getting a high score is not enough motivation for me, actually I dislike you have to play this way.

      Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 16:13.
      • Kronik76
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        So what motivates you to play a game? Surely having fun is the main reason?

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 16:25.
      • Erroneus
        Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
        Since: May 2009

        Sure and I don’t find this gameplay fun, it’s that simple.

        I neither think the gameplay in eg. Black Ops if fun. FPS doesn’t need to be Revived with games like Bulletstorm, they just need to be like Half-Life and Bioshock. I like FPS’ which actually requires you to think and is not GO GO GO GO GO DELTA CHARLIE BRAVO BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM GO GO GO GO LOLZ IN DA AIR, INSANE KILL!

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 17:44.
      • Kronik76
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Fair play, each to their own. I have time for both types you described.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 19:28.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Bioshock was great. The sequel however didn’t bring enough new stuff to the table and just felt like “been there, done that”. Bioshock 3 might be better with a new setting. It’s a much needed change.

        Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 21:53.
      • Erroneus
        Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
        Since: May 2009

        Bioshock 2 was a letdown yeah, but it wasn’t developed by Irrational Games. I know some of the old people from Bioshock 1 did work on the second, but it clearly missed something. Looking forward to BioShock Infinite, which is done by Irrational Games.

        Comment posted on 24/02/2011 at 08:46.
  7. topshot09
    Member
    Since: Nov 2010

    Played the demo and hated it. The handling felt like i was skating on ice sometime, will wait for this to hit the bargain bin before I even consider buying it.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:21.
  8. Jambo
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    I think this is a game that will not be for everyone.

    My housemates loved it, I just don’t get it. It is a good game I am sure, but not for me.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:23.
  9. Burgess_101
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    i played the bulletstorm demo and found it very repetitive after the 1st try i assume thats what the game will get like after a while . As a killzone fan i prefer the epic online and co-op story alot more than you gett with bulletstorm . one for the xbox owners who miss out on Killzone

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:36.
  10. HandBanana
    Banned
    Since: Apr 2010

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 15:43.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Funny, I had the same opinion about almost every other FPS that came out in the last 12 month but this felt refreshing and fun.

      Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 16:07.
    • Kronik76
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      Exactly the same as every other FPS? How do you justify that? The only things that I can think of that make it the same are the fact that it’s in first person and that you shoot guns. Aren’t those things mandatory? Hmm…

      Comment posted on 23/02/2011 at 16:30.

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